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    UN Elects Rights Violators to Human Rights Council

    UN Elects Rights Violators to Human Rights Council
    EDITH M LEDERER / AP WRITER
    Friday, May 14, 2010

    UNITED NATIONS — Seven countries accused of human rights violations, including Libya, Angola and Malaysia, won seats on the UN Human Rights Council in an uncontested election Thursday.

    The UN General Assembly approved all 14 candidates for the 14 seats on the 47-member council by wide margins despite campaigns by human rights groups to deny countries with poor rights records the minimum number of votes needed.

    All 14 countries easily topped the 97 votes required from the 192-member world body. Libya, which currently holds the presidency of the General Assembly, received the lowest number of votes—155—while Angola got 170 and Malaysia 179.

    In addition to these three countries, human rights groups criticized the poor rights records of Thailand, Uganda, Mauritania and Qatar which also won seats.

    The seven other countries that won seats were Maldives, Ecuador, Guatemala, Spain, Switzerland, Moldova and Poland.

    Iran withdrew from the race on April 23 after facing strong global opposition for severe human rights abuses including the government's crackdown on opposition supporters.

    US Ambassador Susan Rice said it was "notable ... that Iran's bid fell short."

    Human rights groups and other non-governmental organizations also successfully opposed the election of Iran and Venezuela in 2006, Belarus in 2007, Sri Lanka in 2008, and Azerbaijan in 2009.

    The 14 countries elected Thursday will serve three-year terms starting June 19 on the Geneva-based council, which was created in March 2006 to replace the UN's widely discredited and highly politicized Human Rights Commission.

    The council, however, has also been widely criticized for failing to change many of the commission's practices, including putting much more emphasis on Israel than on any other country.

    The United States voted against the council's creation during the Bush administration but reversed its position and won a seat last year after President Barack Obama took office.

    Rice cited "some progress" since the US has been on the council, noting its approval of a "milestone" resolution on freedom of expression, its investigation of last year's massacre and rapes in Guinea, and adoption of stronger resolutions condemning rights violations in Burma, Congo, Somalia and Sudan.

    "We remain committed to strengthening and reforming this council," Rice told reporters. "We hope that the new council's composition for the most part will provide us with partners—not all but most—with whom we can work constructively."

    The NGO Coalition for an Effective Human Rights Council said the failure of UN regional groups to put forward competitive slates deprived the General Assembly of the opportunity to elect the most qualified countries.

    "Those who want the council to improve have to commit themselves to competitive elections and be willing to compete themselves for a seat," said Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, a coalition member.

    "Without competitive elections," she told AP, "we'll continue to see states that don't meet the qualifications set by the General Assembly getting seats like Libya, Angola and Malaysia."

    Under the resolution that established the council, members are expected to "uphold the highest standards" of human rights and "fully cooperate" with it.

    Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based UN Watch, which heads a coalition of 37 human rights organizations that campaigned for the US and European Union to defeat Libya's candidacy, said that "by electing serial human rights violators, the UN violates its own criteria as well as common sense."

    "Choosing Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to judge others on human rights is a joke," Neuer said in a statement. "He'll use the position not to promote human rights but to shield his record of abuse, and those of his allies."

    irrawaddy.org

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    right and the US is not a human right violator by any chance ?

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    right that's that then , toss Human Rights out cause the US has abused them .

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    Human rights groups run by governments that commit human rights violations, murders etc etc etc, thats cool


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    right that's that then , toss Human Rights out cause the US has abused them
    no but it doesn't bring any credibility to those organizations,

    again who is your daddy ?

  6. #6
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    as usual , easy to criticize , haven't heard you suggest an alternative ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    haven't heard you suggest an alternative ?
    right because I work in the UN, I could propose such an alternative

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    nah , just keep up the negatives , your real good at that

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    ^ you are a bit naive, mid, there is no alternative, that's the problem, we can only criticize what we have by showing where the problems are, that's half the solution already

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    The difference between western countries where civil rights abuses are alleged to occur and countries like Cuba, China, and the Islamic & African bloc that sit on this bogus council is that an aggrieved party has recourse in a Western country. The government of Canada has paid out tens of millions of dollars in compensation. Similar cases have been brought in the USA and UK. Sorry, but pointing a finger at the USA as justification for the genocide in Darfur or slave labour penal colonies in China is a canard. I'll take my chances with the USA any day vs. some nutter wearing a uniform in Bangladesh.

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    un bunch of jokers

    What about the human right that are being slowly eroded away in the uk. Winston will not be happy.

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    Thailand: Chaining of wounded detainees
    Saturday, 19 June 2010

    Press Release: Asian Human Rights Commission

    Thailand : Chaining of wounded detainees under Emergency Decree

    The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is writing to you regarding the treatment of detainees under the state of emergency that your government has imposed in Bangkok and other provinces of Thailand in response to protests that gripped the capital in recent months.

    The AHRC has numerous grave concerns regarding circumstances of arrest and detention under the state of emergency imposed via the Emergency Decree BE 2548 (2005), which the AHRC strongly opposed from the time of its introduction under the government of your predecessor, Pol. Lt. Col. Thaksin Shinawatra.

    One of these concerns relates to the highly problematic provision that detainees under the decree not be held in official places of detention by virtue of their peculiar legal status as persons under custody but not charged with any offences. According to information currently available through various sources, among detainees being held in non-official detention facilities are persons who were wounded during the protests, who are being held in separate wards in medical facilities, and who are allegedly being chained to their beds.

    Two cases reported in the media in recent days were of Mr. Jaran Loiphun (age 39) and Mr. Nattapon Thongkhun (age 20), of Bangkok, both of whom were shot during the military crackdown on the Ratchaprasong protest.

    Nattapon was reportedly shot three times in front of the Lumpini Police Station on 14 May 2010. According to Nattapon, around noon on 14 May he and his friends were driving motorbikes from Petchburi Road to meet friends at Sathorn Road. When they reached the area in front of Lumpini Police Station, a group of protestors were burning a police bus on Wireless Road. When soldiers shot into the group of protestors, a shotgun blast went into his shoulder, and an M16 bullet went into his hand. He tried to get up to ask for help, but another shotgun blast hit his left leg. The protestors brought him to the Police Hospital. Nattapon explained that one day after that, as he was coming out of anaesthesia following surgery, police came to interrogate him. They accused him of violating the Emergency Decree. He was moved from a bed for ordinary people to a room for people facing accusations; there was another injured protestor in the room with him. He has since been shackled to his bed, g uarded by police officers and allowed only short visits from family.

    Jaran was reportedly shot twice at Pratunam intersection on 19 May 2010. The first shot was from a shotgun and was embedded in his left leg. The second bullet was from an M16 and went through his hand. According to Jaran, on the afternoon of 19 May, he was walking towards the area of Pratunam intersection. He saw a group of 4-5 soldiers walking about 20 metres in front of him. He was afraid and so he began to run away. But this group of soldiers shot at him. Jaran said that after he was hit by the shotgun he tried to get up and run again and the soldiers shot him with the M16. Jaran has also reportedly been shackled to the hospital bed, and he is being guarded by police officers.

    For many years, the AHRC and other concerned organisations and individuals have voiced outrage at the shackling and otherwise barbaric treatment of accused criminal prisoners in Thailand. In the aftermath of the crackdown on the protests, there are also many reports of persons detained under the Emergency Decree in ambiguous and uncertain circumstances being similarly ill-treated.

    As Thailand is now a member of the UN Human Rights Council, it should not be necessary for the AHRC to remind your government of its obligations under international law; however, in light of the many reports of the sort cited above in recent days, we draw your attention to the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, under Rule 33 of which "chains or irons shall not be used as restraints" and other instruments of restraint shall be used only during a transfer of detainees as a precaution against escape, on medical grounds by order of a medical officer, or as a means to prevent self harm. Clearly, none of these circumstances apply in the cases described above.

    The government of Thailand should be further aware that under the UN Convention against Torture, to which it is a party, the chaining of wounded detainees could constitute an act of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment that would place it in clear violation of its responsibilities under international law.

    Aside from being uncomfortable and humiliating for the persons in custody, this type of maltreatment engenders other types of abuse, and an attitude of contempt towards detainees among security personnel. In its most extreme form, it results in the handling of detainees as mere objects rather than human beings at all, leading to events such as the mass deaths in military trucks of persons in Narathiwat after the protests outside the Tak Bai Police Station of 2004. For this reason, all types of chaining and custodial maltreatment that are either explicitly endorsed through law or tacitly encouraged through routine practices are worthy of strong condemnation.

    Accordingly, the Asian Human Rights Commission urges your government to ensure that all persons detained under the Emergency Decree are treated with human dignity and respect and specifically that wounded persons held under the decree are not chained or otherwise restrained while receiving treatment in hospital.

    The AHRC also takes this opportunity to call for a full accounting of persons being held under the decree, for the prompt bringing of charges or release of all these persons, for all of these persons to be guaranteed their civil rights, including their rights of access to lawyers and family members, and to be guaranteed their rights to be free from torture and other forms of human rights abuse. Finally, we again call upon your government to lift the state of emergency without any further delay and return your country to the rule of law rather than rule by decree and the de facto military administration under which it has been placed in recent weeks.

    Yours sincerely
    Basil Fernando
    Director
    Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong

    Cc:
    1. Mr. Chaowarat Chanweerakul, Minister of Interior, Thailand
    2. Mr. Peeraphan Saleeratwipak, Minister of Justice, Thailand
    3. Mr. Kasit Piromya, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Thailand
    4. Homayoun Alizadeh, Regional Representative, OHCHR, Bangkok, Thailand
    5. UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
    6. UN Special Rapporteur on the question of torture

    ENDS

    scoop.co.nz

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    These HR organisations are a waste of time and money.
    No teeth, everybody just takes the piss out of em.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slopperout View Post
    These HR organisations are a waste of time and money.
    No teeth, everybody just takes the piss out of em.
    Perhaps.
    However, I draw your attention to the fact that it is the Asian Human Rights Commission (Hong Kong) that is raising the issue. I do not recall the Bangkok Post or the Nation Media Group breaking the story. I do not see any of Mr. Abhisit's loyal supporters, the one's that keep telling us that the current government is good, and decent openly discussing the issue. Groups like the AHRC serve the purpose by recording the wrongs, by serving as a witness to history. Back in the good old days, it was easier to kill and torture one's opponents. The human rights organizations remind the abusers that people are watching. Somehow rapists, murderers and torturers are not as focused when they know someone is making notes for the court date that will eventually follow.

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    Thailand is selected for presidency of UNHRC, according to Foreign Minister´s Secretary
    Panita Norasing
    BANGKOK, 21 June 2010 (NNT) – Forty-one countries count on Thailand as one of the five countries holding the presidency of The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

    Secretary to Foreign Minister Chavanond Intarakomalyasut stated that Thailand was the first country in ASEAN to be selected as the president of UNHRC. It will also be an opportunity of the country to regain reputation and clarify on the human right violating case during political demonstration, saying that the government had followed peaceful measure and gave the right to protesters to demonstrate.

    The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the UN system, comprising 47 States responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe. The Council was created by the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 with the main purpose of addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.

    thainews.prd.go.th

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    Thai chosen to head UN human rights body; reflects international confidence



    VIENNA, June 28 (TNA) - Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations, Sihasak Phuangketkeow, recently named president of the world body's United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), said his election demonstrates the country's positive international profile and helps increase its visibility on the world stage.

    The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system comprising 47 nations responsible for providing humanitarian assistance, while strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world.

    Mr Sihasak was the only candidate nominated from Asia and won the votes of 41 countries.

    Describing his election as an international recognition of Thailand, Mr Sihasak said as the country now holding UNHRC presidency, it will need to be clear and stand firm on its stance on some issues it had previously avoided. Thailand must perform as head of the Human Rights Council by being based on justice, which may not satisfy all parties concerned.

    "All countries are watching us. I believe if we can perform well in this world community, positive feedback will return to us, which will help us in terms of bilateral ties with other nations," Mr Sihasak said.

    He had been considering withdrawing his candidacy if Thailand's recent political situations had not eased. But once he was elected for this new position despite the country's political chaos, he became positive other countries were confident on Thailand, particularly on a human rights issue.

    "Before I was elected, I had tried to explain to the meetings of our transparency in dealing with previous political situations. The clarification satisfied all countries, and that was one of the reasons they voted for us, for they saw our readiness, transparency and clear explanation," said Mr Sihasak.

    The new UNHRC head wants to strengthen the Council's role, and said his goal would be achieved by assistance of Thailand's firm position at the international level.

    mcot.net

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    Thailand is no human rights champion

    Thailand is no human rights champion
    The election of Thailand as chair of the UN human rights council has little to do with its record but may make the country change


    Pokpong Lawansiri
    guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 30 June 2010 15.02 BST
    Article history
    The recently concluded session of the UN human rights council, an intergovernmental organisation tasked to promote and protect human rights worldwide, ended with the election of Thailand as the new president to the 47-member council.

    The result of the election is quite a surprise, given that Thailand has recently gone through the worst political violence the country in decades. The crackdown in May and June by government troops on anti-government redshirts resulted in the death of 88 people and injuries to at least 2,000 people.

    After the violent dispersal, a small militant faction of the protesters expressed their anger over the deaths by setting fires in Bangkok shopping malls and the stock exchange – all symbols of high disparities between the rich and the poor in the country.

    Thailand's ministry of foreign affairs issued a public statement highlighting that the election result "clearly reflects the confidence that countries around the world have in Thailand and its human rights policies and standards".

    Can this election of the council's presidency be viewed as a realistic reflection of Thailand's human rights standards?

    The council was set up in 2006 to replace the contentiously debated UN commission on human rights. The election of the presidency is done on a rotating basis from five regional groups: Latin America and Caribbean, eastern Europe, Africa, western Europe and other states, and Asia. Since 2006, representatives of all four regional groups have served as presidents to the council, with the exception of Asia.

    Based on this, Thailand was not competing against countries with better recognised human rights records such as those governments of Switzerland or Norway. Instead, Thailand was competing against countries in Asia, namely Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan and Maldives – all of which are criticised by rights watchdogs as human rights violators.

    Both Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan, prior to the election, resigned from the contest after fierce campaigns by human rights groups claiming they were unsuitable contestants to head the council.

    Bangladesh, recognised by Foreign Policy's 2010 index as a failed state, is just recovering from years of emergency rule. Human Rights Watch documented the mutiny by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in 2009, which killed 70 people and saw arrests of more than 2,100 members of the BDR. After one year, more than 60 BDR members have died in custody.

    Kyrgyzstan, in the other head, is in an unstable political situation after a clash between ethnic Kyrgyz with Uzbeks, which resulted in at least 2,000 deaths.

    The election, therefore, only left Maldives and Thailand to compete.

    Maldives, a relatively young democracy, has only just emerged from a history of military coups and held its first democratic election in 2008. The country was ruled by Maumoon Gayoom, who denied free and fair elections, for 20 years. Being a small country, the Maldives lacked the political leverage required to convince member states of their leadership.

    This is how the council was left with Thailand. As chair of the Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2009, Thailand had strong support from the member states in addition to many other states that could be provided by its ambassador.

    We can see that the election result is differs from the simple explanation given by the Thai government that Thailand is a champion of human rights.

    Based on this, what can we make of the situation and how could this effect the country?

    First, a Geneva-based human rights activist told me that the election of the president "does not mean, if strictly speaking, that Thailand is the council president". However, it is more appropriate to highlight that ambassador Sihasak Phuangketkeow, the permanent representative of Thailand to the UN, is serving as the president in his personal capacity. She also highlighted that "many times the capacity and capability of the ambassador is an important component for consideration when it comes to the presidency".

    Sihasak, given that he was tasked to draft the terms of reference for the ASEAN commission on human rights, is recognised for his professionalism and his openness to human rights groups. Furthermore, as the council approaches their 2011 review process, it was imperative that the president be someone with a deep understanding of the rules and procedures of the council so as to lead the review process in a confident manner.

    Second, Thailand's position can open up space for groups to call on the government to live up to the highest standards of human rights which includes the need to set up an internationally recognised investigation into the deaths of the protesters, including six unarmed civilians in the temple used as a refuge for women and children.

    The Thai government shall also take in the demands of 55 Asian NGOs by allowing UN independent experts (IEs) to enter Thailand. They will conduct human rights investigations on issues such as freedom of expression, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary detention.

    This leeway used to pressure the government shall include the end to emergency decree, which allowed the arbitrary arrests of at least 417 protesters by the government and the censorship of news websites critical of the government. Reporters Without Borders has documented at least 4,500 websites critical of the government that have been blocked by the government since April, while Freedom Against Censorship Thailand in a personal communication with the writer puts the number at 12,000.

    Last, the Thai government must know that as the council's president, the pressure that it will face will be much fiercer than before as it is in the position of exposing itself to more criticisms and scrutiny. It must expect extensive pressure from rights groups and governments alike if it fails to set itself up as an example, as the head of an organisation whose aim is to "uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights". Thailand is no human rights champion | Pokpong Lawansiri | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

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    Thailand has yet to go on record .......................

    EDITORIAL

    No reward for abuses
    2/05/2011

    The United Nations Human Rights Council is once again up to its old tricks of enabling dictators and winking at their violent abuses.



    This time, the most favoured nation of the supposed human rights monitors is Syria. The regime of Bashar al-Assad has recently killed more than 700 citizens who criticised the ruler in their streets, and hundreds of others have ''disappeared''. Tanks have rolled into cities where Mr Assad believed Syrians were organising protests against his rule. In the meantime, the UNHRC is preparing for an ''election'' in about two weeks where Syria will be welcomed as a full member. This matters even more than usual, because the chairman of the UNHRC is Thailand.

    The human rights division of the United Nations has long served the dictators and military juntas of the world. The people who have lost their human rights have rarely got a look from the body. Several years back, the group became so ludicrously pro-dictator that the UN itself dissolved it, and created the UNHRC. The idea was to keep the most dreadful abusers off the council _ Burma, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, etc _ while suffering the occasional milder torturer. Of course, it never works out that way, as Mr Assad is currently demonstrating.

    He convinced many he was a reformer, but he is the same old violent dictator that his father was.

    One of the main problems is that members of the UNHRC are not actually elected. They are selected by region, on a basis of nothing more than whose turn it is. Thailand had the temerity to actually run for a position on the council twice, and was soundly defeated both times. In 2009, it became the country's turn to take a three-year seat, and the ''election'' was a foregone conclusion. It is all as democratic and accountable as, well, an election in Syria.

    This year is Syria's ''turn'' to be named to the UN body charged with monitoring human rights around the world. The country has been strongly endorsed by the Arab League, which should be ashamed of bestowing such an honour on such a violent and abusive regime as that of Mr Assad. And since the Asian region backs Syria as a member, the rest of the UNHRC will blindly follow.

    That includes the chairman of the group, Thailand. Since becoming the chair of the UNHRC nearly a year ago, Thailand has yet to go on record to question any country over its human rights actions or abuses. Last month, Thailand as a member of the UNHRC strongly approved a laudatory report on the dedication to human rights of Libya. Burma last year told the UNHRC it ''has now reached the final stages of its transition to democracy''. Thailand signed a report that ''supported [Burma's] democratisation and national reconciliation processes''. Under Thai guidance, the UN body wrote that Laos needs to keep up the splendid work in education, its fight against poverty and the continuous advances in human rights.

    This is not to say that the UNHRC has totally ignored its duty to investigate countries. It has scheduled a meeting to review the human rights situation in Syria. The hearing will be held on Oct 7 and last three hours.
    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has denounced the Syrian regime for killing hundreds, but refuses to intervene in the UNHRC process. It was only a month ago that the Human Rights Council was about to sign off on a report lauding Libya for its adherence to high principles. There is simply no way that Syria deserves the honour of a seat on the UNHRC, and Thailand should be taking strong, public steps to stop it.

    bangkokpost.com


    Since becoming the chair of the UNHRC nearly a year ago, Thailand has yet to go on record to question any country over its human rights actions or abuses.

    which is exactly what the plan was when the Thai's decided to campaign for the Chair .

    Absolutely disgraceful Khun Thai .



    .

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    Yeah but Syria is probably buying guns and stuff, its called trade mid, so a few uppitys get killed, it aint so bad, anyway, maybe next time that nice mr Thaskin or Abhisit can stand for it, they aint killed many civilians, seem like nice chaps to me.

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    Syria is a side show , in this context ,

    The real story is the Thai's lack of backbone .

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    Anyway, Thaksin was ok, yeah there was that tiny problem of 3,000 supposedly druggies he executed, just a missunderstanding though, and of course the uppity muslims in Tai bai, it aint thaksins fault they didn't have enough lorries, I'm sure he didn't want 90 of them to suffocate to death when they piled them up in the lorries, all just a missunderstanding. Probably died of starvation as it was that time anyway.

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    Probably not the time to mention Abhisit and those darkies from Burma who he had towed out to sea then in engineless boats without food and water, but apart from that he seems a nice chap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    Probably died of starvation as it was that time anyway.
    well according to T they were already weak from Ramadan .

    "because they were already weak from fasting during the month of Ramadan."

    http://www.iklan-mudah.com/planet/The-Ghosts-of-Tak-Bai

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    Probably not the time to mention Abhisit and those darkies from Burma who he had towed out to sea
    Apparently he won't do that again ..............................

    boats of Rohingya were towed out and abandoned at sea. Abhisit promises to bring those responsible to account, although he insists they were given food and water,

    'World's Untold Stories: A Forgotten People' - Press Releases - Turner Asia

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