Monday, August 24, 2009
"After leaving HM Prison Greenock after being released on compassionate gounds, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi released the following statement:
I am obviously very relieved to be leaving my prison cell at last and returning to Libya, my homeland.
I would like to first of all take the opportunity to extend my gratitude to the many people of Scotland, and elsewhere, who have sent me their good wishes.
I bear no ill will to the people of Scotland; indeed, it is one of my regrets that I have been unable to experience any meaningful aspect of Scottish life, or to see your country.
To the staff in HM Prison Greenock, and before that at HM Prison Barlinnie, I wish to express thanks for the kindness that they were able to show me.
Megrahi boarding aircraft to Tripoli
Megrahi said he bore no ill-will to the people of Scotland
For those who assisted in my medical and nursing care; who tried to make my time here as comfortable as possible, I am of course grateful.
My legal team has worked tirelessly on my behalf; I wish to thank Advocates Margaret Scott QC, Jamie Gilchrist QC, Shelagh McCall and Martin Richardson together with the team at Taylor & Kelly, for all of their gallant efforts in my bid to clear my name.
I know they share, in no small measure, my disappointment about the abandonment of my appeal.
Many people, including the relatives of those who died in, and over, Lockerbie, are, I know, upset that my appeal has come to an end; that nothing more can be done about the circumstances surrounding the Lockerbie bombing.
I share their frustration. I had most to gain and nothing to lose about the whole truth coming out - until my diagnosis of cancer.
To those victims' relatives who can bear to hear me say this: they continue to have my sincere sympathy for the unimaginable loss that they have suffered.
To those who bear me ill will, I do not return that to you.
And, lastly, I must turn to my conviction and imprisonment.
To be incarcerated in a far off land, completely alien to my way of life and culture has been not only been a shock but also a most profound dislocation for me personally and for my whole family.
I have had many burdens to overcome during my incarceration.
I had to sit through a trial which I had been persuaded to attend on the basis that it would have been scrupulously fair.
In my second, most recent, appeal I disputed such a description.
I had to endure a verdict being issued at the conclusion of that trial which is now characterised by my lawyers, and the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, as unreasonable.
Aeroplane with Megrahi on board leaving Glasgow Airport
A Libyan aircraft leaves Glasgow Airport with Megrahi on board
To me, and to other right thinking people back at home in Libya, and in the international community, it is nothing short of a disgrace.
As a result of my surrender, and that judgment of the Court, I had to spend over 10 years in prison.
I cannot find words in my language or yours that give proper expression to the desolation I have felt. This horrible ordeal is not ended by my return to Libya.
It may never end for me until I die. Perhaps the only liberation for me will be death.
And I say in the clearest possible terms, which I hope every person in every land will hear: all of this I have had to endure for something that I did not do.
The remaining days of my life are being lived under the shadow of the wrongness of my conviction.
I have been faced with an appalling choice: to risk dying in prison in the hope that my name is cleared posthumously or to return home still carrying the weight of the guilty verdict, which will never now be lifted.
The choice which I made is a matter of sorrow, disappointment and anger, which I fear I will never overcome.
I say goodbye to Scotland and shall not return. My time here has been very unhappy and I do not leave a piece of myself. But to the country's people I offer my gratitude and best wishes."
Saturday, August 22, 2009
For the first time in quite an age, America is facing the starkest reality; she does not really rule the world nor make its decisions. Thanks to Scotland and especially Kenny MacAskill, that brave Scottish Justice Secretary who has just taught America this lesson.
Right until Thursday July 20, 2009, United States of America was still riding high on the shod that they are in charge of the world with 'supposed' world (wimp) powers such as UK being their toddler. What with the UK that foolishly and childishly follow Bush to take a greedy action on Iraq on the lies of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)? Since then, the UK remains a child holding on to America's big fingers and concurs to all US' eventually-dictatorial moves.
Without endorsing Megraghi's release which I don't think was entirely as bad, I think that Scotland must have made the world believe there is still hope. It has been disappointing and completely disheartening to see UK remain in the control of America.
It is appalling that no one is calling US to order. Anyway, the UN is a toothless dog owned and controlled by America. US should be made a pariah state. It is no difference from Iran and the lot of them. She sends people to electric chambers. Denies people living with HIV entrance to their country, fight wars based on lies – WMD(?), - holds people in prison without charge or access to justice, denies gay people equality, pollutes the environment by refusing to implement the Kyoto agreement, allows use of weapon (gun) by its citizens, etc. in summary, it is a devilish government.
But hear her turn around to talk of justice. Justice, should be to reverse all the above. Justice should be to allow people accused of crime to defend themselves instead of taking them captive into Guantanamo Bay. Justice should be to make sure that people have at least first level access to healthcare in a country as rich as she is and boast to be advanced. Justice is the fairness of letting countries decide their own system but only making suggestions without ulterior motives. And its Muller, the head of FBI whose organization is complicit in running Guantanmo Bay that tells us of justice. May be he needs a definition lecture on justice.
That is what justice is. Now, thank you Scotland for making them know they cant rule United Kingdom. Just that is enough information. Scotland is not answerable to US, so they can reel on and cry foul. The deed has been done. Great.
Well, it wasn't a surprise that there will be joy at the arrival of Megraghi in Libya. Who wouldn't celebrate after walking free of prison to unrivalled freedom, even if the recipient is dying, etc?
As UK foreign Secretary, David Miliband rightly said, it is distressing that celebration followed his arrival. And as I pointed out in a previous post, the problem is that the Libyan president got so involved to the point of sending his private jet; this should have been clear.
So, it becomes insensitive of the Libyan government to create this charade that is now turning the whole compassionate deed into a great irredeemable mistake.
The relatives of the Victims can do well, in any way they can, to move on even though this is easier said than done. But the stress being granted this singular business makes it even more distressing for the families.
Whether Megraghi will die or live isn't any gain to both the compassionate Scottish ministers or the families of the victims. What the case is remains that he is a free man. Digging to the root cause of the bombing would be fine but the question must be considered; would it not cause more distress and pain to do so? 21 years is a long time and moving on may be the best option. And Libyan acknowledgement of the sufferings of these family members would help while we continue to hope the truth may come to light.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
In short period of less than one month, two convicts of extreme evil, Ronnie Biggs & Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi walked to freedom still convicted & never showed remorse.
Both stories has just this similarity and the only difference being that they committed two different crimes. Nonetheless, both were evils of the highest heartless order.
While Ronnie Biggs was convicted and escaped prison, Megraghi was convicted but not convincingly and did not escape prison.
What therefore comes to mind is, does high crime go with no consequences? Would people now be inspired or dispirited to commit awful crime?
Having considered the above, the picture here, especially in the case of Megraghi, is the big difference between the 2 world powers: Britain and America. While America continue to hold on to achaic 'wicked' punishments and unforgiving spirit, Britain has continuously shown that forgiveness, even in extremely uncomfortable situations is possible. But the question now is: is there a link between these two events? Was one a preparation or approval for the other?
The American state may want to review its beliefs. Going forward does not involve clinging to the past. As Scotland has shown, compassion, sometimes enhances forwardness.
Although I agree with the Scottish government compassionate release of Megraghi, (see below), I found it snubbish that the convict is being given an almost state escort to leave prison.
The pains of the victims and their families have not been taken into consideration with this act.
While it is clear that holding him in his state of health wouldn't make profit anyone, it is completely an insult that he is being given such a state release. The involvements of Col. Gaddafi in the release process make it seem there is something more behind all these.
I can only imagine the pains of the families who lost dear ones and that make the case a very delicate one. Nonetheless, an end has to come to anything. I think that the dead would rather rest in peace than this dragging on. But it must be accepted that justice has not been done.
However, the release, doesn't feel quite right in the way it has been conducted. And this goes a long way to set a bad precedent as other wicked terror executioner would find easy to cause pain knowing that nothing would be done to them.
The Nigeria banking sector suffered a huge loss in the early 1990s when most of the then ‘mushroom’ banks licensed by the then military government led by General Babangida, collapsed. A lot of Nigerians lost their life’s savings and most of the bankers were imprisoned by the government. But the primary root of the cause of that problem was never dug out. The then government had a hand in most of it having ‘done’ business with their friends whom they licensed to run whatever they called a ‘bank’. After the pretentious arrest of the culprit bankers and the ensuing bribery to releasing their close allies, most of the cases closed with no outcome.
The affected banks in the present scare happen to be among the ones that have driven the banking sector to a ‘believed-excellence’. Oceanic Bank controlled by the Ibrus is a big shame to be there. But risk is the twin traveller in business.
In all, the fear lies in what actually this scope and goal of the government is and can yield via the Central Bank of Nigeria action. It is well know that corruption and dishonesty is the rule among Nigeria ruling class. One is concerned to think that this action would be the right steps. But we have to wait and see.
Ring-fencing the failing banks with public money is clever, but only if there is no hidden ulterior motives. I also think that publishing the names of debtors in a name-and-shame system is uncalled for.
In all, I will be proud if the measures taken work without the evils of self-centredness, corruption, self-enrichment, etc do not come into it.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Two days ago, a short-term study of Twitter usage was released. Carried out by US-based Pear Analytics, it categorically stated that 40.5% of tweets are "pointless babble" and the so on and forth while 8.7% was worth "passing-along".
While I think it is good to know that someone, and indeed an organization would dedicate its time to such research, it is entirely disappointing of the seeming-reason why it did this. And that seeming-reason is why I have an issue with it.
While everyone is jumping on the twitter-wagon and trying to make a name and money out of that humble invention, it is completely disgusting to know that some are going about it
I have taken another look at Twitter landing page to re-check ... It clearly states: "What are you doing?" then I ask, did Pear Analytics not see or make any sense of this clearly simple questioning-sentence?
Twitter is as the 'About' page on its web-site said; "a simple idea of being able to know what his friends were doing." Hence, the idea to portray that as pointless babble does not in any way make sense.
From what the inventors of Twitter has said, it is clear that it was not built to replace the newsreel at all. Neither was it built for only geeks to use but for a general (again) simple networking tools among friend, albeit in a very informal and relaxed manner. This today, is the secret of the success of this service.
I think that Pear Analytics could deploy its time and resource to more all-round useful objectives than making a caricature of people usage of a service. While I do not tweet more of personal issues, I find it amazing that this service has inspired a lot of people who would not dare touch blogger, wordpress, and the countless blogging services out there, to using the internet and the testimonies surpass the disadvantages. The micro-blogging and on-the-go keeping in touch with friends and acquaintances which Twitter has encouraged is massively rewarding. But a summary such as this, may discourage the openness that is beginning to take off.
It is sad that families, friends, colleagues, etc lost their lives in the wicked event in 1988, but it is also unrewarding that a terminally ill man is held in prison when it seems he is now useless about it. Reading the account of the fatal wickedness again and my heart ripping apart, I would think it would be necessary to hold and keep Megraghi there, if he is going free to enjoy running around working and achieving things. But that is unlikely based on what health condition we are told he is in now.
However, the problem here is that he is not completely convicted of the crime since he is appealing it. Secondly, his supposed cohorts are at large as which will make it unjust if any other isn’t found.
Regardless of all that, my problem now is the interference of America in insisting that Scotland do not do this. Hilary Clinton clear call is disappointing and a disgrace to America.
I have always observed that the USA is not leading the example of compassion let alone human rights actions as it should. US remains a nation where the poor can’t afford healthcare, gay people can’t live comfortably, capital punishments still in place, and yes, race segregation very much alive and many unaccountable. For a country as powerful as she is, I doubt what human right difference it has from Iran or other countries that it tends to pursue and want to decide their fate.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Although I am not – and have never been – in the Obama-mania camp or whatever it is called, it is very important to point out that his administration has shown understanding of the perception and reaction many countries in the under-develop area take to America. With this understanding, the present American leader have reduced the diplomatic trip and meddling he or key official should do but instead employ a more subtle ways to executing this.
The recent trip of President Clinton to North Korea securing the release of two Americans was just one of those. And while that seems to be down-played for its importance, we see Senator Webb arrive at Burma and took with him a man who is beginning his seven year jail term for swimming to Aung Sun Suu Kyi’s house while she is under house arrest.
The above scenarios paint a picture of a US administration that is beginning to understand how intimidating and interfering America appears and which visits from its presidents or high officials does not address but make worse. I hope the exploit this avenue more and show America as understanding and ready to chat, without interfering or trying to take over sovereign nations’ control.
Monday, August 10, 2009
It is disheartening that someone will use this to paint Social Networking or represent its disadvantages. Undoubtedly, everything in the world has a good and bad side. The point remains how we use them.
The girl in the post above said something utterly foolish and idiotic. Her language is offensive whether used on virtual or in real world, hence not an issue to be blamed on social networking
Again, if other possible avenue of communications through which she could have said the same thing are considered; i.e. letter? Face-to-face conversation? To her colleagues? Via text message? Over the phone? On a blog? At a drink/night out? Through rumours? And the list goes on and on.
Regardless which of the above medium the employee chose, the result would be same. Therefore suggesting that this is ‘How To Lose a Job Via Facebook In 140 Characters or Less’ is unjustifiable and misleading.
My personal experience happened when I twittered that I was not enjoying a meeting at work during the meeting and my colleague said someone who knows my organization called (or emailed, etc) to say that it seems we were fighting at the office – gracious! That was not so and not enjoying a meeting is something that people have said at different times in mellow or temperamental voices.
I think in this case, the employee’s complaint was irresponsible with a wrong (which is the main evil) language and wrong approach. She should have sought advice on how to enjoy her job. If she doesn’t like her boss to the point of calling him names, then I don’t think she should remain in the job or better still, she should have sought out ways to ironing out the matter.
Social networking tools are just one tool out of many forms of communication. And when it comes to communication, it is not the tool that is usually the problem, it is the user.
Well, as much as I agree and promote freedom of expression by all and for all, I still think that whatever our opinion, expressing them should be in consideration to those affected. While agreeing that there is an opposition to every opinion that exists, it is expedient to know that it should not be an over-riding thought but an input for robust debate.
Roger Helmer, Conservative MEP for the East Midlands, has not just expressed his opinion but as man who is elected to represent a community, it is sad that he will go to this extent to deny what is (see last paragraph of this link). His personal bearing on this matter does not really make any huge impact but the question that it raises is worrisome.
Recently, the Conservative party found new cohorts in European Parliament. For a mainstream party from a country that has led in human rights issues and campaigns, it is completely disheartening for the type of alliances the Conservative party went into with certain anti-people parties. Throughout the formation, David Cameron denied and even stated that Tory has changed immensely from a homophobic party to a tolerant one; it hasn't. He made this comment while attending a reception during the Pride Week celebrations. Although Mr. Cameron could not attend Pride himself, he assured those around him that his attendance to that event was a reflection of the transformation of his party.
Did we believe him? Obviously No! How can you believe a man that weeks before had made treaty with notorious homophobic parties in the wider EU bloc? The truth remains that there seems to be a closely guarded secret that we do not know yet. The Conservatives should come clean and open about their motives for having a bond with parties like that.
The suspicion becomes stronger in light of the reports about the opinions of Conservative's MEPs elected are now telling us. Obviously, these MEPs, Tory MEP leader Timothy Kirkhope, who recently defended Michal Kaminsky, a Polish Law and Justice Party MEP on derogatory terms the later used against gay people and Mr Helmer has a greater access to their new alliances. So it appears to me that he is either promoting this 'secret motives' or has fallen under the influence of their new bedfellows at the European Parliament. Whichever it be, this is not just another trivial expression but should and must be closely monitored.
For the gay community, it is time to think of the power of your vote.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
The Tories blew their trumpet again that they are inclusive; but this inclusivity is quite porous for my liking. How can you claim to have let the people chose, when in reality, you foisted three – just three – candidates on voters only to claim you have changed the system. Bollocks.
As BBC rightly put it; “the people of Totness were offered a choice…” Again, at the cost it is reported to have been achieved, did anyone re-think the extravagancy of this game? Imagine all constituencies replicating this? Isn’t this a waste of money introducing a blotch that normally shouldn’t cost money?
What are party members for if they cannot successfully select candidates for general elections? Also, the shortlisting of these candidates must have been hijacked by fewer constituency party members thereby denying the general membership their right to presenting a candidate to voters.
And so continues the list of flaws that go with this selection system. In actual sense, it is a manipulative system than than it is open. In that order, it is highly open to abuse.