Ioannis Gatsiounis

Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Reflections on Malaysia as Ugandans Gear Up

In Uncategorized on April 27, 2011 at 3:37 am

April 27, 2011

Three years ago, thousands of Malaysians endured a drizzly Saturday morning in the nation’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, to push for free and fair elections. Around Masjid Jamek, one of the city’s oldest mosques, there was a tentativeness about the protesters, something akin to the first day of school: people clustered idly in small groups, checking out those nearby, wondering who and how to follow. The wheels of protest were rusty; they hadn’t churned in nearly a decade – the last time thousands of Malaysians joined hands to check their government’s autocratic tendencies. Read the rest of this entry »

Analysis: Uganda’s Deadly Crackdown *

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2011 at 12:15 am

April 26, 2011

After his third failed run at the Ugandan presidency in February, opposition leader Kizza Besigye’s rants against government abuse were beginning to sound tired and futile. Opposition demonstrations, like the one held in Kampala’s Kiseka Market last month to protest discrepancies in the landslide election, were having trouble attracting a few dozen supporters. So no one took much notice when Besigye, who heads the Forum for Democratic Change, announced he and other opposition leaders would walk to work to protest the country’s soaring fuel and food prices. Read the rest of this entry »

Student Protest at Makerere – Just What Uganda Doesn’t Need

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2011 at 6:23 am

April 19, 2011

The “demonstration” held last Friday at Makerere University to protest proposed tuition hikes ranks among the most pathetic displays of activism I have witnessed in my 10 years of reporting from the trenches of the oppressed world; and is, coming as it was from students at Uganda’s leading university, at a time when the ruling regime is reverting to militarism, inexcusably reckless. Read the rest of this entry »

In Libya, Washington Refuses to Pander

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2011 at 3:30 am

April 19, 2011

An invasion on false pretense, unlawful detention, torture, and privacy violations seemed to contradict everything America stood for, and thus the Bush era became – indeed still is – a point of shame for all sound-minded Americans.

That shame, fortunately, left America mindful of avoiding a repeat; a more judicious application of power became the collective aim.

But shame also has the power to constrain irrationally, and in the American foreign policy context it has threatened to nurture a superpower reluctant to act decisively against global injustices. Read the rest of this entry »

Uganda’s Opposition Seizes the Agenda

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2011 at 3:11 am

April 15, 2011

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni may have just rekindled opposition leader Kizza Besigye’s dimming political star.

Besigye who lost in a landslide in February’s presidential elections was all but down to his last roll of the political die, unable to attract a hundred people to demonstrate against what he said was yet another rigged election. Opposition members were urging him to step aside to make room for new blood.

On Thursday, however, he was shot in the hand by the much-dreaded army during his second walk-to-work campaign in a week to protest soaring inflation. Within hours pictures were circulating on the web of Besigye at Kampala a sling and a bandage the size of a boxing glove, drawing sympathy even from non-supporters. Read the rest of this entry »