Weighing the merits: gorillas vs. refugees. What happens when two leftwing causes conflict?

Today I came across an article about threats to UN designated World Heritage Areas.   By the way, World Heritage area designation is a way for the United Nations to begin to have a say about land use in sovereign nations.    You should know we have some in the US too.  Maybe you live in one and don’t even know it.  But, that is another story.

The article that caught my interest said that a gorilla preserve,Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is threatened by refugees. 

Virunga National Park has been on the list of World Heritage sites in danger since 1994. It faces threats from refugees, who set up home in the park, armed militia, and continued poaching and deforestation, particularly for fuel and illegal charcoal production.

In 2007, 11 gorillas were slaughtered in Virunga, out of the 750 that remain in the wild. A joint monitoring mission by IUCN and UNESCO was organized.

I don’t know if it will work, but frankly I was surprised to find a sensible (although short term) solution.  The World Wildife Fund with Bruce Babbitt as chairman of the board ( Do you remember him?) is helping to create tree plantations and purchase wood for the refugees so that they will not have to enter the park.   You can read about it here.

Here in the US, the subject of immigrants and the environment has caused a rift in major environmental groups with some members complaining that large numbers of immigrants will put a strain on our natural resources.  (Yes, they will.)  Fearful of veering from their leftwing roots (and annoying their leftist sugar daddies), most major environmental groups will not touch the immigration issue at all even in light of the obvious destruction of natural areas traversed by the illegals flowing in from Mexico.

The Islamic Saudi Academy: a “Hot Potato” issue dissected

I’m getting off track somwhat but wanted to be sure you saw this thorough review of the very controversial issue on-going in Fairfax County, VA about what this Saudi-funded school, the Islamic Saudi Academy,  is teaching its students.   Our friend Jerry Gordon has done one fine piece of reporting at New English Review.   Please go here and read it.

If you are wondering what this has to do with refugees and immigrants, the answer is that we are bringing tens of thousands of Muslim immigrants into the US each year and it is schools like this one that their children will attend.

International Organization for Migration office bombed in Nepal

Update, later in the day:  The IOM and two UN agencies including the High Commisioner for Refugees today said they would suspend all aid to refugees if intimidation continues.  I’m wondering if harming all innocent refugees makes any sense.

Why would anyone want to bomb the IOM office— because as we scatter the Bhutanese to the four winds there are elements within the refugee camps that don’t want this to happen.   If we scoop up a promised 60,000 Bhutanese who are of Nepali origin (but Nepal doesn’t want them), the chances of their returning to Bhutan as a political force are diminished.

Kathmandu – At least two crude bombs exploded in the office compounds of the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in eastern Nepal, causing panic but no injuries, media reports said Tuesday. The bombs were hurled at the IOM office compound in the town of Damak, about 450 kilometres east of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, on Monday evening, the Kathmandu Post newspaper reported.

The IOM is involved in third-country resettlement of Bhutanese refugees, which has been vehemently opposed by several political groups representing refugees.

The blast caused no human casualties, but highlighted growing security concerns for refugees favouring third-country resettlement.

Although no group has yet claimed responsibility for the blasts, Nepalese police said they suspected the involvement of underground groups operating inside the refugee camps, the newspaper said.

The underground groups, which include the militant Bhutan Communist Party – Marxist Leninist Maoist, had previously demanded a halt to the resettlement programme terming it “human trafficking.”

The group has also been accused of intimidating refugees against applying for resettlement.

Read the rest of the article here.

Don’t get me wrong, I sure don’t condone what these Marxist groups are doing (if they are the perpetrators), but they make one point that is close to the truth.  They say the refugees will just do menial labor for cheap wages in the US, but note they are using the more provacative term— “human trafficking.”  

For more information, use our search function for Bhutanese refugees, we have written extensively on this resettlement.

Happy First Anniversary to us!

Just one year ago today, Judy and I launched Refugee Resettlement Watch.   Our original purpose has not changed—we want to help you, our readers, learn more about this government program which very likely is affecting or will affect your lives.    We also believe very strongly that the program is in need of serious scrutiny and reform which we think can only begin when enough people have a complete picture of Refugee Resettlement. 

Someone sent a comment not too long ago and said something like:  why don’t you write about the good things about refugees?   We figure we don’t need to do that because the mainstream media is busy doing puff pieces every day.   Our goal is to give you the rest of the story.

My one regret is that I haven’t done as good a job as I would have liked in giving you basic information on your state, but promise to work on that section of RRW soon.  I see some daylight coming in my schedule!  Like so many people advocating reform, we are not paid to do this work and must squeeze it in between other work and family duties.

On this July first, we have had just short of 90,000 readers this past year.  That is nothing compared to the big blogs but we are really pleased with the readership and hope you will put us on your daily ‘must read’ list.  Once educated, then please become politically active to help change how all immigration (legal and illegal) is handled in the United States.  Frankly, it’s a mess!