personal reflections on human rights...and other stuff

Dear Santa, here's my human rights Xmas wish list

Dear Santa,
I know you're busy this time of year. I'll spare you the usual "peace around the world" stuff I used to wish for as a kid before reality set in. Let me be brief. Here's what I'd like from you this Christmas:
  1. Now that Harper has a majority, I realize that completely removing the Conservatives from Ottawa is an unreasonable wish. Instead, could you at least make them smarter? Let them rethink adoption of the new crime bill, scrapping the gun registry, abandoning Kyoto, and please, pretty please with sugar on top, let them respect, protect, and fulfill all human rights of the First Nation people of this land.
  2. You might as well give the opposition NDP members of parliament a little more teeth since you'll be in the neighbourhood. Kinda went downhill after Jack left us.
  3. Do me a big favour and get rid of president Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Government forces have killed about 5000 demonstrators this year alone, and it doesn't look as though he will have a change of heart anytime soon.
  4. While you're in the region, could you make sure the Kingdom of Bahrain has elections for a new Prime Minister? He's been kicking around the kingdom since 1971. It seems rather excessive. I left my job after nearly ten years - you know, I liked my job, but it felt good to move on. See if he can too.
  5. Since you'll be in Bahrain, why not release all those prisoners who have been detained since the uprisings in February? My friend Abdulhadi Alkhawaja was sentenced to life in prison - could you spring him out of jail? 
  6. I've noticed on YouTube that police officers in Egypt are getting quite good at beating the crap out of unarmed protestors. Why not give them all a training course in maintaining order without all the violence? Everyone can play nice if they try hard enough.
  7. The Occupy movement has fizzled over the past few weeks. I'm not sure it'll go very far over the winter months, at least in places where it can get pretty cold (I know, I know: not as cold as your place). Nonetheless, could you find us (as in we the 99%) a suitably inspiring figure who will reinvigorate us and decisively and confidently lead us to action that will bring about real change? That elf of yours who wanted to be a dentist had a lot of gumption, is he free?
  8. It's easy to forget about Mugabe down in Zimbabwe, but let's face it: he's way past his expiry date. Go ahead and cast a magic spell on him or something so he decides to fess up to the violence he caused over all these years and step down. Let democratically-elected leaders get on with the business of rebuilding that beautiful country.
  9. Getting rid of Mugabe would also give an opportunity to bring in an era where gay rights are fully recognized as human rights. You may only be able to do so much in Zimbabwe, so if you had to focus your attention somewhere, may I suggest you go to Cameroon and Uganda for a start and have those in power change legislation criminalizing homosexuality with harsh sentences.
  10. Now that I think of it, Yemen doesn't get as much airtime as other hotspots in the Middle East, but listen: I've got some friends there, they do good stuff to help promote girls' rights. The current climate there is not favourable to their work. President Saleh promised he'd step down. He's apparently taken leave now, so can you make sure there is a transition to a better system of governance? Maybe give all prospective leaders an Xbox or something to make them happy; it's a price worth paying.
  11. President Obama has been a bit of a letdown lately. I don't expect him to live up to all the things he said he'd do upon entering office, but let him at least close Guantanamo Bay and give the "enemy combatants" fair trials.
  12. There's still no snow in Montreal. It'd be nice to have a white Christmas for the kids.
Thanks Santa. Keep up the good work.



1 comment :

class action lawyer said...

That will be a great Christmas wish list that you have there. If only Santa will grant your last wish about Obama and his promises, I think it will be very worth it.