Transparence des revenus d'hydrocarbures et relations internationales - article de Kerem Öge    
Pourquoi certains pays n'adoptent-ils pas les mêmes politiques de transparence quant aux revenus de leurs industries des hydrocarbures? Cela peut s'expliquer par leurs relations extérieures, comme le montre notre collègue de l'Université McGill au sujet de l'Azerbaïdjan et du Turkmenistan.
          EYANG NAZIM(SYAIKH NAZIM ADIL AL_HAQQANI)   



EYANG NAZIM(SYAIKH NAZIM ADIL AL_HAQQANI)

Pada September 2010 lalu, perhatian masyarakat dunia tertuju pada 33 penambang di Chili yang terkubur di kedalaman lebih dari 700 meter di bawah permukaan bumi. Namun akhirnya satu demi satu penambang berhasil diselamatkan dengan menggunakan kapsul ‘Phoenix’.
Kejadian itu berawal sejak tanggal 5 Agustus 2010 dan akhirnya dapat diselamatkan pada tanggal 14 Oktober 2010. Baru kali ini publik melihat 33 orang mampu bertahan hidup dalam kegelapan di bawah tanah selama lebih dari dua bulan, setelah jalur keluar-masuk tempat mereka bekerja tertimbun bebatuan. Determinasi dan daya juang para pekerja untuk tetap bertahan hidup menunggu pertolongan, diliput langsung oleh lebih dari dua ribu jurnalis dari mancanegara, langsung dari area pertambangan San Jose, di padang gurun Atacama. Pemimpin penambang Luis Urzua menjadi penambang terakhir yang diangkat dengan selamat. Proses evakuasi memakan waktu hingga 22 jam 37 menit.
Bahkan Aktor kondang Brad Pitt sangat terkesan dengan kisah 33 penambang Chili yang berhasil selamat setelah terkubur hidup-hidup selama 69 hari di dalam perut bumi. Pitt pun berniat untuk mengangkat kisah mereka menjadi sebuah film nyata di tahun depan.
Namun tahukah publik dunia…dibalik kejadian itu ada keterlibatan Invisible hand yang sangat berperan di dalamnya. Allah berkehendak lain, Dia mengirimkan Aulia-aulia pilihannya untuk membuka mata dunia tentang sebuah spiritualitas sejati. Kisah nyata inilah yang dialami oleh 33 penambang itu. Di kedalaman perut bumi, ditengah keputus asaan mereka tentang upaya penyelamatan manusia modern, tiba-tiba saja muncul ditengah-tengah mereka seorang Aulia Allah zaman ini. Seorang Sultan Aulia, mursyid sejati thoriqoh Naqshabandi Haqqani dari sanad mata rantai emas ke 40, Maulana Syaikh Muhammad Nazim Adil Haqqani yang datang menghibur hati mereka. Syaikh Nazim memberikan siraman ruhani dan akhirnya di kedalaman perut bumi itu mereka ber syahadat dan serta merta ber bay’at di tangan beliau. Selanjutnya ke 33 orang penambang itu diberikan sebuah kalung tawuz, azimmah yang digantungkan di leher mereka masing-masing. Sampai akhirnya mereka terselamatkan oleh tim relawan, tawuz/azimmah itu tetap melekat di leher mereka.
Kenyataannya selanjutnya, stasiun tivi dunia yang dikuasai oleh sebagian besar Yahudi dan Nasrani yang ikut meliput peristiwa bersejarah itu menutup-nutupi peran spiritual ini. Sampai pada akhirnya dunia dibuat takjub ketika para penambang itu mengakui bahwa hanya kekuatan Ilahillah mereka terselamatkan dari bencana ini. Para penambang itu tidak mengunjungi Dalai Lama, Paus Paulus atau orang suci lainnya, tapi mereka mengunjungi seorang tua renta di pulau terpencil yang jauh dari keramaian kota besar. Mereka bersimpuh di kaki syaikh Nazim. ke 33 penambang itu mengutus 2 orang temannya untuk berkunjung, menemui sultanul Aulia Syaikh Muhammad Nazim Adil Haqqani di pulau kecil Ciprus (Turki) untuk mengucapkan terimakasih atas peran spiritual beliau ketika berada di dalam perut bumi itu. Mereka disambut hangat oleh syaikh nazim di kediamannya lefke Ciprus dalam beberapa hari dan akhirnya terjadillah dialog antara beliau dengan para penambang dan 2 stasiun TV swasta FOX TV…..
TULISAN INI TERBAGI MENJADI DUA SESI. SESI PERTAMA ADALAH PERISTIWA PERCAKAPAN KETIKA 2 PENAMBANG ASAL CHILI YANG SELAMAT AKHIRNYA BERKUNJUNG KE KEDIAMAN SYAIKH NAZIM DI PULAU CIPRUS TURKI DAN SESI KEDUA ADALAH WAWANCARA SYAIKH NAZIM DENGAN STASIUN TV SWASTA “FOX TV”…..YANG PENGEN MENGETAHUI KEJADIAN SEBENARNYA DARI PERISTIWA BESAR TAHUN 2010 INI
KETIKA ITU Maulana Syaikh Nazim menyambut dengan hangat dua penambang Chili – Brother Omar Raygaldo, pemimpin dari kelompok penambang yang terperangkap didalam lubang berkedalaman 700 m, dan kawannya Dario.  “Duduklah,” kata Maulana sambil tertawa, saat menyambut mereka dengan penuh cinta.
* Maulana memulai percakapan dengan memuji Nama Allah, dan berterima kasih kepada-Nya untuk keajaiban yang indah ini. Para penambang telah bertahan selama 70 hari, terkubur 700 meter di bawah bumi, tanpa udara segar, dan hanya minum air tercemar untuk bertahan hidup. Dengan nyaris tanpa makanan, dengan udara yang menyesakkan gerah dan panas, didalam lubang yang gelap gulita dan udara yang mencekik, semua 33 penambang berhasil keluar hidup-hidup, masing-masing muncul dengan memakai kalung tradisional Naqsybandi tawiz segitiga di leher mereka, karena sebelumnya Maulana telah mengirim kepada 33 buah Tawiz ini ketika mereka masih terjebak didalam tanah.
Maulana berdoa bahwa setiap orang yang melihat akan mengakui keberadaan Spiritualitas dan mukjizat Allah, setelah menyaksikan acara ini yang telah diliput luas oleh semua media dunia,
* Maulana mengungkapkan bahwa ia telah diberitahu tentang kecelakaan ditambang itu dan kejadian yang mengerikan yang menimpa penambang dimnalam hari. Mawlana segera berdoa untuk mereka, dan dia mengirim salah satu Wali utamanya sebagai salah satu dari 313 Wali Besar (313 Rijallallah) di seluruh dunia, dan memintanya untuk menemani para penambang. Akhirnya, tidak hanya satu Rijallallah yang datang, tetapi ada tujuh dari makhluk tak kasat mata dikirim ke lokasi tambang itu. Maulana menyuruh salah satu dari Rijalallah untuk menginformasikan agar para penambang membaca La ila ha illallah, Muhammadur Rasulullah, dan meminta mereka untuk memakai Naqshbandi Taweez, agar dapat dengan cepat diselamatkan. Inilah pesan penting dan hadiah tawiz kepada mereka di Chile yang bertugas untuk mengirimkan makanan kepada para penambang yang terjebak.
* Alhamdulillah, kata Maulana, pertolongan Allah telah mencapai para penambang, dan membuat penyelamatan mereka tampaknya tidak mungkin, menjadi mungkin. Semua teknologi di bumi tidak akan bisa menyelamatkan tanpa bantuan  Ilahi itu. Bantuan telah mencapai penambang dari tempat tak terduga, melalui tujuh makhluk gaib yang telah dikirimkan kepada mereka.
Ketika kita membaca Ringkasan dari apa yang para penambang ungkapkan, Anda akan melihat begitu banyak mukjizat yang sulit diterima logika manusia. Dan hanya untuk menggambarkan bahwa bertahan hidup seperti suatu cobaan bukan hanya tentang memiliki teknologi
Pada tgl 19 November terjadi  ledakan di sebuah tambang batubara Selandia Baru 29 penambang terperangkap, dan tidak ada yang berhasil keluar hidup-hidup, bahkan tubuh mereka belum ditemukan, meskipun teknologi yang lebih mutakhir tersedia bagi mereka. Jadi ke 33 penambang yang berhasil  keluar hidup-hidup dan sehat dan utuh memang merupakan sebuah keajaiban. Keajaiban ini merupakan sebuah rekor dimana mereka terjebak dibawah bumi untuk waktu cukup  lama,dan dapat bertahan hidup.
* Tujuh mahluk gaib yang tak terlihat di antara para penambang ditunjukkan tanggal yang siksaan mereka akan berakhir, sebagaimana tercantum pada lauh Mahfudz, dan mereka terus memberikan dukungan yang diperlukan untuk kelangsungan hidup ke 33 penambang ini, secara bertahap, sampai tanggal tersebut yang telah ditentukan mereka berhasil keluar dengan selamat. Meskipun penambang melihat banyak kejadian ajaib, Maulana mengatakan bahwa ‘Keajaiban kecil’ telah ditampilkan, karena manusia saat ini memiliki keyakinan yang sangat rendah dalam Spiritualitas, dan mereka tidak akan mampu menanggung mukjizat yang benar-benar besar.
Hanya yang diperlukan untuk dapat bertahan hidup, yang diberikan kepada para penambang. Bahkan saat itu, dunia menjadi saksi bagaimana, atas kehendak Allah, 33 orang selamat dalam kondisi yang sebenarnya dapat merenggut nyawa merekai semua dalam sehari, di bawah kondisi  yang normal. Namun mereka dapat bertahan 17 hari awalnya, tanpa udara segar dan air minum yang bersih dan tanpa makanan yang cukup  dan mereka menghabiskan total 70 hari berada dibawah tanah dan muncul dalam keadaan hidup!
* Maulana mengatakan bahwa ia sangat senang bertemu dua penambang yang datang dari Chili ini. Tanpa bantuan Spiritual dan dukungan dari mahluk yang saleh dan tulus yang dikirim untuk membantu mereka, maka mereka tidak akan pernah bisa berhasil keluar hidup-hidup. Bagi Allah tidak ada yang mustahil, dan doa orang-orang saleh adalah merupakan perantarai (waseelah) sehingga kejadian ini dapat terjadi!
* Dengan mereka (para penambang datang ke sini) maka itu adalah sebuah pembukaan bagi rakyat Chile, dimana banyak dari mereka akan memeluk Islam dan mendalami Spiritualitas setelah ini. Sementara Amerika Utara mereka dikuasai kehidupan yang materialis. Amerika Selatan akan berkembang menjadi sebuah negara yang sangat spiritual. Maulana berdoa bagi mereka, untuk mencapai era Imam Mahdi (as) dan Sayyidina Isa (as), dan insyaallah, pada saat itu, banyak penduduk di Chili akan masuk Islam.
* Maulana memberi mereka masing-masing hadiah sebesar USD $ 500, dan memberi mereka USD tambahan $ 15.500 untuk diberikan kepadai 31 penambang lainnya yang tidak datang dan masih di Chile. Maulana mengatakan bahwa ia berharap untuk memberikan kontribusi kepada mereka setiap bulan, sehingga dapat membantu mereka untuk bekerja yang lain, karena ia tidak ingin mereka kembali bekerja di tambang itu lagi. Dia berharap akan memberikan biaya bulanan bagi mereka untuk membantu mereka memulai beberapa usaha kecil yang dapat mereka tekuni. Dia minta salah satu dari dua penambang itu bahwa ia harus mulai pemeliharaan kambing, dan Maulana akan mengirimkan uang untuk memulai peternakan kambing, dimulai dari 5.00 sampai 1.000 kambing, dan dalam satu tahun, dia akan memiliki 10.000 kambing.
Seorang penambang kemudian mengungkapkan bahwa ia memang telah menjadi petani kambing di masa mudanya! Maulana menyarankan penambang lain untuk memulai usaha kecil, membeli dan menjual kayu dari Argentina. Maulana meyakinkan mereka bahwa ia akan terus mengumpulkan amal untuk mereka, dan bahwa ia tidak akan pernah meninggalkan mereka, ia akan membantu mereka sebanyak mungkin, karena mereka seperti anak-anaknya sendiri di matanya.
* Para penambang memberikan Maulana beberapa hadiah simbolis – sebuah Bendera Chili dengan tanda tangan semua 33 penambang ‘, tanda tangan itu dibuat saat mereka masih terjebak didalam tambang, sebuah bordiran melambangakan bendera Chili, kota Lapaz yang dibuat oleh keluarga mereka pada hari penyelamatan mereka sebagai hadiah bagi Mawlana dan sepotong batu dari atacamita dari tambang San Jose, yang merupakan batu  emas dan tembaga. Mereka berkata kepada Maulana, “Ini hadiah untuk Anda bukan apa-apa dibandingkan dengan semua yang telah Anda lakukan untuk kita, kita tidak pernah bisa membalas kebaikan Anda atas bantuan Anda kepada kami, “Maulana yang rendah hati menjawab, “Pahala kami dikirmkan dari langit, kita adalah hamba yang lemah, semoga Anda bahagia di dunia dan akhirat”.
* Pada akhir pertemuan itu, Maulana menyebut mereka sebagai para  ‘singa’ untuk keberanian mereka dalam  menghadapi seperti siksaan menakutkan didalam tambang. Mawlana mengirim salam untuk semua para penambang, dan menyuruh mereka untuk menggunakanl hatinya, karena seratus ribu penduduk Chili suatu saat akan pergi ke Damaskus dengan perahunya Maulana. Mawlana mengingatkan mereka untuk mencari pekerjaan yang lain yang sederhana, dan jangan  pernah kembali bekerja ditambang lagi, karena, jika mereka terjebak sekali lagi, Maulana berkata, “Kali ini, kami tidak bertanggung jawab.” Maulana berjanji untuk mengirim uang bagi mereka untuk membangun sebuah dergah (tempat dzikir) di Chile juga. Salah satu wanita Chili yang telah menemani para penambang, memohon doa terakhir. “Anak saya hilang dilaut di bulan Mei tahun ini, apakah akau akan melihatnya lagi? ” katanya dengan wajah yang sedih. Maulana berkata, “Ia akan datang, ketika Sayyidina Isa (as) datang, jangan khawatir, “Mawlana menghibur ibu yang berduka. Dia kemudian memberikan Bay’at dan memeluk dua penambang itu.
* Segera setelah pertemuan Maulana, tim TV berbicara kepada dua penambang, meminta mereka mengungkapkan bagaimana perasaan mereka tentang pertemuan dengan Maulana Syaikh Nazim, dan apa yang mereka alami ketika mereka mengambil Bay’at dengan dia. Brother Omar mengatakan bahwa selama Bay’at, dia merasa seolah-olah ia mabuk, dan setelah Bay’at, ia merasa seolah-olah suatu beban besar telah terangkat dari dadanya. Penambang lainnya mengalami sensasi yang sama. Meskipun ia sebelumnya mengalami kesulitan tidur setelah penderitaannya tersekap didalam, ia kagum bahwa di Lefke di tempat Mawlana, ia tidur seperti bayi, sejak tiba di Lefke. Dia menemukan bahwa tinggal di Lefke sangat damai, dan sangat tersentuh oleh begitu banyak waktu mereka bisa bersama Maulana Syaikh Nazim mereka. Dia telah melihat begitu banyak murid menunggu, hanya untuk bisa menghabiskan beberapa menit dengan Maulana, namun mereka diberi kesempatan ulang untuk berrama Maulana, makan malam dengan dia, dan bahkan bepergian dengan dia di mobil dua kali. Ia berterima kasih atas nasihat bijak Maulana yang telah memberinya uang dan ia ingin berbagi dengan keluarganya, terutama untuk meninggalkan sektor pertambangan, untuk mencari rezeki di tempat lain.
* Ketika ditanya bagaimana ia memandang kecelakaan itu sekarang, dia mengatakan bahwa itu tes dan berkah bagi mereka, membawa mereka kembali ke realitas, itu menunjukkan mereka arti hidup dan membawa mereka ke dalam Islam dan kepada Maulana. Dario, penambang lain, bersyukur telah datang, karena baginya ini merupakan perjalanan yang tidak direncanakan, ia menggantikan kedua penambang lainnya, yang telah membatalkan untuk datang ke Lefke, dimenit terakhir!    Al-Fatihah
Maulana’s Meeting with Chilean Miners  19th December 2010
WAWANCARA KEDUA, oleh FOX TV tentang Penambang Chile yang Selamat dan Datang Menemuinya di Siprus PADA HARI Kamis, 23 Des 2010
Syaikh Nazim mengatakan kepada publik demikian “A’udzubillahi minasy syaithanir rajiim Bismillah-hir Rahman-nir Rahiim. Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. Saya menyaksikan siaran penyelamatan Penambang Chile malam terakhir di Discovery Channel. Dalam film Dokumenter itu mereka berusaha keras untuk menyingkirkan setiap peran Spiritual atau pesan Ilahi di balik insiden ini. Mereka menekankan tentang teknologi dan kecerdikan para insinyur karena mereka berhasil memecahkan masalah-masalah di lapangan dan kesulitan menerjang untuk menyelamatkan para penambang. Tak ada satu kata pun yang disebutkan tentang keajaiban apa yang ditemui oleh para penambang, apa yang mereka alami atau mereka lihat, bahkan adegan setiap penambang yang muncul dari kapsul dengan mengenakan ta’wiiz yang diberikan oleh Mawlana Syekh Nazim (q), dengan licik telah diedit oleh mereka, sehingga tidak satu frame gambar pun dari setiap penambang yang memakai sebuah ta’wiiz ditampilkan selama film Dokumenter yang panjang itu ditayangkan.
Mawlana menegaskan tentang hal ini dalam wawancara berikut ini, menjelaskan bahwa teknologi itu bukanlah alasan yang utama untuk kelangsungan hidup para penambang. Semua itu adalah Kehendak Sang Pencipta, dan setiap orang yang skeptis, mata mereka buta oleh kekuatan spiritual dan mereka harus mengakui bahwa banyak hal yang terjadi sepanjang seluruh kejadian ini yang, berada di luar pemahaman manusia.
Mawlana Syekh Nazim (q) memulai wawancara ini dengan melampiaskan kekecewaan bagaimana kru CNN sehari sebelumnya datang mewawancarai beliau dan memperlakukannya dengan kasar. Beliau mengatakan bahwa, jika stasiun TV ingin mewawancarai Kepala Dokter di Rumah Sakit tentang hal-hal medis, maka mereka paling tidak harus mengirimkan pewawancara yang memiliki beberapa pengetahuan Kedokteran, sehingga ia bisa mengajukan pertanyaan yang relevan dan akan mengetahui jargon medis. Dalam setiap bidang keahlian, yang mewawancarai harus  akrab dengan subjek dan terminologi orang yang diwawancarai.
Ambil contoh untuk operasi misalnya, atau tentang olahraga karate, fisika, nuklir, dan memasak ala Jepang – maka seorang pewawancara yang tidak memiliki pengetahuan sebelumnya dari bidang-bidang tertentu akan membuat bodoh dirinya sendiri, dan membiarkan pemirsa berubah menjadi kesal, ini persis apa yang dilakukan pewawancara dari CNN itu. Ia tidak mengetahui apa-apa tentang Spiritualitas dan agama, dan meminta informasi apapun bagi pemirsa untuk  belajar.
Mawlana berkata, bahkan jika seseorang tidak tahu apa-apa tentang topik tersebut, setidaknya, orang itu harus bersikap sopan dan hormat, bahkan dalam aspek ini, reporter CNN gagal total untuk melakukannya. Malulah ia pada dirinya.
Pewawancara FOX TV:
Mengapa para penambang Chile datang ke sini untuk bertemu  dengan Anda?
Mawlana Syekh Nazim (q):
Memang tidak mudah menjelaskan hal-hal rohani karena salah satu kebutuhan untuk memiliki iman atau untuk memahami hal-hal tersebut. Mungkin beberapa dari mereka telah melihat saya berada di dalam tambang itu, sementara yang lain mungkin  bermimpi bertemu dengan saya. Bahkan jika saya harus memberitahu Anda, bahwa saya memang telah berada di tambang sejak hari pertama kecelakaan itu terjadi, apakah Anda percaya? Apakah pendengar percaya pada saya? Ini adalah Kehendak Allah, jadi bagaimana bisa orang yang mengatakan, “Itu tidak mungkin!”  Orang-orang abad ke-21, mereka kebanyakan tidak beriman, mereka menolak  Spiritualitas, namun mereka tidak bisa menjelaskan bagaimana saya datang dan melakukan kontak dengan para penambang di bawah permukaan bumi. Dari sudut pandang filsafat material, tidak dapat dijelaskan atau dipahami.
Dunia memiliki mata yang terlatih untuk melihat bencana ini. Di mana-mana, orang melihat dan menunggu. Di sebuah lubang yang sempit sekitar 25 meter persegi, di sebuah lubang terpencil di perut bumi yang tidak layak untuk menunjang kehidupan manusia, mereka bertahan selama 70 hari. Bagaimana bisa?
Mereka tidak punya udara segar, dan tidak ada saluran untuk udara, namun mereka merasakan ada hembusan udara yang mencapai mereka, setiap kali mereka merasa bahwa mereka tercekik pernapasannya selalu ada hembusan udara segar. Bagaimana dan apa yang terjadi? Mereka seharusnya mati kelaparan dan kehausan? Mereka telah terkontaminasi air industri, air dan udara yang tidak layak bahkan untuk mencuci kulit mereka, untuk minum. Dan mereka minum selama 17 hari tanpa ada yang jatuh sakit. Mereka memiliki sedikit makanan, hanya dua sendok tuna setiap 24 jam, namun semua orang merasa disegarkan dan merasa kenyang dengan jumlah makanan yang sedikit. Bagaimana itu bisa terjadi, jika tidak ada Bantuan Ilahiah turun kepada mereka?
Para penambang itu menceritakan sebuah cerita, bahwa ada tiga pendaki gunung yang mendaki gunung, dan kemudian terperangkap di puncak gunung.Mereka kelaparan dan kehausan, mereka memakan mayat seorang pendaki untuk bertahan hidup. Ini adalah pendaki di medan terbuka, terjebak untuk waktu yang singkat, namun mereka melakukan tindakan seperti untuk bertahan hidup. Jadi bagaimana 33 orang kelaparan – pada satu titik dan hanya makan dua sendok makan ikan tuna setiap 72 jam? Mengapa mereka tidak merenungkan untuk saling membunuh untuk bertahan hidup, sementara mereka berada di sebuah ruang yang menyesakkan napas mereka dan tertutup selama 70 hari? Apa yang membuat mereka bahagia, merasa puas, kenyang dan damai? Apakah Teknologi? Saya pikir tidak.
Tanpa Bantuan sesuatu kekuatan yang tak terlihat yang telah Dia kirim, maka para penambang akan lama menyerang satu sama lain dan mereka akan makan satu sama lain dalam rasa lapar yang tak tertahankan oleh mereka, sampai bahkan tulang-tulang yang mati, tidak akan dapat kalian temukan!
Dalam panas ruang sempit yang mengerikan dan juga bau busuk, orang-orang itu dapat tidur nyenyak, dan kemudian mengatakan bahwa mereka bangun setiap hari, anehnya mereka penuh energi dan tetap bersemangat, segar dan termotivasi. Bagaimana hal itu bisa terjadi? Apakah Teknologi?
Para penambang telah mengalami begitu banyak kejadian aneh dan insiden yang tidak dapat mereka jelaskan. Namun, dunia ini penuh dengan orang-orang yang akan menutup mata, dan menyisihkan semua keajaiban sebagai kebetulan.
Orang-orang tidak memiliki iman dalam Spiritualitas, mereka tidak memiliki iman dengan Tuhan. Ini adalah Dia, Sang Maha Pencipta orang-orang ini, yang ingin mereka terus hidup, dan itu dengan kehendak dan IzinNya, bahwa mereka berhasil keluar dengan selamat. Inilah sebuah keajaiban, ini adalah pesan dari Tuhan, untuk semua Manusia, untuk membuat mereka percaya atau jika mareka tidak percaya Tuhan maka mereka termasuk orang-orang kafir. Siapapun yang menolak Spiritualitas, maka level mereka berada di bawah tingkat hewan.
Hari ini, Alhamdulillah, para penambang ini percaya Spiritualitas, mereka percaya pada Allah SWT. Mereka yang datang kepada saya, mereka datang karena mereka telah melihat saya berada di dalam tambang itu. Mereka melihat. Mereka ingin bertemu dengan Guru Spiritual yang telah menemani mereka melalui segala penderitaan mereka selama terjebak di dalam tambang, mereka ingin melihat Spiritual Power yang telah mereka lihat.
Tak satu pun dari penambang itu yang pergi ke Tibet (untuk memenuhi DalaiLama). Tidak ada juga yang pergi ke Paus. Tidak ada pergi ke pendeta Kristen atau Rabbi Yahudi. Atau ke pusat Spiritual lainnya untuk masalah ini. Mereka datang ke sini, ke pulau Siprus yang terpencil dan dilupakan banyak orang, di mana seorang pria tua yang lemah, dan tidak dikenal, tinggal. Hanya karena Keinginan-Nya, bahwa apa yang terjadi di tambang itu terjadi. Dan Dialah yang ingin mereka hidup, Dialah yang membiarkan mereka hidup! Orang bebas untuk menerima hal ini atau menolaknya. Allah telah mengirim mereka para penambang ini untuk ke sini kepada seseorang yang diberi kewenangan, yang diberi kekuatan Ilahi untuk pergi ke mana pun di muka bumi ini, menurut kehendak-Nya.
Orang tersebut diberi Kekuatan material dan Kekuatan Spiritual, ia bisa  menyelesaikan misi apapun. Mereka adalah sahabat Allah, orang-orang Suci, dan jika seseorang adalah orang suci, para Wali, seseorang yang memiliki koneksi dengan dunia Spiritual. Seperti seseorang diberkati dengan material dan kekuatan spiritual, maka dalam sekejap mata, ia bisa mencapai Chile, Australia, atau Kutub Selatan. Dengan Izin-Nya, seseorang hamba yang lemah dapat pergi ke mana saja, ia bahkan dapat berjalan di atas air seperti Sayyidina Isa (Yesus Kristus as).
Dewasa ini orang yang menolak-Nya, menolak Tuhannya sendiri yang menciptakan dia, orang seperti itu tidak pernah bisa mengerti apa-apa tentang hal-hal seperti itu! Orang-orang seperti berada di tingkat binatang, dan mereka selalu berpikir bahwa mereka adalah sesuatu. Orang-orang hari ini menolak gagasan bahwa mereka lemah. Jika memang Anda kuat, mengapa Anda harus mati, mengapa Anda tidak hidup selamanya?
Dengar! Mereka, semua penambang itu akan meninggal pada hari pertama, jika tidak ada dukungan surgawi bagi mereka. Ada keajaiban terjadi di sana. Para penambang itu dikirimkan Ta’wiiz oleh saya dan mereka diperintahkan untuk membaca La ilaha illallah, Muhammadur Rasulullah (kalimat syahadat) sehingga mereka bisa diselamatkan. Mereka mengambil salib mereka dan kemudian menggantungkan sebuah ta’wiiz Naqsybandi di leher mereka sebagai gantinya. Setiap penambang ke luar dari tambang, mengenakan Ta’wiiz itu!
Jadi pesan untuk manusia yang sinis hari ini, dan mereka yang skeptis – jika Anda tidak dapat menjelaskan suatu kejadian aneh, jangan hanya melihat kesamping. Berpikirlah tentang hal ini, itu yang dapat membuka mata Anda kepada sesuatu yang sangat istimewa. Hal ini sudah cukup dibuktikan bahwa dua dari para penambang ini datang dari negeri yang jauh, datang ke sini. Mereka telah memeluk Islam, dan mereka telah diberi nama Muslim saat ini.
Pewawancara FOX:
Kami mendengar ada kejadian serupa di Cina. Ada orang Turki dari Turkmenistan, yang selalu disiksa oleh pemerintah Cina. Setiap kali mereka disetrum maka tiba-tiba listrik padam di tempat itu, dan orang ini akan melihat Anda (Syekh Nazim). Kami mendengar ia datang ke sini untuk bertemu Anda juga setelah ia berhasil melarikan diri dari penjara Cina itu.
Mawlana:
Ya, dia datang ke sini dan dia masih di sini (di Zawiyah bawah). Anda mungkin dapat juga mewawancarainya jika itu yang Anda inginkan.
Pewawancara:
Jadi banyak yang datang menemui Anda, Syekh Nazim Effendi?
Mawlana:
Mereka yang bisa datang, akan datang. Dan bagi mereka yang tidak bisa datang (karena kemiskinan, kesehatan, atau dalam penganiayaan) maka saya yangakan menjangkau mereka di manapun mereka berada.
Pewawancara:
Ketika para penambang datang untuk mengunjungi Anda, apa yang mereka lakukan, apa yang terjadi?
Mawlana:
Mereka mencium tangan saya, mereka duduk di depan saya, dan mereka menangis. Dan saya berkata, “Ya Ghaaliban maghluub ghaira! Wahai Dia yang tidak bisa dikalahkan! Engkau telah mengirimkan dua penambang di sini, untuk mengajarkan seluruh dunia, tentang Spiritualitas dan keimanan serta takdir-MU,
“Wahai orang yang tak memilki iman, kalian harus datang untuk percaya.” Seluruh kejadian ini dirancang untuk menghancurkan orang-orang kafir dan ateis. Ketergantungan mereka pada dunia materialistik, dunia teknologi, untuk semua hal yang terjadi yang tidak dapat mereka jelaskan, kecuali dengan Spiritualitas.
Semua orang yang berdiri di atas ketidakpercayaan, tidak memiliki dasar dalam kehidupan, mereka adalah manusia yang bodoh. Ketika manusia dihadapkan dengan peristiwa ajaib seperti ini. Peristiwa di Chile ini untuk menunjukkan danmenghancurkan benteng pertahanan mereka yang kafir yang tidak memilki kepercayaan dan keimanan. Para penambang menjadi saksi hidup terhadap peristiwa bersejarah ini.
Aku tahu apa yang terjadi di tambang itu. Dalam keadaan biasa, tidak akan adayang selamat, bahkan untuk satu hari. Tetapi Kekuatan Spiritual mencapai mereka, dan membuat mereka hidup dalam tambang itu. Allah telah mengajarkan  seluruh dunia, sebuah pelajaran dalam iman, dalam keyakinan dalam hal yang gaib.
Pada akhir hikayat ini, para penambang di sini di Siprus. Mereka datang ke sini dan tidak datang kepada tokoh-tokoh lain yang terkenal seperti Paus, paraRabbi, para imam, atau Dalai Lama. Mereka berada di sini, di pulau kecil inijauh-jauh, untuk bertemu seorang lelaki tua yang lemah yang mereka tidak pernah mengenal sebelum kecelakaan itu terjadi. Mengapa? Pikirkan tentang hal ini. Bi hurmati Fatihah.

Foto ketika Syaikh Nazim menerima cenderamata dari 2 orang perwakilan penambang Chili yang terkubur. fhoto bendera negara Chili itu telah ditandatangani oleh ke 33 penambang sebagai ungkapan trimakasih atas peran spiritual beliau ketika musibah yang menimpa mereka terjadi dalam hidup mereka

Foto ketika 2 orang penambang itu mencium tangan suci syaikh nazim sebagai tanda takzim kepada kemuliaan yang diberikan Allah kepada syaikh Nazim Adil Haqqani

Syaikh Nazim dan kedua Khalifah utamanya. syaikh Muhammad Hisyam Kabbani dan syaikh Muhammad Adnan Al-Rabbani. kedua Qutb ini adalah 2 saudara kandung yang diangkat beliau menjadi khalifah utama. sejak umur kurang lebih 10 tahun sudah didalam tarbiyyah syaikh Nazim Al-Haqqani.
“Setiap saat kalian kehilangan kontrol akan diri kalian, atau kalian berada dalam situasi sulit, kalian bisa menghubungi hatiku dan hati GrandSyaikh Abdullah dengan segera. Walaupun kalian hanya membayangkan diriku dan dirinya, maka itu cukup untuk membuka hubungan denganku, aku dan Grand Syaikh Abdullah akan melihat dirimu dengan pandangan kasyafku. Koneksi ini akan menimbulkan sebuah kekuatan yang mengalir dengan cepat di antara kita, dan kalian akan terlindungi, ini seperti memasang steker pada tempatnya, agar teraliri arus listrik.” Kalian bisa memanggil, MADAD YA SAYYID MADADUL HAQQ ”Oh, Syekhku! Oh Grandsyekhku! mendekatlah padaku, aku sedang dalam kesulitan, aku membutuhkan pertolonganmu dengan ijin Allah!” Grandsyekh kalian adalah Sultanul Aulia Naqib Al-ummah Syaikh Maulana`Abdullah Fa’iz Daghestani QS. Ini adalah kalimat yang cukup untuk memanggil beliau dan meminta barakah dan pertolongan tuhan untuk mengalir ke hatimu
          A Libyan ambush, Central Asia’s security wobbles and Mozambique’s loan scandal: The cheat sheet   

All eyes on Libya

It’s been a rollercoaster few weeks for Libya. A spot of good news first: Libya is pumping oil at its highest rate in four years, an important boon for a country that relies heavily on the petroleum industry. Now for a bunch of bad: This week, a convoy from the UN Support Mission in Libya was ambushed and, according to reports, their staff taken at gunpoint. The UN now says its staff are all safely in Tripoli, but the incident is yet another a sign of the chaos in Libya, where multiple forces claim authority and there is heavy fighting in some parts of the country, including Benghazi. The UN has just appointed a new envoy to the country – a former Lebanese minister of culture – a process that took four months, after the US rejected a Palestinian appointee because of his nationality, followed by retaliatory objections to other candidates from Russia and other countries. UNISMIL and various UN agencies have been gradually increasing their presence on the ground in the dangerous country, but this week’s ambush is likely to be a major setback. And with Italy threatening to deny entry to foreign ships docking on its shores – an effort to force its European partners to do more about the massive influx of migrants, mostly coming from Libya – the internal divisions and external debate over Libya make it one to watch. 

Au revoir UNOCI

While it’s something to celebrate, the closure today of the UN’s peacekeeping mission in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) has also generated some concerns. Although Cote d’Ivoire is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, two mutinies this year by disgruntled soldiers suggests it has not fully healed from the 2002-2003 civil war and the post-election violence of 2010-2011. Human Rights Watch has called on the Ivorian government to address the rights issues at the root of past political violence, including the problem of impunity and the need to professionalise its security forces. It also pointed to the incomplete national reconciliation process and continued competition over land as potential flashpoints. With the peacekeepers’ withdrawal, a UN Security Council briefing noted the need for the international community to stay engaged. In a statement to the council, Sweden said the closure of UNOCI meant the “UN presence in the country is facing a ‘financial cliff’. This risks undermining the sustainability of the gains achieved.”

Is Afghanistan pulling Central Asia into chaos?

That’s the question at the heart of this new report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. While Afghanistan’s downward spiral has been plotted meticulously by journalists and analysts, Central Asian states are often overlooked – to our potential peril, according to CSIS. The report notes that security has taken a nosedive throughout in Afghanistan in the past couple years, but asserts: “In the provinces of Afghanistan adjacent to Central Asia, the security situation has deteriorated even further than in Afghanistan as a whole on average.” That situation presents huge challenges to Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, which could become destabilized by smuggling, Taliban attacks and infiltration by extremists, among other threats. The report suggests some measures Afghanistan and its neighbours can take to mitigate those risks – including sealing borders and negotiating with the Taliban – but of none of them would be easy.

Seven more years

Few African leaders divide international public opinion as much as Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who will run for a third term in office in August, having overwhelmingly won a referendum to change the constitution in 2015. Kagame’s champions see him as the architect of stability and growth in a country where some 20 percent of the population was slaughtered in the 1994 genocide. They point to free basic education for all, the halving of infant and maternal mortality, and the emergence of a vibrant economy as achievements which merit his re-election. Detractors say Kagame’s authoritarian style and intolerance of opposition – some of whose leaders have been killed or disappeared, others accused of the cardinal sin of “genocidal ideology” – is a threat to democracy itself. Further evidence of this came in May, when politicians were told that all social media or online campaign content had to vetted by the National Electoral Commission 48 hours before publication. This rule was shelved a month later in the wake of domestic and international pressure, but the attempt to control the messaging will not be forgotten. Still, Kagame’s re-election is pretty much a foregone conclusion: he won with more than 95 percent in 2003 and 93 percent in 2010. Rwanda’s is one of four key African elections being held this year: the people of Kenya and Angola will also go to the polls in August, while Liberians will follow suit in October.

Did you miss it?

Lifting the lid on a Mozambique’s loan scandal

As scandals go, Mozambique’s $2.2 billion secret loan deal that crashed its economy was pretty bad (See IRIN’s report). But now we’re getting a handle on just how corrupt it all was. The recently-released executive summary of the Kroll audit report suggests that the Privinest Group – which was supposed to supply Mozambique with a tuna fishing fleet and maritime security vessels – overcharged by at least $700 million. For example, fishing boats were invoiced at $22 million each, but Kroll estimates the real price should have been just $2 million. And there’s more. Kroll says that $500 million “remains unaudited and unexplained”, on top of the $700 million overcharge. That’s partly because Privinest as well as the state security service, SISE, local banks and the Ministry of Finance all refused to provide the auditors with information requested. For more on the scandal, for which Mozambicans are being forced to pay the price as the economy totters and social services are scaled back, check out Mozambique News reports & clippings.

The unpromised land

Few places these days can be described as hospitable towards asylum seekers, but in recent years Israel has outdone most other states with its policies of deterrence and detention. Not content with keeping asylum seekers confined to so-called “open” detention facilities like Holot, starting in 2014, the authorities began offering one-way tickets to “safe” third countries in Africa. By the time IRIN reported on these “voluntary” deportations in April 2015, it was already clear that those who accepted the offer to go to Uganda or Rwanda, the two countries that had quietly stepped up to receive Israel’s unwanted asylum seekers, did not fare much better than those who opted to remain at Holot. This week, a year-long investigation into Israel’s “relocation process” by Andrew Green for Foreign Policy revealed that the vast majority of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers who are sent to Uganda and Rwanda from Israel are quickly smuggled into neighbouring countries where they have even less protection and live in undocumented limbo. Meanwhile, Ugandan and Rwandan officials continue to deny having made any agreement with Israel to receive asylum seekers.

Watch out for an upcoming IRIN film – Unwelcome Stranger - about the life of a Sudanese asylum seeker in Israel.

(TOP PHOTO: Two soldiers from forces operating under Libya's Tripoli-based government walking through the deserted streets of Bin Jawad. Tim Wescott/IRIN)

oa-am-ks-jf-as/ag

201501270911460310.jpg News Conflict Politics and Economics This week’s humanitarian outlook IRIN GENEVA Global
          Philippines rips Turkmenistan to reach Fiba 3x3 U18 World Cup quarterfinals   
Philippines rips Turkmenistan to reach Fiba 3x3 U18 World Cup quarterfinals
          Philippines def. Turkmenistan, 21-14 (REPLAY VIDEO) FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup 2017   

FIBA 3x3 Under-18 World Cup 2017 Updates and Results. (June 30 / Day 3) Philippines(3-1) defeated Turkmenistan (0-4), 21-14 on Friday to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2017 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup in Chengdu, China.


Team Philippines Game Results & Replay Video:
June 28 - Philippines def. Israel, 19-17
June 28 - Netherlands def. Philippines, 13-10
June 30 - Philippines def. Poland, 20-14
June 30 - Philippines def. Turkmenistan, 21-14
July 2 - (2:50pm) Philippines vs. Belgium (KO Quarterfinals)
The top two teams from each pool qualify for the quarterfinals and then play KO games all the way to the finals.





screenshot via Youtube / FIBA3x3 / FIBA.com


Team Pilipinas 3×3 U18 Team Members:
(#4) Ariel John 'AJ' Edu - 6’9” (Fil-Nigerian)
(#2) Rhayyan Amsali - 6’3”
(#3) Juan Gomez Di Liaño - 6’2”
(#5) Florencio Serrano - 5’11”

Photo via FIBA.com






          Philippines def. Poland, 20-14 (REPLAY VIDEO) FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup 2017   

FIBA 3x3 Under-18 World Cup 2017 Updates and Results. (June 30 / Day 3) Philippines defeated Poland, 20-14 on Friday in the 2017 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup in Chengdu, China.


Team Philippines Game Results & Replay Video:
June 28 - Philippines def. Israel, 19-17
June 28 - Netherlands def. Philippines, 13-10
June 30 - Philippines def. Poland, 20-14
June 30 - Philippines def. Turkmenistan, 21-14
July 2 - (2:50pm) Philippines vs. Belgium (KO Quarterfinals)
The top two teams from each pool qualify for the quarterfinals and then play KO games all the way to the finals.





screenshot via Youtube / FIBA3x3 / FIBA.com


Team Pilipinas 3×3 U18 Team Members:
(#4) Ariel John 'AJ' Edu - 6’9” (Fil-Nigerian)
(#2) Rhayyan Amsali - 6’3”
(#3) Juan Gomez Di Liaño - 6’2”
(#5) Florencio Serrano - 5’11”

Photo via FIBA.com






          Juan Gomez de Liaño - Player of the Day - FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2017 (VIDEO) Day 1   

FIBA 3x3 Under-18 World Cup 2017 Updates and Results. (June 28 / Day 1) UAAP Season 79 Juniors MVP Juan Gomez De Liano of the Philippines has earned the Player of the Day for Day 1 of the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2017! He can sink the long ball, and dent the rim, this is a player to watch!





Team Philippines Game Results & Replay Video:
June 28 - Philippines def. Israel, 19-17
June 28 - Netherlands def. Philippines, 13-10
June 30 - Philippines def. Poland, 20-14
June 30 - Philippines def. Turkmenistan, 21-14
July 2 - (2:50pm) Philippines vs. Belgium (KO Quarterfinals)
The top two teams from each pool qualify for the quarterfinals and then play KO games all the way to the finals.

screenshot via Youtube / FIBA3x3






          Formula One discovers Baku. Washington discovers the Trans-Caspian Trade and Transit Corridor. @elinsuleymanov   
06-28-2017 (Photo: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/features/2017/6/f1-video-best-onboard-azerbaijan-baku-gp.html) http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules Twitter: @BatchelorShow Formula One discovers Baku. Washington discovers the Trans-Caspian Trade and Transit Corridor. @ElinSuleymanov https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/features/2017/6/f1-video-best-onboard-azerbaijan-baku-gp.html ______________ The Trans-Caspian East-West Trade and Transit Corridor brings together the Central Asia, Caspian and Black Sea strategic regions to form a viable trade and transit corridor between Europe and East & South-East Asia. Connecting trade, people and economies, the modern trans-Caspian corridor has extensive and integrated network of infrastructure, special economic zones, harmonized customs, cross-border procedures and more along this route. The United States played an important role in the development of this corridor and its cooperation with our countries has evolved into resilient strategic partnerships. Joint initiatives and projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Southern Gas Corridor have greatly contributed to the increased business between the region and the United States. Moreover, currently underway regional infrastructure projects such as С5+1 Transport Corridor Development, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and the multiple Port developments valued over $50 billion have been providing additional business opportunities including increased trade, investments and development of strategic infrastructure for facilitating commercially viable transit that the United States and its companies can benefit from. Today, ambitious regional infrastructure projects will ensure swift and efficient shipments of all types of goods. These projects will connect Asian and European transport networks, significantly shorten delivery time and save transportation costs for delivering goods from Asian to European markets. Expanding regional transport grids along the Trans-Caspian corridor opens new opportunities for transcontinental shipments, and innovative services. Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Turkmenistan form a market of around 150 million consumers. These countries are willing to offer customized and integrated solutions to companies with highly sophisticated supply chains. Project Description: Forum is a practical manifestation of joint willingness of the Trans-Caspian countries to make this corridor a viable option for East-West trade and transit shipments. Regional governments will introduce infrastructure, business, investment, trade and transit opportunities to business leaders, policy-makers and expert community across a variety of multinational industries. The Forum presents a suitable platform for public and private senior executives from regional countries and businesses. The diplomatic missions of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Turkmenistan will hold the “2nd Trans-Caspian East-West Trade and Transit Corridor” forum in Washington D.C on June 26-27, 2017. The Forum initiated in partnership with Central Asia and Caucasus Institute under American Foreign Policy Council will take place at the George Washington University followed up by a policy discussion at the US Congress and round-table at the World Bank. June 26, the first day of the Forum co-hosted by Central Asia Program at the George Washington University and Caspian Policy Center will be open to wider public including academic, think tank, policy, business community, government officials and policy-makers from six organizing countries along with the United States. Caspian Policy Center also provides informational and analytical support to the Forum. On June 27, the morning session will be held at the United States Congress and will be open to public, specifically to Congress staff along with academic, think tank, policy, business community, government offi...
           Turkmen president invites Uzbek businesses to take part in TAPI    
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has invited Uzbekistan’s business community to participate in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline.
          Türkmenistan Ulusal Günü EXPO-2017'de kutlandı   
Türkmenistan Milli Günü, Astana'daki "EXPO-2017" Uluslararası Özel Sergisi'nde kutlandı.
          Bengaluru FC win tussle to retain Chhetri - Times of India   

Bengaluru FC win tussle to retain Chhetri
Times of India
The India striker is the country's leading goal-scorer and has scored crucial match winners in successive Asian Cup qualifiers against Myanmar and Turkmenistan. Not surprisingly, he remains the most sought-after player and Bengaluru FC has now won the ...

and more »

          For sale - grape motif ceramic heavy vase--- inspirado... - $9   

Australia
Posting to: Worldwide Excludes: Africa, Oman, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Yemen, Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan Republic, Tajikistan, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Armenia, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Western Samoa, Tuvalu, Guam, Fiji, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Niue, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Kiribati, Micronesia, Nauru, American Samoa, French Polynesia, Cook Islands ...
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          Free Audiobook Version of A Year Amongst the Persians Now Available!   
Edward Granville Browne (1862 - 1926) in Persian dress

A group recording of A year amongst the Persians; impressions as to the life, character, and thought of the people of Persia, received during twelve month's residence in that country in the years 1887-8 has now been completed! The whole length of the audiobook is 29 hours, 8 seconds and is divided into 46 sections. I was the Book Coordinator (BC) for this project. Leni was the Meta Coordinator (MC). The book was read by four readers: myself, antinomy, hefyd and Nasseem. The dedicated proof listener was mim@can. The book may be downloaded from this site:

http://librivox.org/a-year-amongst-the-persians-by-edward-granville-brown/

It can also be listened to directly at the Internet Archive page:

http://www.archive.org/details/year_amongst_persians_1102_librivox

Edward Granville Browne (1862 – 1926), born in Stouts Hill, Uley, Gloucestershire, England, was a British orientalist who published numerous articles and books of academic value, mainly in the areas of history and literature. His works are respected for their scholarship, uniqueness, and style. He published in areas which few other Western scholars had explored to any sufficient degree. He used a language and style that showed high respect for everybody, even toward those whom he personally did not view in positive light.

Map of Persia, from "the Dawn-Breakers" (originally published in 1932)

In A Year Amongst the Persians (1893) he wrote a sympathetic portrayal of a Persian society which few Westerners had ever seen, including a frank account of the effects of opium. It did not attract the attention it deserved at the time of its initial publication, but after his death in 1926 it was reprinted and became a classic in English travel literature. A Year Amongst the Persians includes moving accounts of the Bahá’í community in Iran. Concerning his meetings with the Bahá’ís of Iran, Browne writes: “The memory of those assemblies can never fade from my mind; the recollection of those faces and those tones no time can efface. I have gazed with awe on the workings of a mighty Spirit, and I marvel whereunto it tends”. The work contains many conversations between Browne and Bahá’ís, in which they demonstrate the proofs of their Faith through rational arguments. Browne didn't always agree with this arguments, but that may be because he didn't understand them fully.


Bahá’ís laying the foundation stone for the Bahá’í Temple in Ashkabad, Turkmenistan







The following is part of one of Browne's conversations with the Bahá’ís of Shiraz (pp. 336 - 340):

"I have already said that what is incumbent on every man is that he should believe in the 'manifestation' of his own age. It is not required of him that he should discuss and compare all previous 'manifestations.' You have been brought up a follower of Christ. We have believed in this 'manifestation' which has taken place in these days. Let us not waste time in disputing about intermediate 'manifestations.' We do not desire to make you believe in Muhammad but in Behá. If you should be convinced of the truth of Behá's teaching you have passed over the stage of Islám altogether. The last 'manifestation' includes and
sums up all preceding ones. You say that you could not accept Islám because its laws and ordinances are harsher, and, in your eyes, less perfect than those laid down by Christ. Very well, we do not ask you to accept Islám; we ask you to consider whether you should not accept Behá. To do so you need not go back from a gentle to a severe dispensation. Behá has come for the perfecting of the law of Christ, and his injunctions are in all respects similar; for instance, we are commanded to prefer rather that we should be killed than that we should kill. It is the same throughout, and, indeed, could not be otherwise, for Behá is Christ returned again, even as He promised, to perfect that which He had begun. Your own books tell you that Christ shall come 'like a thief in the night,' at a time when you are not expecting Him."



"True," I [Browne] replied, "but those same books tell us also that His coming shall be 'as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven and shineth unto the other part under heaven.'"


"There can be no contradiction between these two similes," answered the Bábí [Bahá’í]; "and since the phrase 'like a thief in the night' evidently signifies that when Christ returns it will be in a place where you do not expect Him, and at a time when you do not expect Him--that is, suddenly and secretly--it is clear that the comparison in the other passage which you quoted is to the suddenness and swiftness of the lightning, not to its universal vividness. If, as the Christians for the most-part expect, Christ should come riding upon the clouds surrounded by angels, how could He be said in any sense to come 'like a thief in the night'? Everyone would see him, and, seeing, would be compelled to believe. It has always been through such considerations as these that men have rejected the prophet whose advent they professed to be expecting, because He did not come in some unnatural and impossible manner which they had vainly imagined. Christ was indeed the promised Messiah, yet the Jews, who had waited, and prayed, and longed for the coming of the Messiah,rejected Him when He did come for just such reasons. Ask a Jew now why he does not believe in Christ, and he will tell you that the signs whereby the Messiah was to be known were not manifest at His coming. Yet, had he understood what was intended by those signs, instead of being led away by vain traditions, he would know that the promised Messiah had come and gone and come again. So with the Christians. On a mountain close by Acre [Mount Carmel] is a monastery peopled by Christian priests and monks, assembled there to await the arrival of Christ on that spot as foretold. And they continue to gaze upwards into heaven, whence they suppose that He will descend, while only a few miles off in Acre He has returned, and is dwelling amongst men as before.

Mount Carmel as it looked in 1894, before the establishment of the Bahá’í World Centre on the Mountain


"O be not blinded by those very misapprehensions which you condemn so strongly in the Jews! The Jews would not believe in Christ because He was not accompanied by a host of angels; you blame the Jews for their obstinacy and frowardness, and you do rightly. But beware lest you condemn yourselves by alleging the very same reason as an excuse for rejecting this 'manifestation.' Christ came to the Jews accompanied by angels--angels none the less because they were in the guise of fishermen. Christ returns to you as Behá with angels, with clouds, with the sound of trumpets. His angels are His messengers; the clouds are the doubts which prevent you from recognising Him; the sound of trumpets is the sound of the proclamation which you now hear, announcing that He has come once more from heaven, even as He came before, not as a human form descending visibly from the sky, but as the Spirit of God entering into a man, and abiding there."

"Well," I replied, "your arguments are strong, and certainly deserve consideration. But, even supposing that you are right in principle, it does not follow that they hold good in this particular case. If I grant that the return of Christ may be in such wise as you indicate, nevertheless mere assertion will notprove that Behá is Christ. Indeed, we are told by Christ Himself that many will arise in His name, saying, 'See here,' or 'See there,' and are warned not to follow them."

"Many have arisen falsely claiming to be Christ," he answered, "but the injunction laid on you to beware of these does not mean that you are to refuse to accept Christ when He does return. The very fact that there are pretenders is a proof that there is a reality. You demand proofs, and you are right to do so. What proofs would suffice for you?"

"The chief proofs which occur to me at this moment," I replied, "are as follows:--You admit, so far as I understand, that in each 'manifestation' a promise has been given of a succeeding 'manifestation,' and that certain signs have always been laid down whereby that 'manifestation' may be recognised. It is therefore incumbent on you to show that the signs foretold by Christ as heralding His return have been accomplished in the coming of Behá. Furthermore, since each 'manifestation' must be fuller, completer, and more perfect than the last, you must prove that the doctrines taught by Behá are superior to the teaching of Christ--a thing which I confess seems to me almost impossible, for I cannot imagine a doctrine purer or more elevated than that of Christ. Lastly, quite apart from miracles in the ordinary sense, there is one sign which we regard as the especial characteristic of a prophet, to wit, that he should have knowledge of events which have not yet come to pass. No sign can be more appropriate or more convincing than this. For a prophet claims to be inspired by God, and to speak of the mysteries of the Unseen. If he has knowledge of the Unseen he may well be expected to have knowledge of the Future. That we may know that what he tells us about other matters beyond our ken is true, we must be convinced that he has knowledge surpassing ours in some matter which we can verify. This is afforded most readily by the foretelling of events which have not yet happened, and which we cannot foresee. These three signs appear to me both sufficient and requisite to establish such a claim as that which you advance for Behá."

"As regards knowledge of the future," replied Haji Mirza Hasan, "I could tell you of many occasions on which Behá has given proof of such. Not only I myself, but almost all who have been at Acre, and stood in his presence, have received warnings of impending dangers, or information concerning forthcoming events. Some of these I will, if it please God, relate to you at some future time. As regards the superiority of Behá's doctrines to those of Christ, you can judge for yourself if you will read his words. As regards the news of this 'manifestation' given to you by Christ, is it not the case that He promised to return? Did He not declare that one should come to comfort His followers, and perfect what He had begun? Did He not signify that after the Son should come the Father?"

Such conversations were typical of Browne's encounters with Bahá’ís. All of Browne's objections have been answered and fully explained in numerous works of Bahá’í literature. The proofs that Browne seeks have been provided in many works, such as the numerous writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the Báb's Seven Proofs, Bahá'u'lláh's Kitáb-i-Íqán and Gems of Divine Mysteries, The Brilliant Proof by Mírzá Abu’l-Fadl-i-Gulpáygání, Christ and Bahá'u'lláh by George Townsend, The Prophecies of Jesus by Michael W. Sours, Understanding Christian Beliefs by Michael W. Sours, Understanding Biblical Evidence by Michael W. Sours, Thief in the Night: The Case of the Missing Millennium by William Sears, The Proofs of Bahá'u'lláh's Mission, The Challenge of Bahá'u'lláh by Gary L. Matthews, He Cometh With Clouds by Gary L. Matthews, Preparing for Christ's New Name by Alex Gottdank, Promises Fulfilled: Christianity, Islam and the Baha'i Faith by Nabil I. Hanna, among many, many others in English, Arabic, Persian and other languages.

Edward G. Browne referred to Bahá’ís as Bábís, but this was a mistake on his part. Siyyid ‘Alí-Muhammad-i-Shírází (1819-1850), known as the “Báb”, which is Arabic for “Gate”, proclaimed that He was the Promised One of Islám. He declared His mission in 1844 and was executed by the Persian government in 1850. His followers were known as Bábís. The Báb also proclaimed that He was the Gate, Herald and Forerunner of an even greater Manifestation of God who would come after Him, the Promised One of all religions and Return of Christ in the Glory of the Father.

In 1863, Mírzá Husyan-‘Alí-yi-Núrí (1817-1892), known as Bahá’u’lláh (Arabic for “The Glory of God”), proclaimed that He was the Promised One foretold by the Báb. By the time Browne arrived in Iran, most Bábís had already accepted Bahá’u’lláh as the Promised One and were now known as Bahá’ís. A small group of Bábís, led by Mírzá Yahyá Núrí, known as Azal, who was Bahá’u’lláh’s younger half-brother, rejected these claims. Azal is notorious for poisoning his own Brother (i.e. Bahá’u’lláh) as well as trying to assassinate other enemies on numerous occasions. While the Báb had made Azal His nominal successor, this was only until the Promised One were to appear, upon which time Azal’s authority was supposed to cease. Most Bábís realised Azal’s depravity and turned to Bahá’u’lláh, whose character and spirituality were unsurpassed. Browne was sympathetic to Azal’s claims but was also impressed by the spirituality of the Bahá’í community. The followers of Azal (sometimes spelled Ezel) were known as Azalís.

In 1890, Browne journeyed to Cyprus (where he met Azal) and then onto 'Akká (Acre) in Palestine, where he met both 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Bahá'u'lláh. He later recorded this journey in the Introduction to A Traveller's Narrative. I have previously posted about the audio version of A Traveller's Narrative, which doesn't include the introduction. I have now recorded the introduction as part of the Short Nonfiction Collection Vol. 020. In the Introduction (p. xxxvi.), Browne described 'Abdu'l-Bahá as “a tall strongly-built man holding himself straight as an arrow, with white turban and raiment, long black locks reaching almost to the shoulder, broad powerful forehead indicating a strong intellect combined with an unswerving will, eyes keen as a hawk's, and strongly-marked but pleasing features… One more eloquent of speech, more ready of argument, more apt of illustration, more intimately acquainted with the sacred books of the Jews, the Christians, and the Muhammadans, could, I should think, scarcely be found even amongst the eloquent, ready, and subtle race to which he belongs”.

'Abdu'l-Bahá, "The Master"
 
He described his meeting with Bahá'u'lláh in the following words (pp. xxxix. - xli.):

"Of the culminating event of this my journey some few words at least must be said. During the morning of the day after my installation at Behjé one of Behá's younger sons entered the room where I was sitting and beckoned to me to follow him. I did so, and was conducted through passages and rooms at which I scarcely had time to glance to a spacious hall, paved, so far as I remember (for my mind was occupied with other thoughts) with a mosaic of marble. Before a curtain suspended from the wall of this great ante-chamber my conductor paused for a moment while I removed my shoes. Then, with a quick movement of the hand, he withdrew, and, as I passed, replaced the curtain; and I found myself in a large apartment, along the upper end of which ran a low divan, while on the side opposite to the door were placed two or three chairs. Though I dimly suspected whither I was going and whom I was to behold (for no distinct intimation had been given to me), a second or two lapsed ere, with a throb of wonder and awe, I became definitely conscious that the room was not untenanted. In the corner where the divan met the wall sat a wondrous and venerable figure, crowned with a felt head-dress of the kind called táj by dervishes (but of unusual height and make), round the base of which was wound a small white turban. The face of him on whom I gazed I can never forget, though I cannot describe it. Those piercing eyes seemed to read one's very soul; power and authority sat on that ample brow; while the deep lines on the forehead and face implied an age which the jet-black hair and beard flowing down in indistinguishable luxuriance almost to the waist seemed to belie. No need to ask in whose presence I stood, as I bowed myself before one who is the object of a devotion and love which kings might envy and emperors sigh for in vain!

The Room where E.G. Browne met Bahá'u'lláh


"A mild dignified voice bade me be seated, and then continued:- "Praise be to God that thou hast attained!... Thou hast come to see a prisoner and an exile.... We desire but the good of the world and the happiness of the nations; yet they deem us a stirrer up of strife and sedition worthy of bondage and banishment.... That all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and differences of race be annulled - what harm is there in this?... Yet so it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the 'Most Great Peace' shall come.... Do not you in Europe need this also? Is not this that which Christ foretold?... Yet do we see your kings and rulers lavishing their treasures more freely on means for the destruction of the human race than on that which would conduce to the happiness of mankind.... These strifes and this bloodshed and discord must cease, and all men be as one kindred and one family.... Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind...."

"Such, so far as I can recall them, were the words which, besides many others, I heard from Behá. Let those who read them consider well with themselves whether such doctrines merit death and bonds, and whether the world is more likely to gain or lose by their diffusion.

"My interview lasted altogether about twenty minutes, and during the latter part of it Behá read a portion of that epistle (lawh) whereof the translation occupies the last paragraph on p. 70 and the greater part of p. 71 of this book."

This pen-portrait is famous among Bahá’ís and remains one of his lasting legacies to the community which he studied for so long. While Browne’s sympathetic views on Azal were misguided, he made a great contribution to Bahá’í studies through his translations of historical works and his accounts of the Bahá’í community. Amongst Persians, at a time when nearly the whole nation was highly suspicious of foreigners, and in particular of any British or Russian person due to the political dynamics of that time, Edward Browne was well accepted by the people who knew him and his works. He is well remembered today, and a street named after him in Tehran, as well as his statue, remained even after the Iranian revolution in 1979.


LibriVox is a tremendous way of producing public domain, freely accessible Bahá'í literature. One needs only find a public domain Bahá'í text (and there are many at Internet Archive, Google Books, H-Net, etc.), create an account at the LibriVox forum, read the Newbie Guide to Recording, submit a 1-minute test  (to check one's settings are correct) and then one can begin to bring the world of Bahá'í literature to life in an audio format, so that the waiting masses of humanity can hear and appreciate the Word of God and the Divine Teachings. This is a great service to the Faith, that any Bahá'í can do.








If you like this recording, you will also like my recordings of:

Talks by Abdul-Baha Given in Paris by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
A Traveller's Narrative Written to Illustrate the Episode of the Báb by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
The Myserious Forces of Civilization by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Introduction to A Traveller's Narrative Written to Illustrate the Episode of the Báb by E. G. Browne (Sections 7 and 8 of the Short Nonfiction Collection Vol. 020)
The Bahai Revelation by Thornton Chase
In Galilee by Thornton Chase
The Universal Religion: Bahaism - Its Rise and Social Import by Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney
The Brilliant Proof (Burhäne Lämé) in reply to an attack upon the Bahai Revelation by Peter Z. Easton by Mírzá Abu’l-Fadl-i-Gulpáygání
The Revelation of Baha-ullah in a Sequence of Four Lessons by Isabella D. Brittingham
Persian Self-Taught (in Roman Characters) with English Phonetic Pronunciation by Shaykh Hasan

For more Bahá'í recordings which I have completed, see: My Audiobooks
          В Туркменском госуниверситете состоялась презентация книги «Счастливая эпоха Аркадага»   

В Туркменском государственном университете имени Махтумкули состоялась презентация новой книги – «Счастливая эпоха Аркадага», посвященной 60-летию президента Гурбангулы Бердымухамедова.

          Tatarstan to supply industrial products to Turkmenistan   
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          CAN 1996 REPEAT ITSELF IN AFGHANISTAN?   



B.RAMAN

As the US troops prepare to thin themselves out of Afghanistan starting from next year, India has to worry whether 1996 can repeat itself in Afghanistan, when the Taliban, with the help of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), captured power from the Afghan Mujahideen in Kabul and enforced its rule.

2. In searching for an answer to this question, one has to remember what happened after the Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan in 1988:

1989:The Afghan Mujahideen, with ISI’s help, tried to have Najibullah’s army defeated at Jalalabad, so that they could set up a base there. They were defeated by Najibullah, who demonstrated the strength of his army.

1992:The Afghan Mujahideen succeeded in overthrowing Najib  by taking advantage of a US-encouraged split between Najibullah and Rashid Dostum and setting up their Govt in Kabul.

1994: Naseerullah Babar, Benazir Bhutto’s Interior Minister, promoted the formation of the Taliban in Kandahar to escort Asif Ali Zardari’s cotton convoys from Turkmenistan. The US established secret contacts with the Taliban to secure its support for a gas-oil pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan being planned by UNOCAL.

1996: The Taliban, with the ISI’s support, overthrew the Mujahideen Government in Kabul and set up its Government.

1996: Ahmed Shah Masood set up his Northern Alliance to counter the Taliban.

1996: Osama bin Laden shifted from Khartoum to Jalalabad and from there to Kandahar where Mulla Omar, the Amir of the Taliban, was based.

1998: bin Laden formed the International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Crusaders and the Jewish People for fighting against the US and Israel.

1998:Al Qaeda carried out explosions outside the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam.US carried out reprisal Cruise missile attacks on Al Qaeda camps in Jalalabad. Not successful.

1999:The US demanded that the Taliban should hand over bin Laden to it. It also demanded that Pakistan should force the Taliban to hand over bin Laden to it. Both the Taliban and Pakistan evaded the US demand

11/9/2001:Al Qaeda carried out its terror strikes in the US homeland.

October,2001:The US declared its war on the Taliban and Al Qaeda and ordered military action in Afghanistan. The Taliban was overthrown, but Omar and bin Laden crossed over to Pakistan, where they were given shelter by the ISI. The Northern Alliance collaborated with the US in its operations.

3.The sequence of events mentioned above was due to the following reasons:

·       The sudden and abrupt withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan.

·       The differences between the Pashtoons and the Uzbeks and the consequent lack of unity in the Najibullah Government.

·       The ambivalent US policy towards the Taliban. It hobnobbed with it initially in the hope of getting its support for the projected UNOCAL pipeline project and realised too late the pernicious nature of the Taliban.

·       The USA’s misplaced faith in Pakistani co-operation against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

4. What is the position now as the US prepares to thin itself out?

·       Just as the Soviet troops withdrew in 1988 before effectively defeating the Mujahideen, the US is going to thin itself out before effectively defeating the Neo Taliban and the Haqqani Network, both of which continue to operate from Pakistan.

·       The command and control of Al Qaeda based in Pakistan has been badly disrupted, but not eliminated.

·       There could be political instability in Afghanistan after President Hamid Karzai completes his term next year leading once again to ethnic differences between the Pashtoons and non-Pashtoons.

·       The ambivalent US policy towards a possible political role for the so-called good Taliban post-2014 could add to uncertainties and instability.

·       In 1988, to facilitate the Soviet withdrawal, Pakistan ensured that there were no attacks on the withdrawing Soviet troops by the Mujahideen. Pakistan had better control over the tribal areas on the Afghan border. Today. Pakistan has little control over the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and will have little ability to facilitate the withdrawal of US troops and equipment.

5. Qualitatively, the ground situation post-2014 will differ from that which prevailed in 1988 as follows:

·       The Soviet withdrawal in 1988 was abrupt and total with no Soviet presence left in Afghanistan. There was no air cover for the Soviet troops due to the effective use of the US-supplied Stinger missiles by the Mujahideen. The US withdrawal is going to be gradual and not abrupt and total. The US will still have some presence with the required air cover in Afghan territory to enable the Afghan troops perform their security role. The Soviet troops left Najibullah all alone without any back-up support to counter the Mujahideen. The US is unlikely to leave the Karzai (his successor’s) Government all alone.

·       The US fleet of Drones and their effective use will enable the US to prevent the Neo Taliban, the Haqqani network and Al Qaeda under Ayman Al-Zawahiri from re-grouping.

6. From 2014, the US will have the limited objective of preventing a come-back by a Neo Al Qaeda that could again pose a threat to the US homeland. The Neo Al Qaeda is presently focusing on Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Africa. After the US thin-out, it might be tempted to re-focus on the Af-Pak region. To prevent this, the US will need a continued capability to maintain a limited ground presence in Afghanistan and operate its fleet of Drones.

7. What should be India’s options and policies? If the post-1996 events are repeated in Afghanistan, India may again face serious security problems in Jammu & Kashmir and even in hinterland India. To prevent this, Indian policies should be focused on the following:

·       Continue to strengthen the Afghan security forces through training and supply of arms and ammunition.

·       Strengthen trilateral intelligence co-operation involving the intelligence agencies of India, Afghanistan and the US.

·       Encourage the US not to repeat the Soviet mistake of total withdrawal, but to maintain a minimum presence in Afghan territory to keep weakening the Neo Taliban and Neo Al Qaeda.

·       Encourage the US to continue using its Drone fleet and if the US faces any difficulty in using them from Afghan territory, allow the US to operate them from Indian bases.

·       Work for a smooth political transition after Karzai completes his term. ( 13-4-13)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )

 

          Human Rights Watch Country Profiles: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity   

The following are excerpts from the Human Rights Watch 2017 World Report  that relate to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. The report, released in January 2017, documented events of 2016. In some cases, we have added updates from the first half of 2017.

The countries are all listed below in alphabetical order. This compilation is not comprehensive. If a country is not listed, that means there was no mention of LGBTI/SOGI issues for that country in the 2017 World Report. For example, many of the smaller Caribbean countries and some African countries are omitted due to research limitations, but most have anti-LGBT laws on the books and pervasive homophobia and transphobia. On the other hand, several countries that are not included here made progress in the 2016-2017 period: Belize, Nauru and the Seychelles all decriminalized consensual same-sex conduct, for example. Human Rights Watch has only recently begun investigating the rights of intersex people, so there are few references to intersex rights.

This is a living document which will be updated regularly to reflect new events and further Human Rights Watch research.

Last updated: June 23, 2017

***

Argentina

In 2010, Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage. The Civil Marriage Law allows same-sex couples to enter into civil marriages and affords them the legal protections of marriage enjoyed by opposite sex couples, including adoption rights and pension benefits. Since 2010, nearly 15,000 same-sex couples have married nationwide. In 2012, the landmark Gender Identity Law established the right of individuals over the age of 18 to choose their gender identity, undergo gender reassignment, and revise official documents without any prior judicial or medical approval.

Armenia

Activists reported that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LBGTI) people face discrimination, harassment, and violence. The government has not addressed hate speech or discrimination against LGBTI people. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not included as protected grounds in anti-discrimination or hate speech laws, limiting legal recourse for many crimes against LGBTI people. Following the October 2015 Rainbow forum, organized by Armenian LGBTI-friendly groups to discuss protection and promotion of minority rights, anonymous people targeted some participants with intimidation and threats, mostly on social media, including to burn and kill them. Authorities refused to launch a criminal investigation into the threats, citing lack of evidence. In June 2016, the LGBT rights group, PINK Armenia, published a survey revealing that 90 percent of the population is hostile to LGBTI people and support limits on their rights. In July 2016, PINK Armenia released a report documenting 46 cases of violence and discrimination against LGBTI people in 2015. The government has not taken meaningful steps to combat stereotypes and discrimination against LGBTI people.

Australia

Australia does not recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Australian government announced a plebiscite on the right of same-sex couples to marry, but political opponents blocked it, arguing a plebiscite is expensive and wasteful and that the issue should be determined by a parliamentary free vote.

Australia continued its policy of intercepting asylum seekers and forcibly transferring them to Nauru and, until 2016, to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Asylum seekers or refugees perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) face harassment and abuse despite the recent decriminalization of same-sex conduct in Nauru. In Papua New Guinea, such conduct remains criminalized.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh witnessed a spate of violent attacks against secular bloggers, academics, gay rights activists, foreigners, and members of religious minorities in 2016. Prominent gay activists Xulhaz Mannan, the founder of Roopbaan, Bangladesh’s first lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) magazine, and Mahbub Rabby Tonoy, the general secretary of the group, were  murdered in April. Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) claimed responsibility for the killings. Fearing for their lives, many LGBT activists sought temporary refuge outside the country.

“Carnal intercourse against the order of nature” carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. In May 2017, police raided a private gathering of gay and bisexual men, and allegedly paraded them in front of media, exposing them to their families and the public. Authorities said they declined to press charges under the colonial-era sodomy law because they did not catch the men in the act of sexual intercourse. The government has twice rejected recommendations to repeal the colonial-era law during its Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council. The Bangladesh cabinet in 2014 declared legal recognition of a third gender category for hijras—a traditional cultural identity for transgender people who, assigned male at birth, do not identify as men—but the absence of a definition of the term or procedure for gaining recognition of third gender status led to abuses in implementation of the legal change. In June and July 2015, a group of hijras were subjected to harassment and invasive and abusive physical examinations at a government hospital as a requirement to join a government employment program. The Bangladesh National Human Rights Commission in 2017 agreed with LGBT civil society groups to establish a desk at the commission for reporting SOGI-related issues.

Belarus

Parliament adopted a vaguely worded bill in May 2016 on “protecting children from information harmful for their health and development.” These provisions may be used to restrict dissemination of neutral or positive information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as “discrediting the institution of the family.”

Bolivia

In May 2016, the Plurinational Assembly passed a bill that allows people to revise the gender noted on their identification documents without prior judicial approval. Same-sex couples in Bolivia are not allowed to marry or engage in civil unions. The 2009 constitution defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo Open Centre, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights organization, documented 23 cases of hate speech and incitement of violence and hate and two crimes and incidents motivated by prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the first three months of 2016. The reaction of authorities to these incidents is generally inadequate. There was no progress in police investigations into the 2014 attack on a film festival that Sarajevo Open Centre organized.

In its annual progress on Bosnia and Herzegovina published in November, the European Commission highlighted the failure of authorities to amend the constitution, in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and to implement rulings by the Constitutional Court. The report also identified inadequate legal protection for LGBTI persons and the failure of authorities to protect adequately the rights of minorities and to ensure media freedom.

Brazil

Brazil’s Supreme Court approved same-sex marriage in 2011 and it upheld the right of same-sex couples to adopt children in 2015. But the Chamber of Deputies was, at time of writing, debating a bill that would define a family as a union between a man and a woman. The national Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office received 1,983 complaints of violence, discrimination, and other abuses experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in 2015. In the first half of 2016 the ombudsman received 879 such complaints.

Burma

Burma’s national penal code criminalizes consensual same-sex behavior between adult men. In recent years police have arrested gay men and transgender women assembling in public places, and politicians have called for the “education” of gay people.

Cameroon

Cameroon’s penal code punishes “sexual relations between persons of the same sex” with up to five years in prison. The law is regularly enforced, and in previous years, the Cameroonian authorities have subjected men arrested under this law to forced anal examinations. Although the number of arrests appeared to decrease for several years, activists reported a new uptick in arrests and prosecutions in 2016.

Chile

A “civil union” bill presented by former President Sebastián Piñera in 2011 that provides legal recognition and protection for same-sex couples became law in April 2015 and went into effect in October 2015. In September 2016, the Senate Human Rights Commission approved a bill to recognize the gender identity of transgender people, with a Senate vote expected in December.

China

China has no law protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and there is no legal recognition of same-sex partnership. Possibly because their activism is not considered threatening to the state, LGBT individuals enjoyed some success advancing legal cases in 2016. In January, a Hunan court heard a case filed by Sun Wenlin against the local Bureau of Civil Affairs, which had refused to marry Sun and his male partner. Though the court ruled against Sun in April, his case—the first gay marriage lawsuit accepted by Chinese courts—attracted wide media attention. In June, a Henan court accepted a case filed by Yu Hu against a mental health hospital that had subjected him to 19 days of involuntary “therapy” to “cure” his homosexuality. Also in June, a Guangdong university student, Qiu Bai, sued the provincial education department over textbooks that depict homosexuality as an illness. Qiu filed a similar suit in 2015, though she withdrew it later because the department had promised to look into the matter. She decided to sue again after the authorities’ pledge failed to materialize. In June, China voted against a UN resolution creating an expert post dedicated to addressing violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Colombia

In September 2016, the Council of the State—one of Colombia’s high courts—annulled the 2012 re-election of Alejandro Ordoñez as the country’s inspector general and dismissed him from office. Under Colombian law, the inspector general is charged with protecting human rights, but during his seven years in office, Ordoñez repeatedly sought to undermine the rights of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

In recent years, authorities in Colombia have taken several steps to recognize the rights of LGBT people. In June 2015, the Justice Ministry issued a decree allowing people to revise the gender noted on their identification documents without prior judicial approval. In November 2015, the Constitutional Court ruled that sexual orientation could not be used to prohibit someone from adopting a child, although a legislative proposal to hold a referendum on this issue remained pending at time of writing. In April 2016, the Constitutional Court upheld the right of same-sex couples to marry. In October 2016, FARC leaders met with conservative politicians and agreed to promote a definition of the family as formed by a man and a woman. The FARC backtracked after meeting with LGBT representatives days later. Conservative politicians and evangelist leaders had attacked the peace agreement claiming that it would “destroy families.” Between January and June 2016, the Ombudsman’s Office received 89 reports of cases of violence against LGBTI people.

Cote d’Ivoire

No law prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status. Côte d’Ivoire does not criminalize same-sex conduct, but the criminal code establishes higher penalties for same-sex couples convicted of public acts of indecency. Two men were in November convicted of public indecency and sentenced to three-month prison terms after being accused of same-sex sexual acts. Two gay men were assaulted in June 2016 after a photo was published of them signing a book of condolences to the victims of a shooting at a gay nightclub in Florida, US.

Croatia

In February, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that Croatia discriminated on grounds of sexual orientation against a woman from Bosnia and Herzegovina, by denying her the right to a residence permit in Croatia to join her female partner.

Ecuador

In 2016, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled against Ecuador in a case determining that it is discriminatory to punish officers who allegedly have homosexual sex on military installations.

Egypt

Sexual relations outside marriage are criminalized. Since 2013, authorities have pursued a campaign to intimidate, track, and arrest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, including entrapment using social media applications. Police regularly used forced anal examinations in prosecutions of those suspected of homosexual sex. Solidarity With Egypt LGBTQ+, an advocacy group, said it had recorded 114 criminal investigations involving 274 LGBT individuals launched between the end of 2013 and November 2016, 66 of which involved the authorities’ use of social media.

Estonia

The government failed to adopt amendments that would allow the Co-Habitation Act to fully enter into force in 2016. The act is progressive legislation that extends the rights of marriage to unmarried—including same-sex—couples, encompassing, among other things, child adoption and property rights.

Gambia

The government continued to resist calls to repeal laws that criminalize homosexuality, including an October 2014 law that introduced a series of new “aggravated homosexuality” offenses that impose sentences of up to life in prison. The criminalization of same-sex conduct leaves lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Gambians at risk of arbitrary arrest and detention, although fewer arrests and physical abuse of LGBT Gambians were reported in 2016.

Georgia

In August, President Giorgi Margvelashvili blocked a referendum bid on defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman, saying that the issue is already covered in the civil code. Kvirikashvili vowed to pursue a constitutional definition of marriage after the October elections, arguing that this would help counter alleged Western efforts to spread same-sex marriage “propaganda” in Georgia. Local rights groups feared this effort would further marginalize the LGBT community and intensify anti-LGBT prejudice. Authorities declined a request by LGBT activists to hold an event to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on Tbilisi’s main thoroughfare, stating it was already booked for a procession by Orthodox groups to mark Family Day, an annual event established by the Orthodox Church in 2014. Activists refused to celebrate IDAHO in the alternative venue offered. The Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group (WISG), a local LGBTI rights group, said it documented almost 20 cases of attacks against transgender people in 2016. In October, a transgender woman was beaten and stabbed in what rights groups suspected was a hate crime. Police arrested a suspect on attempted murder charges, and the public defender urged authorities to examine a possible hate motive.

Honduras

Rampant crime and impunity for human rights abuses remain the norm in Honduras. Despite a downward trend in recent years, the murder rate is among the highest in the world. Journalists, peasant activists, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals are among those most vulnerable to violence.

In June 2016, several United Nations agencies working in Honduras urged the government to investigate killings of LGBTI activists and noted that sexual violence against LGBTI individuals forces them into “internal displacement” or to flee the country in search of international protection.

Hungary

In August 2016, a lower court sentenced a right-wing extremist to 10 years’ imprisonment for violent attacks between 2007 and 2009, including throwing Molotov cocktails at the homes of socialist MPs and an attack on a gay bar in Budapest.

In July, the ECtHR ruled that Hungary had arbitrarily detained an Iranian gay man and failed to take into account his vulnerability in detention arising from his sexual orientation.

India

In February 2016, the Supreme Court of India allowed a challenge to section 377 of the penal code to proceed, referring the case to a five-judge bench. The colonial-era provision, which the court had upheld in 2013, criminalizes same-sex relations between adults. In June, several well-known LGBT professionals filed a petition in Supreme Court arguing that section 377 violates the right to life and personal liberty, but the Supreme Court deferred the petition to the Chief Justice. In August, the government introduced a new bill in parliament on the rights of transgender persons. The bill was flawed, however, by provisions that were inconsistent with the 2014 Supreme Court ruling that recognized transgender individuals as a third gender and found them eligible for quotas in jobs and education.

India’s voting record on rights issues at the UN was disappointing. In July, the government abstained on a resolution that created a UN expert post to address discrimination against LGBT persons and voted in favor of amendments to weaken the mandate, saying India’s Supreme Court was still to decide on the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights.

Indonesia

Starting in January 2016, high-ranking Indonesian officials made a series of vitriolic anti-LGBT statements and policy pronouncements, fueling increased threats and at times violent attacks on LGBT activists and individuals. In some cases, the threats and violence occurred in the presence, and with the tacit support, of government officials or security forces. State institutions, including the National Broadcasting Commission and the National Child Protection Commission, issued censorship directives banning information and broadcasts that portrayed the lives of LGBT people as “normal” as well as so-called propaganda about LGBT lives. Ministries proposed discriminatory and regressive anti-LGBT laws. An ongoing case in the Constitutional Court is considering a petition that proposed amending the criminal code to criminalize sex outside of marriage and same-sex sexual relations. During the initial hearings, the petitioners—led by a group called the Family Love Alliance—put forward ill-informed and bigoted testimony similar to the anti-LGBT rhetoric espoused by Indonesian officials and politicians earlier that year. The government, the respondent in the case, said criminalizing sex out of wedlock would make “the sinner a criminal, and the government authoritarian,” a view echoed in testimony by the National Commission on Violence Against Women and other groups opposed to the petition. At time of writing the court had not yet ruled on the petition. While president Joko Widodo, or “Jokowi” in October 2016 declared that police must protect LGBT people and not discriminate against them, he failed to uphold that principle in action. In 2017, police raided at least two private gatherings of gay and bisexual men on the pretense of the discriminatory anti-pornography law, which construes gay sex as “deviant” and prescribes increased punishments for it, and Sharia police publicly flogged two gay men for private, consensual sex in Aceh province.

Iran

Under Iranian law, many nonviolent crimes, such as “insulting the Prophet,” apostasy, same-sex relations, adultery, and drug-related offenses, are punishable by death.

In March, the United Nations Children’s Rights Committee noted that flogging was still a lawful punishment for boys and girls convicted of certain crimes. The committee noted reports that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) children had been subjected to electric shocks to “cure” them.

Iraq

ISIS’s Diwan al-Hisba (Moral Policing Administration) and online media apparatuses have publicly announced 27 executions of allegedly gay men, at least nine of them in Iraq. The main method ISIS used to execute these men has been to throw them off the roofs of high-rise buildings.

Iraq’s penal code does not prohibit same-sex intimacy, although article 394 makes it illegal to engage in extra-marital sexual relations. Due to the fact that the law does not expressly allow same-sex marriage, it effectively prohibits all same-sex relations. In July 2016 Moqtada al-Sadr, the prominent Shia opposition cleric, stated that although same-sex relationships are not acceptable, individuals who do not conform to gender norms suffer from “psychological problems,” and should not be attacked.

Israel/Palestine

There are different legal systems in occupied Palestinian Territory. The British Mandate Criminal Code Ordinance, No. 74 of 1936 is in force in Gaza. In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Jordanian Penal Code of 1960 applies, and does not contain provisions prohibiting adult consensual same-sex conduct. In Gaza, having “unnatural intercourse” of a sexual nature, understood to include same-sex relationships, is a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. In February 2016, Hamas’s armed wing executed one of its fighters ostensibly for “behavioral and moral violations,” which Hamas officials acknowledged meant same-sex relations.

Italy

As of May 2016, same-sex couples may have their relationships legally recognized as civil unions, though they do not have the right to adopt.

Japan

A bipartisan parliamentary group established in March 2015 continued to discuss legislation to address discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but at time of writing it had yet to come up with an agreed draft bill. Japanese law treats those requesting legal recognition as transgender as having a “Gender Identity Disorder” and requires obtaining such medical diagnosis. It also requires forced sterilization, compulsory single status, not having any underage children, and being 20 years or older. While same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in Japan, Tokyo’s Shibuya ward in April 2015 became the first municipality to pass a regulation recognizing same-sex partnerships, with more municipalities recognizing such partnerships in 2016 and 2017. Bullying is a problem in Japanese schools generally, and particularly so against LGBT students. In April 2016, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) for the first time released a guidebook for teachers regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. And in 2017, MEXT announced amendments to the national bullying prevention policy to include specific mention of LGBT students for the first time.

Jamaica

Jamaica is moving toward a revision of its rape law, which currently defines rape as the penetration of the vagina with the penis without consent. A proposal has been floated for a new law that is gender neutral. The absence of a gender-neutral rape law has been put forth in the past by politicians as justification for retaining Jamaica’s colonial-era “buggery” law, which criminalizes both consensual and non-consensual sex between men. The possible promulgation of a gender-neutral law on rape or sexual assault may therefore be a first step toward decriminalization of consensual same-sex conduct.

Kazakhstan

Surveys of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people reveal that many hide their sexual orientation or gender identity—including to healthcare providers—out of fear of reprisals or discrimination. When LGBT people report abuse, they often face indifference and hostility from authorities. Transgender people must undergo humiliating and invasive procedures—including coerced sterilization—to change gender on official documents. Without identity documents, transgender people struggle to access employment, healthcare, and education. The UN Human Rights Committee called on the government to end discrimination and violence against LGBT people and review gender-reassignment surgery procedures.

Kenya

Kenya’s penal code prohibits “carnal knowledge against the order of nature,” generally understood as consensual sex between men, and “indecent practices between males.” Civil society organizations and activists filed two landmark constitutional petitions against these sections in April and June 2016, arguing that the laws violate constitutional rights, including the rights to equality and nondiscrimination, human dignity, freedom and security of the person, privacy, and health. Kenya continued the prosecution of two men on charges of “carnal knowledge” after police arbitrarily arrested them in Kwale County in February 2015. The case remained open but was suspended pending the ruling of a constitutional petition filed by the two men, asserting that state officials had violated their rights by subjecting them to a forced anal examination. The High Court rejected the petition on the grounds that the men consented to the examination, ignoring that the men were in police custody and not able to provide free and informed consent. The men have appealed the ruling. The government appealed a 2015 High Court decision ordering the Non-Governmental Organizations Board to register the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC), a civil society group. Parties were awaiting a hearing date at time of writing. The Kenya Film Classification Board overstepped its jurisdiction in asking YouTube to remove a locally produced video addressing same-sex relationships, prohibiting an alleged lesbian speed-dating event, and attempting to ban a podcast with alleged lesbian content.

In May 2017, the Attorney General established a “Taskforce on Policy, Legal, Institutional and Administrative Reforms Regarding Intersex Persons in Kenya.” Its mandate includes to “recommend comprehensive reforms to safeguard the interests of intersex persons.” The secretariat of the task force is based at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. The task force will be open to receiving submissions on best practices from around the world, and there is a strong possibility that it will result in the establishment of policies that protect the rights of intersex people. While it will not directly address SOGI related rights, the task force may produce a rights-based framework around intersex people with aspects that will be transferrable to the advancement of LGBT rights.

Kyrgyzstan

LGBT people in Kyrgyzstan experience ill-treatment, extortion, and discrimination by both state and non-state actors. There is widespread impunity for these abuses. On May 24, 2016, the law, order and fighting crime parliamentary committee returned Kyrgyzstan’s anti-LGBT bill, which would ban “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,” for a repeat second reading, where it then stalled. The bill appears aimed at silencing anyone seeking to openly share information about same-sex relations in Kyrgyzstan. Following a live debate on LGBT rights on national television, Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee on National Security on June 14 summoned the editor-in-chief of Kloop.kg, an online media portal, for questioning about its coverage of the show. The television’s supervisory board also formally reprimanded its general director for airing the content. Also in June, Kyrgyzstan voted against a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council establishing the mandate of an independent expert to address violence and discrimination against LGBT people.

Latvia

According to Latvian LGBT activists, the authorities used a 2015 law on “constitutional morality education” to censor discussion about LGBT people in at least two schools in 2016.

Lebanon

Sexual relations outside of marriage—adultery and fornication—are criminalized under Lebanon’s penal code. Furthermore, article 534 of the penal code punishes “any sexual intercourse contrary to the order of nature” with up to one year in prison. In recent years, authorities conducted raids to arrest persons allegedly involved in same-sex conduct, some of whom were subjected to torture including forced anal examinations. In February 2016, a Syrian refugee, arrested by Lebanese Military Intelligence officers apparently on suspicion he was gay, was allegedly tortured while detained at Military Intelligence, Ministry of Defense, Military Police, and Jounieh police centers. In January 2017, a judge in Metn challenged the legal basis of the arrest of men for same-sex conduct, declaring that homosexuality is “not a criminal offence,” although under Lebanon’s legal system, the ruling does not create a binding precedent.

Malaysia

Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people is pervasive in Malaysia. Article 377A of the penal code criminalizes same-sex activity between men with punishments of up to 20 years in prison and whipping. Numerous Sharia-based laws and regulations prohibiting a “man posing as a woman,” sexual relations between women, and sexual relations between men effectively criminalize LGBT people.

Both government and private actors attempted to limit expression in support of LGBT rights. In February 2017, JAKIM (the Ministry for Islamic Development) endorsed so-called “conversion therapy,” claiming that gays should seek guidance from God, “repent,” and enter into heterosexual marriages. In March, the Film Censorship Board demanded that Disney edit out four minutes of the children’s film “Beauty and the Beast” because of a “gay moment.” Disney refused to make any cuts to the film, and the board eventually backed down and allowed the unedited film to be screened in Malaysia. In May, Taylor’s University in Subang Jaya canceled a three-day Pride celebration organized by Pelangi, an LGBT rights organization. In June, the Ministry of Health, in response to strident criticism from activists and the general public, reframed the terms of a youth video competition on sexual and reproductive health, removing language and criteria that stigmatized LGBT identities in favor of language that appears to affirm them.

In February 2017 Sameera, a transgender woman, was murdered in Kuantan. In June, an 18-year-old in Penang, T. Nhaveen, died after a group of teenagers allegedly beat and raped him while taunting him with insults such as “pondan,” a derogatory Malay term for an effeminate male, a gay male, or a transgender woman.

Mexico

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Mexico City since 2010. Since then, nine states have legalized it; in 2015, the Supreme Court opened the door to recognition in all states by ruling that the definition of marriage as a union only between a man and a woman constitutes discrimination and thus violates Mexico’s Constitution. In May 2016, President Peña Nieto introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, to remove sexual orientation and gender identity as barriers to adoption, and to recognize gender identity through the reissuance of birth notices, without a doctor’s involvement. Two committees in the Chamber of Deputies voted against the initiative in November.

Morocco/Western Sahara

Moroccan courts continued to jail persons for same-sex conduct under article 489 of the penal code, which prohibits “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex.” A Beni Mellal court convicted two men of homosexuality after a group of youths on March 9 burst into the home of one and pushed the two men naked into the street, filming the assault and later posting the clip online. The two men were freed after spending one month in prison; in April, a court imposed prison terms on two of their attackers. On October 27, police in Marrakesh arrested two girls aged 16 and 17 who were reported for cuddling in a private home. They were jailed for one week and charged under article 489, then provisionally released. In December, they were acquitted.

Authorities require but often refuse to issue permits for foreign broadcast media to film in Morocco. On April 3, police detained and then expelled a crew of the French news program “Le Petit Journal” as it tried to film in a neighborhood of Beni Mellal where the abovementioned gay-bashing assault had taken place.

Nepal

In line with a 2007 Supreme Court decision and a subsequent court order, the government in 2015 began issuing passports in three genders: “male,” “female,” and “other.” Some with “other” passports have successfully traveled abroad with their travel documents recognized by foreign governments. The new constitution recognizes that citizenship is available in three genders, and protects “gender and sexual minorities” in clauses related to equality before the law and social justice. Activists remain frustrated with the lack of implementation of a Supreme Court-mandated committee recommendation that the government recognize same-sex relationships.

Netherlands

At the start of 2016, NGOs reported threats and discrimination against LGBT asylum seekers at asylum facilities, and a Dutch independent monitoring body, the Dutch Board for Protection of Human Rights, found in February that LGBT asylum seekers at a large facility face discrimination.

Nigeria

The passage of the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, SSMPA in January 2014, has far reaching effects on members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The law is used to legitimize abuses against LGBT people, including mob violence, sexual abuse, unlawful arrests, torture and extortion by police. On February 13, the police arrested a homosexual couple in the federal capital for allegedly attempting to conduct a wedding. The wedding sponsors and the hotel venue owner were also arrested. The penalty for entering into a gay marriage under the SSMPA is 14 years. Ironically, former President Jonathan who defied global pressure before signing the bill into law, said belatedly in June 2016 that “with the clear knowledge that the issue of sexual orientation is still evolving, the nation may, at the appropriate time, revisit the law.”

In November 2015, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights urged the Nigerian government to review the SSMPA in order to prohibit violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and ensure access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care services for LGBT individuals.

Pakistan

In 2009, Pakistan’s Supreme Court called for improved police response to cases involving transgender people, and to ensure the rights of transgender people to basic education, employment, and protection. However, despite the court order, violent attacks on transgender and intersex women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province surged in 2016, with unknown assailants frequently targeting those involved in activism. Official responses have been inadequate. Human rights groups in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have recorded dozens of threats to, and attacks on, people and property, including abuses while in police custody. In September 2016, the National Commission for Human Rights called on the government to investigate the attacks, and in 2016 and 2017 local governments and parliament hearings reflected an increased amount of attention to the plight of transgender women—including a unanimous resolution in the Khyber Pakhdunkhwa assembly calling for voting rights for transgender people.

Papua New Guinea

The PNG criminal code outlaws sex “against the order of nature,” which has been interpreted to apply to consensual same-sex acts, and is punishable by up to 14 years’ imprisonment. Gay asylum seekers on Manus Island have reported being shunned, sexually abused, or assaulted by other asylum seekers.

In May, during the periodic review of PNG’s human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council, countries made more than 150 recommendations on sues including ratification of international treaties, establishing a national human rights commission, promoting gender equality, addressing domestic violence and sorcery-related violence, decriminalizing consensual same-sex relations, and abolishing or placing a moratorium on the death penalty. In September, PNG responded that it would ratify all core human rights treaties “on the basis of priorities” and that, while there are challenges to implementing reforms, it is committed to establishing a human rights commission, improving gender equality, and addressing domestic violence and sorcery-related violence. It also noted, however, that “LGBT is currently not a priority of the Government” and that the “death penalty is in our national law, however despite this, the current government directive is not to implement until further directions are issued.”

Peru

In March 2015, Congress rejected a bill to recognize civil unions for same-sex couples. In September 2016, a Congressional supporter of President Kuczynski announced that he would introduce a new legislative proposal to recognize same-sex civil unions.

People in Peru are required to appear before a judge in order to revise the gender noted on their identification documents. In an August 2016 report, the human rights ombudsman noted that courts had rejected most of these requests, often applying inconsistent criteria.

Philippines

The House of Representatives began consideration of House Bill 267, the “Anti SOGI (Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity) Discrimination Act” in June 2016. If approved, it will criminalize discrimination in the employment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, and prohibit schools from refusing to register or expelling students on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Senate has introduced companion legislation, Senate Bill No. 935, otherwise known as the Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB), which had its first hearing in August. House Bill 267 will also sensitize police and law enforcement officers on LGBT issues and train them to attend to complaints. These initiatives are essential given that LGBT rights advocacy groups have warned that hate crimes against LGBT people are on the rise and that the Philippines has recorded the highest number of murders of transgender individuals in Southeast Asia since 2008. The bill would also prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination in access to health care.

Russia

Authorities continued to implement discriminatory policies and laws against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. In March, police found journalist and theater critic Dmitry Tsilikin dead in his St. Petersburg apartment from stab wounds. The perpetrator, arrested a week later, confessed that he planned to blackmail Tsilikin about his homosexuality, but killed him during a confrontation. The police did not categorize the killing as a hate crime. In January, a court in Murmansk, northwestern Russia, found LGBT activist Sergei Alekseenko guilty of violating the discriminatory “gay propaganda” law which prohibits allowing children access to positive information about LGBT relationships. The court called several publications on the website of an LGBT organization formerly run by Alekseenko “gay propaganda” and fined him 100,000 rubles (US$1,300). Authorities continued legal action against Deti-404, an online support group for LGBT children. In April, a court in the Siberian town of Barnaul ruled to ban the website. As of November, Deti 404’s website remained blocked. In September, a court in Siberia ruled to block BlueSystem.ru, a highly popular LGBT news site. As of November, the site was blocked.

In February 2017 and stretching through at least the first week in April, law enforcement and security officials in Russia’s Chechen Republic launched an unprecedented anti-gay purge. They rounded up dozens of men on suspicion of being gay, held them in unofficial detention facilities for days, humiliated, starved, and tortured them. They forcibly disappeared some of the men. Others were returned to their families barely alive from beatings. Their captors exposed them to their families as gay and encouraged their relatives to carry out so-called “honor killings.” Although Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov has denied the round-ups, there is evidence that high-level officials in Chechnya sanctioned them. Russia’s federal government pledged to investigate, but intense and well-founded fear of official retaliation and honor killings, and overwhelming stigma will prevent many victims from coming forward.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has no written laws concerning sexual orientation or gender identity, but judges use principles of uncodified Islamic law to sanction people suspected of committing sexual relations outside marriage, including adultery, extramarital and homosexual sex, or other “immoral” acts. If such activity occurs online, judges and prosecutors utilize vague provisions of the country’s anti-cybercrime law that criminalize online activity impinging on “public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy.” In February 2016, the Saudi Gazette reported that the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution is considering requesting the death penalty for anyone “using social media to solicit homosexual acts.”

In February 2017, Saudi police arrested 35 Pakistani citizens, some of whom were transgender women. One of them died in detention. Her family said her body bore signs of torture, while the Saudi authorities said she had died of a heart attack.

Serbia (Kosovo)

Attacks and harassment of human rights defenders continued. According to local LGBT and human rights organizations, the majority of attacks and threats against members of the LGBT community go unreported with only known LGBT activists filing complaints. In June, in Vojvodina in Northeast Serbia, an LGBT activist was attacked and kicked in the head by four unidentified perpetrators. No one had been prosecuted at time of writing. In August, LGBT activist Boban Stojanovic, one of the Belgrade Pride organizers, was punched and called a “fag” in downtown Belgrade by two unidentified men. Police were investigating at time of writing. Hundreds of police officers deployed in Belgrade to protect the LGBT Pride march in September, which occurred without violence. This was a marked improvement from previous years when protesters attacked the parade, or the government had cancelled the event citing security concerns instead of providing adequate security.

The Kosovo Constitution protects against sexual orientation-based discrimination and a 2015 anti-discrimination law enumerates protections for both sexual orientation and gender identity; however, implementation remains weak.

Singapore

The rights of Singapore’s LGBT community are severely restricted. Sexual relations between two male persons remains a criminal offense, and there are no legal protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Media Development Authority effectively prohibits all positive depictions of LGBT lives on television or radio. The annual Pink Dot Festival in support of LGBT rights celebrated its eighth year in Hong Lim Park in June 2016, supported by the sponsorship of corporations including Google, Barclays, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, BP, Bloomberg, Twitter, Apple, and Facebook. A few days after the event, the Ministry of Home Affairs warned multinational companies to stop funding the event, saying such support constitutes “foreign interference” with domestic affairs. In October, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that, under newly promulgated rules, any entity that is not incorporated in Singapore and does not have a majority of Singapore citizens on its board is now required to apply for a permit to sponsor an event in Hong Lim Park.

Associations of more than 10 people are required to register with the government, and the Registrar of Societies has broad authority to deny registration if he determines the group could be “prejudicial to public peace, welfare or good order.” The Registrar of Societies has refused to allow any lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual (LGBT) organization to register as a society on the ground that “it is contrary to the public interest to grant legitimacy to the promotion of homosexual activities or viewpoints.”

All films and videos shown in Singapore must be pre-approved by the Board of Film Censors. Theater productions must also obtain a license under the Public Entertainment and Meetings Act, and to do so must submit their scripts for approval. In June 2016, a production of “Les Miserables” was forced to delete a scene containing a same-sex kiss.

South Africa

South Africa has a progressive constitution that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and protects the human rights of LGBTI people. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has taken significant steps to improve coordination between government and civil society in combatting violence (including rape and murder) against lesbians and transgender men. On September 6, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba announced that due to widespread homophobic attitudes within South African society, and to protect the rights of LGBTI people, homophobic US pastor Steven Anderson and members of his church were banned from entering the country because they promote hate speech and advocate social violence. He said constitutional and legislative guarantees, including the rights of LGBTI persons, must be respected by all. Domestic LGBTI groups lauded the decision. In June 2017, at the 8th South African AIDS Conference, the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) launched the national HIV framework for LGBTI people. South Africa is the first country in the world to launch an HIV framework specifically for LGBT people as part of its national strategic plan. The objective is to “reverse the burden of disease from HIV, STIs and TB and to promote a rights and evidence-based environment for LGBTI people in South Africa.”

Some of South Africa’s votes at the United Nations were contrary to the country’s stated human rights principles. For example, in July, South Africa voted against a UN Human Rights Council resolution on the protection of human rights on the internet and abstained on a key HRC vote to appoint an independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity. The abstention went against the country’s strong constitutional protections and domestic laws around sexual orientation and gender identity. But on November 21, in the UN General Assembly committee, South Africa voted to allow Vitit Muntabhorn, the newly appointed UN expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, to continue his work. The vote was taken after the African Group put forward a resolution to stop the operations of the UN expert who was appointed in September by the Human Rights Council.

Sri Lanka

State and non-state discrimination and abuses against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) population persist. Sections 365 and 365A of the Sri Lankan Penal Code prohibit “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” and “gross indecency,” commonly understood in Sri Lanka to criminalize all same-sex relations between consenting adults. Sri Lankan law does not specifically criminalize transgender or intersex people. But no laws ensure that their rights are protected, and police have used several criminal offenses and regulations to target LGBTI people, particularly transgender women and men who have sex with men (MSM) involved in sex work. These include a law against “cheat[ing] by personation,” and the vaguely worded Vagrants’ Ordinance, which prohibits soliciting or committing acts of “gross indecency,” or being “incorrigible rogues” procuring “illicit or unnatural intercourse.” Some trans women and MSM said that repeated harassment by police, including instances of arbitrary detention and mistreatment, had eroded their trust in Sri Lankan authorities, and made it unlikely that they would report a crime. Several people also reported discriminatory treatment at the hands of medical authorities, leading many transgender people to self-medicate rather than seeking professional assistance.

Syria

News reports in 2016 indicate that ISIS continues to execute men accused of homosexuality. In one reported case from Deir al-Zour governorate, a 15-year-old boy was thrown from a building in January 2016 after he was accused of being gay. At least 25 men have been murdered by ISIS in Syria on suspicion of homosexuality or for sodomy, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Tanzania

Tanzanian law criminalizes consensual sexual conduct between adult males, with a penalty of 30 years to life in prison, one of the most severe punishments for same-sex intimacy in the world. Zanzibar has slightly different laws but criminalizes both male homosexual conduct and lesbianism. The laws are rarely applied, but police and other authorities use them as a pretext to extort, abuse and marginalize LGBTI people. 

Under the government of John Magufuli, Tanzania has seen an unprecedented crackdown on LGBT people. The government has shut down HIV outreach services and drop-in centers targeting men who have sex with men (MSM); banned the import of water-based lubricants, an important HIV prevention tool; and threatened to shut down LGBT organizations. Police in Zanzibar arrested nine young men, charged them with homosexual conduct, and subjected them to forced anal examinations at a government hospital in December 2016. They were released on bail, but the cases remain open. Another young man was arrested in Dar es Salaam in March 2017, and was also subjected to a forced anal exam. In June 2017, President Magufuli publicly condemned same-sex relationships.

Tunisia

The penal code punishes consensual same-sex conduct with up to three years in prison. Anal testing is used as the main evidence in order to convict men for homosexuality. In two high-profile cases in 2015, at least seven young men were arrested and subjected to anal examinations by forensic doctors, whose reports were used as evidence to convict them of sodomy and imprison them, even though it is well-documented that such exams lack medical value. On appeal, their sentences were reduced to two months in the first case, and one month in the second.

Tunisia has thus far been unwilling to consider decriminalization of consensual same-sex conduct but, in its 2017 UPR review, accepted a recommendation to end forced anal examinations. This positive development followed months of advocacy from Tunisian and international human rights groups. The United Nations Committee against Torture, in its 2016 evaluation of Tunisia, condemned the use of anal examinations as to prove homosexual conduct. Shortly before the UPR review, the national medical council issued a circular calling on medical personnel to stop conducting anal examinations without consent.

Turkey

Authorities frequently impose arbitrary bans on public assemblies and violently disperse peaceful demonstrations. For the second year running, the Istanbul governor’s office banned the annual Istanbul Gay and Trans Pride marches in June 2016, citing concerns about security threats and public order.

Turkmenistan

Under Turkmen law homosexual conduct is punishable by up to two years in prison. Widespread prejudice leads to homosexuality being treated as a disease, including by medical institutions and judicial authorities. Law enforcement officials and medical personnel subject persons detained and charged with sodomy to forced anal examinations, with the purported objective of finding “proof” of homosexual conduct.

Uganda

After nine years, the Constitutional Court finally ruled in November on a challenge to a limitation on the mandate of the Equal Opportunities Commission, which barred it from investigating any matter involving behavior “considered to be immoral and socially harmful, or unacceptable by the majority of the cultural and social communities in Uganda.” The judges determined the limitation was unconstitutional and violated the right to a fair hearing. Perversely, this provision had meant that the very mechanism designed to protect people from discrimination could blatantly discriminate against women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, sex workers, and anyone else who might not have been perceived to reflect the views of the majority.

Same-sex conduct remains criminalized under Uganda’s colonial-era law, which prohibits “carnal knowledge” among people of the same sex. The new NGO law raises concerns about the criminalization of legitimate advocacy on the rights of LGBTI people. In August, police unlawfully raided a peaceful pageant that was part of Gay Pride celebrations in Kampala. Police locked the venue’s gates, arrested activists, and beat and humiliated hundreds of people, violating rights to association and assembly. Police continue to carry out forced anal examinations on men and transgender women accused of consensual same-sex conduct. These examinations lack evidentiary value and are a form of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment that may amount to torture.

Ukraine

Since 2014, the government has introduced several progressive policies supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, but anti-LGBT sentiment remains strong among high-level government officials and the public. In March 2016, about 200 anti-gay, far-right supporters attacked a venue in Lviv hosting a LGBT equality festival, eventually causing the event to be cancelled. The Kyiv LGBT Pride march held in June took place without the violence against participants that had marred it in previous years. Ultra-nationalist groups had threatened to make the march a “bloody mess.” Around 6,000 police officers protected the 1,500 march participants. The first LGBT Pride march took place in Odesa in August. Local authorities initially attempted to ban it, but relented when organizers changed the route. Police arrested four ultra-nationalists who attempted to disrupt the event. A new draft of the amended labor code does not include an anti-discrimination provision that would protect LGBT people in the workplace.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE’s penal code does not explicitly prohibit homosexuality. However, article 356 of the penal code criminalizes (but does not define) “indecency,” and provid

          Philippines vs Turkmenistan Full Game – FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup   
Philippines beat Turkmenistan, 21-14 in their 4th game of the 2017 FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup in Chengdu, China. Philippines will advance to the Quarterfinals. Watch Philippines vs Turkmenistan Full Game – FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup Video by FIBA3x3 Read recap: Philippines beat Poland & Turkmenistan, enter QFs Next Game for Philippines: Quarterfinals –
          Philippines vs Poland Full Game – FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup   
Philippines beat Poland, 20-14 in their 3rd game of the 2017 FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup in Chengdu, China. Watch Philippines vs Poland Full Game – FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup Video by FIBA3x3 Read recap: Philippines beat Poland & Turkmenistan, enter QFs Next Game for Philippines: Quarterfinals – July 2, 2:50pm vs Belgium
          Philippines FIBA 3×3 U18 Day 3 Highlights Video   
Philippines won 2 games in Day 3 of the 2017 FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup as they were named Team of the Day after beating Poland and Turkmenistan. Philippines will advance to the Quarterfinals and will face Belgium. Watch Philippines FIBA 3×3 U18 Day 3 Highlights Video Video by FIBA3x3 Good luck AJ Edu, Encho
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          The March of Folly – 9. Indian Involvements   
I was away during the visit of the Indian Prime Minister and, with internet limited in Turkmenistan, could not follow what happened nor what was said. But enough came through to remind me of what happened 30 years ago, at the time of the Indo-Lankan Accord. The recently founded Liberal Party found itself in a unique position on that occasion, ...
          Comment on Fear and loathing on the Afghan Silk Road by Elten   
Tiger is right. The China - Pakistan highway was built in the early 1980's connecting Kashgar over the Khunjerab pass with Gilgit/Balistan and further through Pakistan's Khagan valley to Balakot, Abbotabat, down into the Indus valley to end in Balochistan's Gwadar port. This will give China access to the Indian ocean without having to pass through the Straits of Malacca. https://www.google.nl/maps/place/Gilgit/@35.9136099,72.0644988,7z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x38e649e3642543b1:0x40fd0ca3ca17282b!8m2!3d35.920154!4d74.3080126 In Pakistan there is potential for a westward diversion via Quetta to Zahedan and onward to Tehran. https://www.google.nl/maps/place/Quetta,+Pakistan/@30.1790237,62.5070254,6z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x3ed2de34ca7faae9:0x4696d44c4b6ff197!8m2!3d30.1829713!4d66.998734 Meanwhile China has already opened a 10 000 km rail link between Yiwu (Shanghai region) and Tehran passing through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, reducing transport time to 14 days compared to 45 days over sea. http://thediplomat.com/2016/03/iran-china-and-the-silk-road-train/ The Wakhan corridor, and for that matter Afghanistan, have nothing to do with this scheme, nor with possible Chinese intentions to enter into the mining business in that country. Escobar's story then rambles on into Syraq, assuming that the Levant is the logical destination of the OBOR (BRI) scheme. I disagree with this assumption and expect to see a much more Northern trajectory passing through South Asia (not Middle East) straight into the heart of Europe with ports of Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Lisboa as the final destination. Possible stop-overs in Bulgaria or Armenia and then into Hungary westward.
          Fil-Nigerian tows Phl to FIBA WC U-18 3x3    
MANILA, Philippines -  The Philippines rode on 6-9 Fil-Nigerian AJ Edu as it trounced Poland, 20-14, and Turkmenistan, 21-14, Friday night to make a historic
          Жизнь за решеткой в Туркменистане. Рассказ бывшего российского заключенного   
Жизнь за решеткой в Туркменистане. Рассказ бывшего российского заключенного В Туркменистане имеется 22 пенитенциарных учреждения, из которых: 12 исправительных колоний (с различными режимами содержания), 6 - следственных изоляторов (СИЗО), 2 - Лечебно-трудовых профилактория (ЛТП), 1 – больничный стационар для осужденных к лишению свободы и 1 - дисциплинарный батальон (где отбывают наказания солдаты срочной службы).
          Red and Silver - Turkoman & Nepalese by SilkRoadJewelry   

125.00 USD

A lovely red and silver necklace, composed of beautiful pierced silver metal beads from Turkmenistan and red coral beads from Nepal. Red coral has been set into Tibetan silver double-sized mountings and decorated with Floral motifs.

It is finished with large red coral rounds and a large embellished lobster claw clasp. The necklace measures 21 1/2" in length. Dress it up or down. It goes with everything!


          Türkmenistanlıların haraç infazı! Tek kurşunla...   
İstanbul'da kendilerine haraç vermeyen Türkmenistanlı bir kişiyi infaz ederek hastane bahçesine bırakan biri üniversite öğrencisi 2 Türkmenistanlı yakalandı.
          Light earthquake, 4.4 mag was detected near Tur kmenbasy in Tur kmenistan   
A light earthquake magnitude 4.4 (ml/mb) strikes near Balkanabat, Türkmenbaşy, Turkmenistan on Sunday. The earthquake was picked up at 13:00:55/1:00 pm (local time epicenter) at a depth of 10 km (6 miles). How did you react? Did you feel it?
          Belgium def. Philippines, 18-14 (REPLAY VIDEO) FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup 2017 Quarterfinals   

FIBA 3x3 Under-18 World Cup 2017 Updates and Results. (July 2 / Quarterfinals) Belgium defeated Philippines, 18-14 in the quarterfinals on Sunday in the 2017 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup in Chengdu, China.


Team Philippines Game Results & Replay Video:
June 28 - Philippines def. Israel, 19-17
June 28 - Netherlands def. Philippines, 13-10
June 30 - Philippines def. Poland, 20-14
June 30 - Philippines def. Turkmenistan, 21-14
July 2 - Belgium def. Philippines, 18-14 (KO Quarterfinals)
The top two teams from each pool qualify for the quarterfinals and then play KO games all the way to the finals.




screenshot via Youtube / FIBA3x3 / FIBA.com


Team Pilipinas 3×3 U18 Team Members:
(#4) Ariel John 'AJ' Edu - 6’9” (Fil-Nigerian)
(#2) Rhayyan Amsali - 6’3”
(#3) Juan Gomez Di Liaño - 6’2”
(#5) Florencio Serrano - 5’11”

Photo via FIBA.com






          Lapis Lazuli Corridor agreement to be inked in near future   
lapis lazulli corridor

Afghan Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi in his recent trip to Georgia discussed the Lapis Lazuli transit Corridor with officials from the four countries along the Corridor: Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and

The post Lapis Lazuli Corridor agreement to be inked in near future appeared first on Wadsam.


          E-Card registration fee reduced registration numbers: MEF   
PETALING JAYA: The action by the Immigration Department in imposing almost RM600 to apply for the Enforcement Card (E-Card) are among the factors that had stopped employers from registering undocumented workers sooner, claimed Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan.

Shamsuddin claimed that the Immigration Department had initially not imposed any charge during the implementation of the E-Card registration system before the government decided to impose the fee.

"When employers are asked to pay even half of the processing fees, they will not be interested as they do not know whether the workers that they register can be employed again," he told theSun when contacted today.

He further described the E-Card system as "pretty much" similar with the previous system implemented by the Immigration Department.

"Thus when a similar system is in place not many employers would be interested in registering their undocumented workers because what the government wants employers to do is for them to come to the Immigration counters and admit that they have undocumented workers," he said.

The MEF, he said, had proposed that undocumented workers themselves register with the Immigration Department instead of the employers.

"The proposal was to allow employers the opportunity to recruit documented workers upon registration. However, the same system is applied instead," he said.

However, Shamsuddin added that employers who failed to register their undocumented workers in time would have to face the full brunt of the law.

Following the end of the E-Card registration deadline on Friday, Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali announced that 1,035 undocumented workers including 101 women, three children and 16 employers were detained on Saturday in a nationwide operation.

The majority of the workers were from Bangladesh (515), followed by Indonesia (135), Myanmar (102), the Philippines (50), Thailand (five) and Vietnam (two).

The E-Card, valid until Feb 15 next year, is to enable employers to apply and rehire the foreigners legally in addressing shortages in several key economic sectors.

Only 97,469 cards were issued between Feb 15 and May 31, although there are 400,000 to 500,000 workers.

The deadline will not be extended and employers were warned that the department will go on a nationwide crackdown on the undocumented workers on July 1.

The E-Card is only for workers from 15 countries — Bangladesh, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
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