CARTOON OF THE DAY: CONFEDERATE FLAGS. . . .

 

nick anderson confederate flag cartoon

Nick Anderson editorial cartoonist of The Houston Chronicle, March 25, 2015.

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 3-29-2015

SASHIMANI DEVI, LAST OF INDIA’S JAGANNATH TEMPLE DANCERS

Her death was confirmed by Devadutta Samantasinghar, a retired official in the Department of Culture for the state of Odisha, formerly known as Orissa. He has researched the temple’s traditions.

Like most devadasis, or “maharis,” as the dancers in Odisha are known, Sashimani came from a poor family and was initiated into temple service when she was 7 or 8, she said. After she reached puberty, she was considered a “living wife” of Lord Jagannath, the god whose timber image is worshiped at the temple. She was not expected to marry.

At the time, she was one of about 25 women assigned to care for Jagannath and other images of deities at the temple, according to state records. She conducted ritual baths, rubbed the statues with lotion and performed private songs and dances at bedtime, standing at the threshold of the inner sanctum, where the deities were installed.

Sashimani Devi, the last ritual dancer at Jagannath Temple in India. Credit Ranjan Ganguly

But public opinion had turned against the practice, which in many cases exposed young women from lower-caste families to sexual exploitation. When the temple authorities tried to recruit a new generation of dancers in the 1990s, there were no volunteers.

Sashimani remained proud of her status, however, though she complained that the temple authorities had reduced her role in the rituals and paid her a miserly pension. Asked by an interviewer about the god Jagannath, she replied: “He is my husband and I am his wife. There is no dispute about it.”

She was the last to perform a dance that had been practiced in the temple for 5,000 years, Mr. Samantasinghar said.

“The tradition is over; she was the last to dance,” he said in a telephone interview. “There was a time, an era, which is gone — over — with her.”

The status of India’s temple dancers was at its height from the 13th to the 15th centuries, a period when kings depended heavily on the worship of local deities in their temples, said Lucinda E. Ramberg, an assistant professor of anthropology at Cornell University. She wrote a book about modern-day devadasis.

Temple dancers frequently had sexual relationships with wealthy temple patrons, leading British observers to regard them as prostitutes, Professor Ramberg said. Under British rule, laws criminalizing the dedication of devadasis began proliferating in the 1930s, and elite temples like Jagannath began to turn away from the practice. Still, “thousands and thousands” of devadasis are dedicated to this day at smaller temples throughout India, Professor Ramberg said.

A procession at Jagannath Temple during an annual rite in 2010. Credit Noah Seelam/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Sashimani’s father died when she was a child, and her mother, who had also been a temple dancer, “left her at the age of 8 with another devadasi to groom her and take care of her,” Mr. Samantasinghar said. He said he did not know where the child’s mother had gone.

Frédérique Apffel-Marglin, an anthropologist and author of “Wives of the God-King: The Rituals of the Devadasis of Puri,” said that the devadasis at Jagannath Temple were never pressed into prostitution, but that they had traditionally had sexual relationships with the king of Orissa and the temple priests.

A turning point for the practice came in the late 1960s, she said, when the state government took over administration of the temple from the king of Orissa and ordered the temple priests to stop referring to devadasis as “the living goddess.” By the 1980s, the temple dances were nearing extinction, and only a handful of dancers remained, each one frailer than the last.

Ileana Citaristi, an Italian-born scholar of traditional dance in Odisha, sought out Sashimani in 1994 while organizing a government-sponsored conference on traditional dance.

When she found Sashimani, the only surviving dancer, she had been taken in by a local family and received a pension from the temple of 700 rupees a month, or about $12, Ms. Citaristi said. In past centuries, the devadasis had drawn income from land allotted to them by the temple, but temple lands had long since been confiscated, leaving the surviving women destitute, she said.

Ms. Citaristi brought Sashimani with her to the conference, where she performed for the first time in 30 years. “We could have a glimpse of how the dance must have been when it was meant to be for Jagannath and not for the public,” she wrote later.

Afterward, Ms. Citaristi watched as participants bent reverently to touch the feet of Sashimani, then 72. Sashimani was so elated by the attention that for three days she refused to wipe off the vermilion mark she had put on her forehead and the dark kohl she had used to line her eyes.

“It was a sort of revelation for all of us, and also for herself,” Ms. Citaristi recalled, “because up until that moment nobody had gone to her.”

STEVEN SMITH, A ‘MARCO POLO’ OF AMERICAN  TEA

Steven Smith in 2005. He helped found the successful tea companies Stash and Tazo. Credit Motoya Nakamura/The Oregonian

The cause was liver cancer, his company, Steven Smith Teamaker, said.

What Starbucks did for coffee, craft brewers did for beer and artisanal vintners did for wine, Mr. Smith did for the Tao of tea, returning from his worldwide travels with novel varieties to blend.

“Merlin meets Marco Polo” was how the brand strategist Steve Sandstrom described him.

Mr. Smith had abandoned a fledgling ginger-beer business (after his first batch exploded in his closet) when he and partners founded the Stash and Tazo tea companies. Their products were a hit, based on a deceptively simple formula: “Pour hot water over dried leaves, flowers, roots, barks, and enjoy.”

Soon he delivered an arch New Age sales pitch that drew a cult following, gussied up the recipe by reconnoitering plantations in Asia and Africa for ambrosial blends and even persuaded the Food and Drug Administration to certify, as one of Tazo’s exotic ingredients, “the mumbled chantings of a certified tea shaman.”

Steven Smith visiting a Mercy Corps project in Darjeeling, India, in 2007. Credit Tiffany Talbott

Business was so good that Mr. Smith and his partners later sold Stash to Yamamotoyama, one of Japan’s oldest tea companies, and Tazo to Starbucks.

“Steven Smith was one of those principally responsible for America’s present-day tea renaissance,” James Norwood Pratt, the author of “The Ultimate Tea Lover’s Treasury,” said in an interview. “He was the finest creator of tea blends I’ve known.”

Mr. Smith explained his methods to The Kitchn, a web magazine. “I like imagining what a tea will taste like and smell like,” he said, “and then writing the ingredients down on a piece of paper and then blending the ingredients to see if the flavors can meet the expectations of my imagination.”

To taste samples and to perfect blends, he instructed his disciples to first smell the aroma, then inspect the color and “then you slurp, noisily, letting it up to the back of the roof of your mouth.”

Americans drink about four times as much tea as they did 20 years ago, Mr. Pratt said — a trend driven by health concerns about too much caffeine, changing demographics (more young people who are less attracted to coffee; more tea-drinking Asian-Americans) and inspired marketing. The wholesale value of tea sold in the United States since 1990 has increased more than fivefold, to well over $10 billion.

While Smith remains the most common surname in America, the biggest names in tea — Lipton, Twinings, Tetley — have been mostly British and their origins pre-20th century. Bigelow (formulated in the 1940s in a New York brownstone) and Steven Smith’s brands are among the exceptions.

While Americans still drink more coffee, they import and consume more tea today than the British. (The United States is the second-largest importer after Russia, according to the Tea Association of the U.S.A., a trade group.)

Steven Dean Smith was born in Portland on May 29, 1949, to Daniel Smith and the former Verla Slick. The grandmother responsible for introducing him to tea on rainy days also lived in Oregon. After dropping out of Portland State University, he joined the Navy during the Vietnam War.

Returning home, he managed a health food store, capitalizing on the growing counterculture fervor for organic living. He and a partner, Steve Lee, then processed tons of local mint for sale to Lipton and Celestial Seasonings. With the profits, they developed Stash into a specialty tea company. They sold it to Yamamotoyama in 1993.

Joined by other partners, they invested the proceeds in Tazo. A deadpan Steve Sandoz, creative director at an advertising agency that promoted the brand, told the newspaper The Oregonian that the name was derived from “the whirling mating dance of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt and a cheery salutation used by druids and fifth-century residents of Easter Island.”

According to the company, a Gypsy tea-leaf reader said tazo meant “river of life” in Romany.

As chief taster they hired Tony Tellin, a 21-year-old former fire hydrant maker from Iowa who happened to be bicycling by Tazo’s loading dock one day and who, as it turned out, had an uncanny palate for pekoe.

The company thrived. It also teamed up with Mercy Corps, a nonprofit organization, to improve living conditions for tea workers in Darjeeling and Assam in India. The partners sold Tazo to Starbucks in 1999.

Mr. Smith retired, temporarily, in 2006. Bound by a noncompete agreement with Starbucks, he moved to France for a year with his wife, Kim DeMent, whom he married in 1996 in a ceremony performed by a Hindu priest and a Buddhist Rinpoche, or lama, and their son, Jack. They wanted “to learn how to eat long lunches and properly wear a scarf,” Mr. Smith said.

His wife and son survive him, along with a daughter, Carrie Smith-Prei; his sisters, Dana Barron, Lori Carroll and Wendy Wersch; and two grandchildren.

Returning to Portland, the Smiths founded Steven Smith Teamaker in 2010, setting up the company in a former blacksmith shop. They began inventing blends from rooibos and cassia bark, spiking them with black pepper, cardamom and other bouquets and experimenting with tiny batches of high-end medicinal and herbal varieties and matcha lattes.

Grown in the Himalayan foothills and handpicked, the tea in No. 47 Bungalow blend is billed as light yet complex, “with the aroma and flavor of fruits, nuts and flowers complemented by rich, toasty, buttery notes.”

The instructions suggest, “Raise your cup gently with both hands as a quiet salute before drinking.” To brew the perfect cup of Bungalow, Mr. Smith advised bringing freshly drawn filtered water to a boil, pouring it over one sachet of tea (about a teaspoon) and allowing it to steep — three minutes for green and white teas, five minutes for black and herbal infusion teas.

A four-ounce box of Bungalow sells by mail for $20 (plus shipping). Each box bears a number, which, when entered on the company’s website, whimsically details the contents’ provenance.

“The most uncommon name in tea,” the brand boasts, “since 1949” — the year Mr. Smith was born.

Correction: March 27, 2015
An obituary on Thursday about the tea company founder Steven Smith misstated his mother’s given name. She was the former Verla Slick, not Berla.

SOURCE

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GREGORY WALCOTT, ACTOR IN ‘PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE’

Gregory Walcott in 1961 in the TV show “87th Precinct.” Credit Gerald Smith/NBCU Photo Bank, via Getty Images

His death was confirmed by his son, Todd Mattox, who said Mr. Walcott had been in poor health for some time.

When Mr. Walcott, a tall, ruggedly handsome Southerner, was offered the key role of a pilot in “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” the idiosyncratic director Edward D. Wood Jr.’s low-budget 1959 oddity about aliens who bring the dead back to life, he had already been in the hit Henry Fonda Navy comedy “Mister Roberts” (1955) and other movies. He said in a 1998 interview that the “Plan 9” script “made no sense” but that he took the job because one of the producers was a friend of his.

“I thought maybe my name could give the show some credibility,” he said.

The film seemed destined to be no more than a footnote in Mr. Walcott’s busy career. He was a regular on the 1961-62 police series “87th Precinct” and had guest roles on “Bonanza,” “Maverick” and virtually every other TV western. He acted alongside Mr. Eastwood on “Rawhide” and in “The Eiger Sanction” (1975), “Every Which Way but Loose” (1978) and other movies. Often cast as an authority figure, he played lawmen in Steven Spielberg’s “The Sugarland Express” (1974) and Martin Ritt’s “Norma Rae” (1979).

But “Plan 9 From Outer Space” slowly developed a following for its cheap effects, its stilted dialogue and a ragtag cast that included the one-name TV personalities Vampira and Criswell as well as Bela Lugosi, in footage shot shortly before his death in 1956. To Mr. Walcott’s embarrassment, “Plan 9” became a staple at bad-film festivals and the movie with which he was most often associated.

He was born Bernard Wasdon Mattox on Jan. 13, 1928, in Wendell, N.C. After graduating from high school and serving in the Army for two years, he hitchhiked to Hollywood and before long had given himself a new name and was landing small film roles.

In addition to his son, Mr. Walcott is survived by two daughters, Pamela Graves and Jina Virtue, and six grandchildren. His wife of 55 years, the former Barbara May Watkins, died in 2010.

Mr. Walcott came to accept his bad-film fame with good humor. His last screen role was a cameo in Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood” (1994), about the making of “Plan 9” and its eccentric auteur. Mr. Mattox, his son, said that when a bar called Plan 9 Alehouse opened near his home in Escondido, Calif., last year, he gave the owners, with Mr. Walcott’s blessing, a copy of his “Plan 9” script to use as wallpaper in the men’s room.

“I didn’t want to be remembered for that,” Mr. Walcott told The Los Angeles Times in 2000. “But it’s better to be remembered for something than for nothing, don’t you think?”

SOURCE

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EVA BURROWS, SALVATION ARMY’S ‘PEOPLE’S GENERAL’

Eva Burrows at an International Youth Congress in an undated photo. Credit The Salvation Army

Her death, after a brief illness, was confirmed by Maj. John P. Murray, communications secretary for the Salvation Army’s international headquarters in London. In 1986, at 56, General Burrows became the organization’s youngest commander.

To many people, the Salvation Army evokes bell-ringing and red kettles for contributions at Christmas and vans that provide disaster relief. But during her seven-year tenure, General Burrows rekindled the 150-year-old organization’s original goal of evangelism, while insisting, “We don’t use social services as a bait to fish for converts.”

She liked to recount the story of the skeptics who demanded: “The Salvation Army? What are you saving us from?” To which she would reply, “The Salvation Army seeks by God’s grace to save people from the mess they make of their lives.”

Eva Burrows, the 13th general of the Salvation Army, with Pope John Paul II in Edinburgh during his 1982 visit to Britain. Credit Associated Press

Her affinity for everyday individuals earned her the sobriquet “the people’s general.”

Evangeline Evelyn Burrows was born in Tighes Hill, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, on Sept. 15, 1929. Her parents, Robert and Ella Burrows, were both Salvation Army majors.

She seemed destined for her job. Her parents named her after Evangeline Booth, daughter of the Salvation Army’s founder and the first woman chosen to be its international commander, serving from 1934 to 1939. And when her father, an evangelical preacher, rushed home from a Sunday service the morning she was born, he lifted his baby daughter and declared, “I dedicate this child to the glory of God and the salvation of the world.”

The eighth of nine children, General Burrows is survived by one sister, Margaret Southwell.

She grew up poor — “We shared the life of poverty of the people around us,” she said in a 1996 interview for the television show “Australian Biography” — and steeped in the teachings of a denomination rooted in the Methodist tradition.

She recalled playing the tambourine when she was 5 or 6 and rebelling — “flying my wings and wanting to be myself” — in high school, and she became the first in her family to attend a university, Queensland, majoring in English and history. She returned to the fold after she attended an evangelical service for young people and was invited to come forward to what is called the mercy seat. She knelt, asked God to forgive her rebelliousness and vowed to submit to his will.

“It was like being at an altar when you bring your gift to the altar,” she said in the television interview. “I brought myself, and from that time on there was no question in my mind that my life was to be devoted to God, and within the orbit of the Salvation Army. That’s, I suppose, what you mean by conviction.”

She considered the Salvation Army a vocation rather than a career and her commitment so unshakable that she decided not to marry.

She attended the Salvation Army’s William Booth Memorial Training College in London, and she was commissioned an officer in 1951. She trained teachers in what is now Zimbabwe, earned a master’s degree in education from Sydney University, ran social service programs for women in Britain and served as territorial commander in Sri Lanka, Scotland and Southern Australia before the army’s high council elected her its 13th general.

She was an outspoken critic of apartheid in South Africa, and she revamped the organization’s global leadership structure, imposed strict financial controls after a fraud scandal and conferred regularly with heads of state. She was so admired that her five-year term was extended by two years. During that time, she engineered the Salvation Army’s return to Russia, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and Hungary, where it had been banned under Communist rule.

Even after she retired in 1993, she continued working with homeless youth and leading Bible studies in Melbourne. She also served on the board of the International Bible Society.

General Burrows prided herself on her vitality, her vision and her ability to galvanize what were then an estimated 1.5 million adherents of the Salvation Army and 17,000 active officers in 90 nations.

“One of the big factors of leadership is to exude inspiration so that people want to follow,” she said in the television interview. “It’s a terrible thing when a leader looks behind and there’s no one coming.”

SOURCE

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SKYWATCH: NOVA SAGITTARII REBRIGHTENS, NASA SELECTS ASTEROID MISSION CONCEPT, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

NASA Selects Asteroid Mission Concept

In a step forward for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, the agency has opted to retrieve a boulder from a larger asteroid.

MAVEN Spots Dust Cloud, Aurora on Mars

NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft has detected dust high in Mars’s atmosphere and auroras across the planet’s northern hemisphere.

OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, March 27 – April 4

Observe International Earth Hour this Saturday by turning off your lights at 8:30 p.m. local time, then heading outside to see the waxing gibbous Moon and Jupiter amidst the evening stars. And on Friday, a barely-there total lunar eclipse awaits.

Nova Sagittarii Rebrightens!

The brightest nova since 2013 peaked and dimmed, but now its behavior is unsettled. It’s an easy catch in binoculars before dawn, a bit higher every morning.

Mizar – A Fresh Look at an Old Friend

You might be tempted to pass up this familiar star for more exotic quarry, but take another look at a multiple star with a most interesting history.

COMMUNITY

Reports from March 20th’s Solar Eclipse

With risky prospects on far-northern islands and at a premium aboard aircraft, observers looked on with awe as the Moon’s shadow swept across the Arctic Ocean.

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HATEWATCH: STORMFRONT: 20 YEARS OF ONLINE HATE

Tomorrow, March 27, 2015, is the 20th anniversary of the biggest hate site on the Internet.

The following are links from the Southern Poverty Law Center website with a timeline on the most racist and hateful group on the Internet today.

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stormfront

Stormfront: Spreading Hate Worldwide

Tomorrow marks 20 years that the white supremacist web site Stormfront has been serving up all forms of hate to its racialist and often violent audience. To mark this occasion, Hatewatch will be running a series of stories about the hate site, its activities, its principals and its funders.

We start today with an exposé about Stormfront radio, which the site’s founder Stephen “Don” Black launched about a year ago on the Rense Radio Network. Beamed into hundreds of thousands of homes across North American and Europe, Stormfront radio is now one of the largest purveyors of hate propaganda in the world.

READ: Stormfront Radio: Racists in Space

VIDEO: 20 Years Of Online Hate

 

anton brevik

 

More on Stormfront:

An interactive timeline of Don Black and Stormfront

Read our report on Stormfront: White Homicide Worldwide

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF SLAVERY VICTIMS AND THE TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE: MARCH 25, 2015

 

International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is on March 25 each year. It honors the lives of those who died as a result of slavery or experienced the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade. It is also an occasion to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice.

Broken Chain

The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade remembers the lives of transatlantic slave trade victims.
The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade remembers the lives of transatlantic slave trade victims.
©iStockphoto.com/Perttu Sironen

 

2015 Theme: “Women and Slavery”

“This year’s Day of Remembrance pays particular tribute to the many women who suffered and died during the slave trade. … Women slaves played a key role in maintaining the dignity of their communities. Too often their leadership and brave resistance have been underestimated or forgotten.”

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

 

What do people do?

Various events are held on the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. These include memorial services and vigils for those who died in slavery, as a result of the slave trade, or from campaigning to end of slavery. In addition, African-American inspired music is performed and exhibitions of art and poetry inspired during the slave trade era are opened.

This day is also an occasion to educate the public, especially young people, about the effects of racism, slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. Educational events are held in schools, colleges and universities.

Public life

The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

About 17 million people were transported against their will from Africa to North, Central and South America during the 16th century and up until the 19th century. Millions more died while being transported to the Americas. This mass deportation and resulting slavery are seen as one of the worst violations of human rights. Some experts believe that its effects are still felt in Africa’s economies.

Slavery was officially abolished in the United States on February 1, 1865. However, racial segregation continued throughout most of the following century and racism remains an important issue today. Hence, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is an occasion to discuss the transatlantic slave trade’s causes, consequences and lessons. It is hoped that this will raise awareness of the dangers of racism and prejudice.

On December 17, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly designated March 25 as the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. It was first observed in 2008.

Themes

The theme in 2008 was “Breaking the Silence, Lest We Forget”.

International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Tue Mar 25 2008 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Wed Mar 25 2009 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Thu Mar 25 2010 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Fri Mar 25 2011 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Sun Mar 25 2012 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Mon Mar 25 2013 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Tue Mar 25 2014 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Wed Mar 25 2015 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Fri Mar 25 2016 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Sat Mar 25 2017 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Sun Mar 25 2018 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Mon Mar 25 2019 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Wed Mar 25 2020 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH DETAINED AND MISSING STAFF MEMBERS: MARCH 25, 2015

 

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members

March 25 is the International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members. This date is the anniversary of the abduction of Alec Collett, a journalist who died while working for the UN.

Diversity

March 25 is the UN Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing UN Personnel.
March 25 is the UN Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing UN Personnel.
©iStockphoto.com/Jay and Varina Patel

What do people do

The UN promotes the International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members to encourage governments to do more in their power to protect UN personnel in their jobs.

The day is also a moment to remember UN personnel who have been abducted whilst doing their job, such as journalist Alec Collett. Collett worked for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East when he was abducted by armed gunman in on March 25, 1985.  His body was found in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley in 2009 and eventually returned to his family.

Public life

The International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members is a UN observance and not a public holiday

Background

Over the years, many UN personnel have been kidnapped while working for the UN and many more continue to face threats to their freedom and security.  According to the UN’s Department of Safety and Security, at least 28 UN civilian personnel were detained or arrested in 2010 in cases that were considered job-related.

The UN’s International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members was created to bring awareness to these kidnappings and to call for governments and communities to protect UN workers.

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sun Mar 25 2001 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Mon Mar 25 2002 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Tue Mar 25 2003 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Thu Mar 25 2004 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Fri Mar 25 2005 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Sat Mar 25 2006 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Sun Mar 25 2007 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Tue Mar 25 2008 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Wed Mar 25 2009 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Thu Mar 25 2010 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Fri Mar 25 2011 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Sun Mar 25 2012 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Mon Mar 25 2013 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Tue Mar 25 2014 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Wed Mar 25 2015 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Fri Mar 25 2016 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Sat Mar 25 2017 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Sun Mar 25 2018 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Mon Mar 25 2019 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Wed Mar 25 2020 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance

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INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE RIGHT TO THE TRUTH CONCERNING GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND FOR THE DIGNITY OF VICTIMS: MARCH 24, 2015

 

International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims

The United Nations (UN) holds a special day to promote a human rights issue on March 24 each year. This day is called the “International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims”.

The UN encourages people to learn about human rights issues, including the right to truth.
The UN encourages people to learn about human rights issues, including the right to truth.
©iStockphoto.com/ RichVintage

What do people do

The UN holds various global activities to promote this event. It also encourages governments and people worldwide to observe this international day by:

  • Honoring victims of human rights violations and promote the importance of the right to truth and justice.
  • Paying tribute to those who have devoted their lives to, and lost their lives in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all.
  • Recognizing the important work and values of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, of El Salvador, who was assassinated on March 24, 1980, after denouncing human rights violations and defending the principles of protecting lives, promoting human dignity and opposing violence.

Public life

The International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is a UN observance and not a public holiday.

Background

In 2006 the UN confirmed that people had the right to know the truth about gross human rights violations and serious violations of human rights law. Furthermore, this right was linked to governments’ duty and obligation to protect and guarantee human rights, to conduct effective investigations and to guarantee effective remedy and reparations.

In December 2010, in a bid to promote human rights, the UN proclaimed March 24 as the “International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims”. The day remembers human rights victims, including Archbishop Romero, who campaigned for human rights for many years and was shot at a church altar in 1980.

International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Thu Mar 24 2011 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Sat Mar 24 2012 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Sun Mar 24 2013 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Mon Mar 24 2014 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Tue Mar 24 2015 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Thu Mar 24 2016 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Fri Mar 24 2017 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Sat Mar 24 2018 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Sun Mar 24 2019 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Tue Mar 24 2020 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance

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