Wednesday, September 10, 2014

EDITORIAL: Media Censorship in South Sudan is Irresponsible!

The saddest thing about the crisis in South Sudan isn't merely the case that the average person is suffering. The saddest thing is that the South Sudanese government has adopted the very same oppressive instruments the SPLM & SPLA leadership fought against for over 20 years.

 And these maladies include... -

- Censoring News institutions
 - Cracking down on anti-government opinions
 - Dividing the country along ethnic lines while denying it
- Grotesque level of corruption and stunted development
 - Extrajudicial killings and arbitrary arrests without trials.
- Selective development programs

From being the voice of the people of South Sudan, Juba has taken the persona Khartoum has been using against the peoples of South Sudan for decades. However, the officials don't see anything wrong with that. This gives one an impression that the official believe that such ills are bad only if done by others and good if done by South Sudanese.

The voice of the people has become the oppressive metals against the very people the voice fought to seemingly liberate.

The constant intimidation of media personalities, and recent claims by the South Sudanese minister of information, Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth, that journalists shouldn't air rebels' interviews in South Sudan, are deeply worrying!

This erroneous claim assumes a lot of things. It assumes that interviewing rebels translates to supporting them. It also assumes that letting South Sudanese know the rebels' side of the story is to support their claims. This is to destroy journalistic impartiality and ethics.

While the government has every right to make sure that people in government controlled areas don't air their own personal views in support of rebels and against the government, it's sure madness to say that airing rebels views in South Sudan is subversive. Subversive activities are activities supporting the sentiments that'd lead to the fall of the government. However, letting the public know what the rebels claim is is for the benefit of the nation. It allows South Sudanese to know first-hand the truth and fallacies of the rebels.

The government shouldn't discourage opposing views. It should counter them with data-based, well-articulated positions. To discourage other opinions is to present yourself as fearful and suspiciously dishonest about something.

The rebels are South Sudanese and will one day come back to South Sudan. We shouldn't treat them as if they'll create their own country. Mindless amplification of ENMITY is irresponsible! Instead of the government enticing people by initiating conducive reforms, it's actually making things worse by acting draconian.

When the information minister tells John Tanza of Voice of America that journalists should exercise freedom of speech within the 'LAW'  the minister knows very well that it's the same 'LAW' that guarantees freedom of speech!

ON CULTURAL IDENTITY & BELONGING

Dear Melbournians, the South Sudanese people to be precise. Do you think we have seen it all? Do you think we have seen that: I mean in the aftermath of yesteryears, in regard to our culture and the notions around identity and belonging? Do you think we have seen the true reaping of what we sowed years ago? Do you really think so? After all, did we really sow anything like seeds and that there’s something to be reaped? Did we really live it out well to be seen today?

I am sorry to have bothered you, my potential readers, with questions regarding our social, economic, and political location in our host society: Australia. I think we have not seen it all and as a whole: The idea that people are bound by certain values and beliefs of significance to them. This requires cooperation and role-specific obligations on the roles of every man and woman across a given people and their society.

TOLERANCE & INCLUSION


While it is possible for us to racially discriminate or judge people we know, the chances of judging people we know diminish significantly the more we know them. An easy example of the importance of understanding others is the attitude people develop when they want to harm others or when they want to deny them something valuable. Essentially, before you fight someone, you insult them. Insults are attempts at diminishing the value of people, an attempt at estranging them, as Toni Morrison argued in The Origin of Others. It is easy to discriminate against strangers or make others strangers or dehumanized in order to discriminate against them.

Transformational Leadership, Inclusive Institutions and Service Provision

Leadership, given what is happening now in South Sudan, and generally in Africa, fascinates me. And it fascinates me not in a good way but because of the sociopolitical and socioeconomic ills facing the African continent and most of the so-called 'Third World.' To me, South Sudan, now, is a classic case.

Rebellion by disaffected politico-military leaders and repression by the government of South Sudan in Juba have stunted institutional development and leadership growth. This has made service provision almost irrelevant as political survival has taken primacy and supremacy. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

‘Black’ as an Identity Oversimplification and Mockery

Black as a universalized cultural identity of the African Person (AP)* is a residual effect of slave and colonial mentality; a racial/race paradigm. It is a malady I call, conservatively speaking, stuck-in-the-past syndrome of color constraints. Black could be an on-the-street ‘social identifier’ of race figures not a meaningful phenomenon of deep cultural identification on a universal scale.