What’s up in Wagga Wagga?

 Update March 11th:    Downunder News Link responds here, sheds some light on the same question I have.

When I first saw this story I was confused.  I couldn’t figure out what Wagga was?   After searching around a bit I found out it’s a city in New South Wales, Australia and its full name is Wagga Wagga (crow crow in the aboriginal language).  They have lots of crows.  But, anyway, back to my story.

It seems there was a racial incident that inspired some letter writing. 

Racist websites Downunder News Links and US based Stormfront have both seized on an alleged incident reported by The Daily Advertiser involving African refugees.


Prominent Wagga volunteer Erwin Richter said he was concerned Wagga was being associated with racism.


Mr Richter, who volunteers as a refugee resettlement coordinator, reported receiving letters and phone calls, blaming him for bringing African refugees to the Riverina and telling him to “back off”.

You can read about the ‘incident’ that prompted the letter-writing campaign here.  It involved an altercation between a woman (color?) and some black men, the men left and returned with eight African friends who proceeded to beat the woman with tree branches.

But, here is where I’m confused.   Maybe Australian English is differant from American English!  This is in the first article I mentioned above.

Wagga crime manager Detective Inspector Rod Smith warned those found to be guilty of racial abuse could face prosecution.


“It is unlawful and we consider it offensive,” he said.


“Regardless of race, colour or religion police will investigate all allegations of crime without discrimination.

Is the police detective talking about prosecuting the criminals who beat the woman as a racial abuse, or are the letters written to the refugee guy considered the racial abuse? 

Clarification please!  Australian readers please tell me you don’t have hate speech laws.

Bhutanese on the way! For real this time

Stories abound this week about the first Bhutanese refugees leaving camps in Nepal and headed west and to New Zealand.  We have written several stories about this large group over many months, but it looks like they are really on the way now. 

KATHMANDU (AFP) – The first of more than 100,000 Bhutanese refugees languishing in camps in southern Nepal for more than 15 years have begun to leave for overseas resettlement, officials said Monday.

A UN represenative said this about the first to leave:

“….some people will leave Monday and we would like to see between 40 to 60 people leave in the next two weeks, to Denmark, Canada, Norway, the United States and New Zealand.”

But, then went on to say the larger numbers will be leaving for the US at the end of the month.   We committed to 60,000!

In October 2006, the United States offered to take some 60,000 of the 107,000 refugees who live in seven camps in southern Nepal, and around 23,000 refugees have since applied.

Some guy gets an award and sends me on a mission

This is going to be confusing because it is to me.  I don’t know what it means but I’ll just throw out the bits and pieces I have.     But, frankly I have more questions than answers.

The guy is Abdullah Jafari of Houston “an established American of Pakistani origin.”   I don’t know if that means he is a citizen or not.   You can read all about the award here, but unfortunately the site won’t let me copy any excerpts from it without seeking permission to use photos.   I didn’t want to copy the photos!  

The publication is the Muslim Observer and although its verbage is moderate sounding, the photos are anything but.   They depict protesting mobs around the world, one shows mobs burning the Danish flag and another mob burning a human effigy. 

Now, back to Mr. Jafari.   Read all about his “Star Among Us” award.  The award was given in conjunction with the Alliance for Multicultural Services of Houston.  That is a volag operating under the the mothership Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC).    Joining the Alliance in presenting the award was the Washington Mutual Bank which helps refugees buy homes and start business (calling all those researching Sharia banking), but that is another story.

Zafar Tahir  (honorary chair) introduced Jafari and said how important voluntarism is and cited the wonderful work 80,000 Bosnian “volunteers” were doing in St. Louis.   Read about the minaret construction here.   But again, that is another story.

I googled Mr. Jafari and found this quote he gave the BBC back in 2004 in response to the beheading of Nicholas Berg.   I’m assuming there is only one Abdullah Jafari in Houston, but if this is not our man I apologize.

This is deplorable. No religion, culture or society can defend this action. US administration’s policies in the Middle East have created this savage hatred against all Americans though they have nothing to do with the policies of their government. I, with no reservations, condemn this act. I also condemn the US policies in the Middle East which have made this world a very unsafe place for an average hard working American.
Abdullah S. Jafari, Houston, Texas, USA

Sure its good that he condemns the brutal act, but intersting he needs to say its all our fault, America’s fault, that Muslims are driven to such brutality.  That’s another story.

Next I checked out the Alliance’s Form 990 for 2006.   Their total revenue for the year was $4,534,160 with $3,494,514 coming from government grants (probably pass through from ECDC).  Another $1,036,204 comes from program services and government contracts.  Of that last figure, $815,243 comes from bingo.  How is bingo a program service?  Most of this organization is funded by the taxpayer with a bit funded by gambling.  But, that is yet another story.

Next I received a copy of a report done by Chris Coen at Friends of Refugees on the Ethiopian Community Development Council  (ECDC) which tells of egregious care of refugees by various subcontractors of ECDC.  Mr. Coen has documented evidence of abuses by affiliates that have resulted in the closing or suspension of some affiliates.  I had also been told at one point that ECDC had been asked to leave Maryland.

In his report Mr. Coen asserts that two directors of an ECDC affiliate in Atlanta left the country during a time that the agency was unable to account for all of its government grants.   You got it, another story!

ECDC is also the contractor for the African Community Resource Center in Los Angeles whose director Nikii Tesfai was arrested last fall for financial wrongdoing.  We wrote about it here

According to the Muslim Observer article. Mr. Jafari is also involved with an organization that sends money to kids in Pakistan.  It’s called Developments in Literacy and is headquartered in Long Beach, CA.  A check of its 2006 Form 990 shows that they raised $1,548,683 to help schools in Pakistan.    $879,971 was spent for “conferences, conventions and meetings.”    There was a hotel bill for $154,000 and dinner entertainment for $46,000.  Maybe the IRS gives no category for reporting money to Pakistan so accountants must place it in the “conferences” category.  How much went to kids?  Who knows?   Another story?