Substantive responses received by the Small Islands Voice global forum to the posting on ‘How much more?’ adapted from a newspaper article published in a Caribbean island, 2003 http://www.sivglobal.org/?read=3622nd July 2003 From Bob Conrich, Anguilla I live in Anguilla, a Caribbean British Overseas Territory noted for its peace and tranquillity. But things are changing. In St. Maarten, a short ferry boat ride from here, the drug dealers have recently added handguns to their inventory. At US$500 each, they have been used in several recent shootings here.
Children here often grow up seeing their mothers beaten by their partners. Most of the churches are extremely conservative, and teach that God has given men power over their women, that if a child disobeys, he or she is to be beaten with a rod, and that the real danger in our society is not violence, but homosexuality and peaceful ganga users. The recent abolishment of the death penalty in the British Overseas Territories was met by wide disapproval here – not because it is believed to be a deterrent, not because of ‘an eye for an eye’, but simply because violent revenge is an honoured principal among our people.
To now suggest that such people should be able to ‘talk to their children and encourage non-violent methods to resolve differences’ is to ignore the religious and social realities of life today in the West Indies. I'm sorry, but I don't believe young people are waiting for these platitudes to guide their behaviour at the next gang fight.
From an observer of youth, Cook Islands I come from the Cook Islands, which luckily isn’t as violent as where this story took place, but is slowly turning into it. As much as I would like to support this view of harsher penalties, we must remember that they are first our own children who we disregarded, ignored and abused etc., therefore resulting in these violent crimes against society, and who are so ignorant that they could think that nothing would come of it. Maybe in order to stop something as serious
as this, we must first deal with the little things in life. As the saying goes, ‘It's the little things is life that count the most’.
From Bruce Potter, USA Dirty little small island secret: Rates of violent crime in small islands are frequently much higher than in continental societies. In the US Virgin Islands, a (former) Congressman lost his only political contest in a long career when he campaigned for Governor (in 1978) on the issue of the very high local crime rates --- much higher then (and now) than in even the most violent US cities.
My own impression is that violent crime is a symptom of the stresses of modern society and their impacts on small islands, but I have not studied crime rates versus other indicators of social stress. The late Klaus de Albuquerque believed that narcotic-trafficking was a major source of crime of all sorts (including some forms of non-sustainable development activities) in the Eastern Caribbean.
From Joan Robinson, Nevis
In the future, I would like to see a citation for the source of the article (in this case the name of the newspaper) and also would like to know the name of the island where the event took place. I can’t help but think that violent T.V. programmes, violent video games, and even paint ball activities cause incidents like this to escalate.
From Vuniwai Tupou
Please remove me from your mailing list ... why don’t you guys highlight ‘good’ stories because there are more joyous/good things in our small islands than sad stories such as this!
Unfortunately these things happen, even in our small islands. We cannot predict these things, so we can do something to avoid it from happening. Even the best of system in the world cannot predict these things. Like you said most of these incidents came about because of faction gangs but there are still individual incidents. Bring back the death penalty but will that stop these senseless killings? I think it boils down to the upbringing and family relationship.
I can go on and on but imposing tough sentences might create other problems. Education, I think, would be a likely better solution. It won't solve the problem immediately but will in the long term.
Substantive responses received by the Small Islands Voice global forum to the posting on ‘Reducing crime and violence: education versus harsh penalties’ by B. Conrich, B. Potter, J. Robinson, writers from Cook Islands and Niue http://www.sivglobal.org/?read=37 5th August 2003
From Tex Albert, Seychelles The Centre for Rights and Development (CEFRAD), Seychelles, launched last June the Small Islands Peace Action Initiative.
This initiative of CEFRAD is as much an effort to mobilise the peoples of small-island states towards concerted action to consolidating a culture of peace and non-violence in our respective society as well as to enable us to make an effective contribution towards the global desire for peaceful resolution of conflicts.
As we, peoples of the small-island states, prepare for the ten-year United Nations Review of the Barbados Plan of Action to be held in 2004, it is imperative that we evolve a coherent and in-depth as well as concerted approach towards sustainable development that will ensure a viable future.
The Small Islands Peace Action Initiative paper can be obtained at www.SeychellesConference.org or at the Events Section of www.earthcharter.org
The interactive UNESCO web site at www.unesco.org/cp has more information on the International Decade for the Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010).
NOTE: ‘If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbours.
If there is to be peace between neighbours, there must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart.’
Lao Tse, 6th century Chinese philosopher.
Godfrey Baldacchino, Canada
It would be interesting to compare crime statistics in small islands and to examine the causes thereof.
I know a colleague at the University of Iceland who has developed a hypothesis about how small scale, tightly integrated and networked societies make it more difficult for people to turn to crime; but, once they do, it is even more difficult to have such persons rehabilitated. The only real option for them is emigration. Does this analysis strike a chord with other small islanders?
From Kaz Bartaska, Australia I live on a big island, Australia, and I do not see a big difference with the circumstances you describe. The difference I do see is that the bigger the population the harder the solution.
Here in Australia we have abrogated our rights to manage our lives to our politicians and bureaucrats. How difficult is it for a politician and a bureaucrat to have a grasp of all issues and to be a wise and constructive leader? By our disinterest we encourage them to believe they have the answers and yet we criticize them when they get it wrong and still fail to criticise our lack of involvement.
Democratic process demands community participation. It demands effort. Our current political processes are built on power and the holding of power. The greatest tool to hold power is to disempower the constituents and to make them dependant. The greatest love is to empower and to help build individual self respect through adding value to the community.
The consequences of growing dependence are the same at all levels of society in all places. A modern day slavery driven by the key criteria of wealth = power and the fostering of material greed to fuel dependence is at the core of our social disorder.
Look at the history of ‘small islands,’ look at what modernisation has eventually brought to these places and look at how the modernists try and escape to these places and the consequences of their visit. We are all caught up in this same web.
The implantation of modern economic rationalism in its current form is the root cause of fragmentation of society. Money first, family, village and friends come a distant second.
The tools of disempowerment are deeply planted and exploited in media which should serve the community, not poison it. Television teaches greed and creates a 'false reality'. Violence is indoctrinated from the cradle to the grave for it is through the encouragement of violence that the exercise of power is justified.
The indoctrination of love and respect does not serve those hungry for power. Those hungry for power are the compound result of this degenerating process and ‘they know not what they do’.
Those that 'rebel' against society are acting out their indoctrination, expressing their loneliness and frustration or simply trying to find a place to hide. Drugs and TV make the time pass and give moments of escape.
It is therefore up to individuals to do what you are doing and to try and foster understanding and participation to meet these great challenges.
This round ball is our home. It is not a cake to be divided among the strong. It is a package of magical ingredients that come to life when it is loved and it can and will care for us all as long as we treat it the way we each want to be treated.
‘Violent crime is a symptom of the stresses of modern society and their impacts on small islands’ and big islands and all on this round ball.
From Peter Kaitara William, Cook Islands Just to put in my penny's worth in regards to the violence saga. Though it is not restricted to the Pacific region; it is still a concern for us grown ups. I think one of the things to be addressed is for an overall population to be aware that there is a problem and it needed to be addressed yesterday! I see two or more main cause. I think one is the quality of parenthood.
This problem unfortunately started long, long time ago. Without being too judgemental, we have basically children becoming parents at a very young age with limited worldly values let alone parental values to bestow on their siblings. Then the effect goes on and on. Therefore, there is a deterioration of values. Christian values, though a lot frown upon them, have a
basis in spiritual values that say 'show your values by example'. Therefore, everything that we do, or say are always looked upon to identify us as who we are, where we come from, and what belief we follow. The end product I agree is education. Again, educators also need to have spiritual and family values. Love, trust etc. are not only words but principals that need to be followed and drummed into the young ones at early stages at home, at school at various organisations. Then they are the foundation for the young ones and can outweigh videos and other forces.
From John Maneniaru, Solomon Islands Thanks. We can help reduce crime and violence through education. In the Solomon Islands, Christian and cultural education could be considered options. Involve youths in activities, in the communities and in the family environment.
From Geoff Marfleet, Samoa
Reading your articles with interest, may I offer a few comments for what it is worth. Every country has its problems with youth, to a greater or lesser extent and I don't believe there is any ‘quick fix’. A caring, loving and stable family environment is the foundation for the upbringing of our children. The community could do far more in assisting our youth in providing them with appropriate activities, youth centres provided by the religious and government sectors as one example, as the problem of gainful employment is always an issue in our small communities. I also agree that more care should be taken in selecting the movies which are readily available at cinemas and electronically. The vulgarity, violence and filthy language which emulates from some of these movies should be knocked on the head at the source. It is no wonder some of the more vulnerable adolescents are the way they are.
Alas, in our small islands the influences of big brother is being felt more and more, but I suspect that in the long run we will all survive, I am pretty sure this will be the case for Samoa.
From Maria Masayos, Palau
It seems that crime amongst young people is the main talk internationally. I know that if one looks at our human resources development in the perspective of our own community, we will be able to take small steps to secure our own fears. Families must work together to bridge whatever is missing in the children's life. Communication skills are a very crucial factor in the family. Listening skills are major factors of building up human resources. Children and young people needs us, parents, guardians, and uncles, and aunties to listen to them. We need to listen with open heart and mind.
Some times listening without saying anything is really what the children and young people need.
Also, families must pray together. We must learn how to forgive one another. Although, we come from the same parents, we are totally different people. God created each one of us to be His image. God is waiting for all of us individually and as a family to come to Him with our concerns and needs.
Please, don't blame TV shows, community, friends, and schools. Children are dying to listen to the parents. Children needs to know they are loved, respected, appreciated, and are very important to the family.
I know if we all work very hard to develop our ‘human resources development’ we will then have our own security balanced.
From Brian R. Mommsen
I wish to address the last two postings. What we are saying here is that it takes a village to raise a socially responsible child. As the cycles of violence, economic prosperity, spiritual awareness, etc. rise and fall in small communities and large, it is natural for most humans to seek stability and speak of a better past, the good old days, and to worry about an uncertain future - a future that they fear will be the breakdown of their society. So what the writers to this forum want is an answer as to how they can break the present cycle of violence and what role does the family, community, and punishment play. The problem and the solution are complex, but not beyond understanding and implementation.
If the death penalty and threat of prison worked as a deterrent in free societies today (harsh punishments for all types of offences mainly exist in non-democratic societies) then why does America have the greatest prison population in the world. America has over 2 million people in prison (one out of every 142 citizens - 25% of the world's total prisoners) and the rates for crime and homicide are still increasing. In spite of the fact that so many criminals are already behind bars and that the United States has the laws, law enforcement personnel and courts to protect the citizens - the tough law and order system of the past 30 years is not working to protect America's society. So tougher laws and punishment are not the answer; smarter laws, rehabilitation, and drug treatment can help take us in the right direction.
In today's world, media (TV, film, rap music, magazines, video games, etc.) the gangster image has become glamorised - no longer is there any stigma of shame and failure to be jailed for criminal activity or to have a felony police record. Much of the media has also focused mainly on the hypocrisy in some of our leadership (political, religious, business) and ignored the healthy role models represented by other leaders in society. Obviously they do this in order to sell more copy and therefore they chose to ignore their own social responsibility. Unfortunately some young people in small island communities are influenced by all this and want to imitate the criminal heroes. It is a struggle for the small island family and community to raise and educate their young under these conditions.
If you can not maintain a community atmosphere where anti-social behaviour results in becoming an outcast of society - then the young will believe they will be accepted under any conditions and that any kind of behaviour is condoned. Living on an island gives the community an extra option in dealing with those who do not subscribe to the morals and laws of the island - banishment. To send someone into exile (for whatever period of time) is humane punishment. It will teach a lesson to everyone and hopefully spare the community of the very few real amoral and criminal people among the populace.
Another thing to consider - when I lived on the island of Palau (Micronesia) they had stiff penalties for possession of a gun, or even a single bullet! Most glamorised violence involves guns - so remove the guns.
In summary - there are influences inside and outside the island community that promote harmony and violence. To understand what those influences are and to act constructively to bring more peace and less disruption to the community requires everyone's cooperation - top to bottom. Focus has to be on that which is in your control. The village needs to reinforce the foundations of moral behaviour in the family, the schools, and in its own honest behaviour - for no generation will follow the rules of a hypocritical role model. The young are influenced more by what you do then what you say.
From Alex Perrine, Rodrigues I’ve taken notice of the comments on how to reduce crime among young people. I think that the best way to attain such an objective is through education. A sensitisation campaign for youth is most welcome and the introduction of education on human values is also required. Young people are part and parcel of the family, parenting education will also contribute to the process of reducing crime.
Harsher penalties will never reduce crime because harsher penalties are themselves a crime. Crime cannot reduce crime. Peer educators programmes should be introduced as well as youth friendly education facilities available to young people. Globalisation has a direct impact on small islands, thus easily influences the way of life of our youth. The media should also contribute to this process. So, I am against harsher penalties to reduce crime.
From a writer in Seychelles I would like to argue against the idea that television plays an important role in promoting violence amongst young people or the society in general. On the other hand I will support all those who maintain that it is the society itself that nurtures violence, but I will argue that capital punishment is not the answer.
All wars, in my opinion, are bloody and ugly and at the end of the day are not justified no matter what intelligent arguments we push forward. If we go back to the time of antiquity, when television did not exist, then those were to me were the bloodiest of wars. Human beings crushed each other as they surged forward on horseback in their quest to literally tear each other apart using whatever sharp weapons they possessed at the time.
Consider the concentration camps and the gas chambers. They came along at a time when the television was showing the Indians fighting the cowboys, which again was the reality of human history. Today the world is hearing about genocide, adults sexually abusing months-old babies and other forms of violence the ugliest the modern world has known; and lately the clichéd ‘Bushism’ fight against terror, albeit through the television, but not their invention.
The television does show a lot of violence, whether on the news or entertainment programmes such as films. However, these programmes reflect the violent history of the world; situations that have resulted from humans’ misconstrued mind, their ignorance and vice.
I would agree with the writer who says that it is the little things that count. And little things have a habit of growing in size - if not taken care of early they are often blown out of proportion. When an individual commits a violent act, it is not that he has seen it on TV. It is because he is so far gone in his mental state that he cannot rationalise anymore.
It is for this reason that we cannot fight terror with terror, or kill someone because he has killed. Killing does not make the pain any better, nor does it bring back the victim even if the act is committed in the name of the law.
Society needs to re-evaluate itself. Accept the fact that we have gone wrong, somewhere somehow and see how best to help remedy the problem rather than finding scapegoats for a situation for which we alone are responsible.
Substantive responses received by the Small Islands Voice global forum to the posting on ‘The power of communication: listening to young people’ By J. Maneniaru, M. Masayos, A. Perrine, P. Williamhttp://www.sivglobal.org/?read=3919th August 2003 From Colin Hudson Perhaps this is relevant to the recent circular about crime in islands? 5.6 million Americans are in prison or have served time there, according to the article, below, from the Christian Science Monitor.
U.S. Has World's Highest Incarceration Rates
Gail Russell Chaddock, Christian Science Monitor, Mon, Aug 18, 2003
WASHINGTON - More than 5.6 million Americans are in prison or have served time there, according to a new report by the Justice Department (news – web sites) released Sunday. That's 1 in 37 adults living in the United States, the highest incarceration level in the world.
It's the first time the US government has released estimates of the extent of imprisonment, and the report's statistics have broad implications for everything from state fiscal crises to how other nations view the American experience.
If current trends continue, it means that a black male in the United States would have about a 1 in 3 chance of going to prison during his lifetime. For a Hispanic male, it's 1 in 6; for a white male, 1 in 17.
The numbers come after many years of get-tough policies--and years when violent-crime rates have generally fallen. But to some observers, they point to broader failures in U.S. society, particularly in regard to racial minorities and others who are economically disadvantaged.
‘These new numbers are shocking enough, but what we don't see are the ripple effects of what they mean: For the generation of black children today, there's almost an inevitable aspect of going to prison,’ says Marc Mauer, assistant director of The Sentencing Project, a non-profit advocacy group based in Washington. ‘We have the wealthiest society in human history, and we maintain the highest level of imprisonment. It's striking what that says about our approach to social problems and inequality.’
Numbering in the millions Justice Department analysts say that experts in criminal justice have long known of the stark disparities in prison experience, but they have never been as fully documented. By the end of year 2001, some 1,319,000 adults were confined in state or federal prisons. An estimated 4,299,000 former prisoners are still alive, the new report concludes.
‘What we are seeing is a substantial involvement of the public in the criminal-justice system. It raises a lot of questions in the national dialogue on everything from voting and sentencing to priorities related to state's expenditures,’ says Allen Beck, chief of correction statistics at
the Bureau of Justice Statistics, who directed the report.
Nor does the impact of incarceration end with the sentence. Former inmates can be excluded from receiving public assistance, living in public housing, or receiving financial aid for college. Ex-felons are prohibited from voting in many states. And with the increased use of background checks—especially since 9/11--they may be permanently locked out of jobs in many professions, including education, child care, driving a bus, or working in a nursing home.
Enfranchisement for ex-felons: More than 4 million prisoners or former prisoners are denied a right to vote; in 12 states, that ban is for life. ‘That's why racial profiling has become such a priority issue for African-Americans, because it is the gateway to just such a statistic,’ says
Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich, chief operating officer of the Black Leadership Forum, in Washington. ‘It means that large numbers in the African-American community are disenfranchised, sometimes permanently.’
Some states are already scaling back prohibitions or limits on voting affecting former inmates, including Maryland, Delaware, New Mexico, and Texas.
In addition, critics say that efforts to purge voting rolls of former felons could lead to abuses, and effectively disenfranchise many minority voters.
‘On the day of the 2000 (presidential) election, there were an estimated 600,000 former felons who had completed their sentence yet because of Florida's restrictive laws were unable to vote,’ says Mr. Mauer of the Sentencing Project.
The new report also informs - but does not settle - one of the toughest debates in American politics: whether high rates of imprisonment are related to a drop in crime rates over the past decade.
The prison population has quadrupled since 1980. Much of that surge is the result of public policy, such as the war on drugs and mandatory minimum sentencing. Nearly 1 in 4 of the inmates in federal and state prisons are there because of drug-related offences, most of them non-violent.
Narcotic-related arrests: New drug policies have especially affected incarceration rates for women, which have increased at nearly double the rate for men since 1980. Nearly 1 in 3 women in prison today are serving sentences for drug-related crimes.
‘A lot of people think that the reason crime rates have been dropping over the past several years is, in part, because we're incarcerating the people most likely to commit crimes,’ says Stephan Thernstrom, a historian at Harvard University.
Others say the drop has more to do with factors such as a generally healthy economy in the 1990s, more opportunity for urban youth, or better community policing.
But no one disagrees that prison experience will be a part of the lives of more and more Americans. By 2010, the number of American residents in prison or with prison experience is expected to jump to 7.7 million, or 3.4 percent of all adults, according to the new report.
From John Maneniaru, Solomon Islands Thank you for the honour in listing my views on the topic. When you are ready to implement these ideas and concepts then please let me know as we can be partners to see the model work in Solomon Islands. I can say here that I have the manpower and the program. I just need partners with the appropriate resources.
From Iteli M Tiatia, Samoa
I have been reading through the many positive suggestions as to an effort to reduce crime and violence among young people in small islands. They all sound good to me personally. However, I believe, for any issue of concern to be dealt with properly, I would recommend that we find out the roots of the problem.
In my small country, where the people boasts of it as a Christian country, not one of the daily issues of the most popular newspaper in my islands, the Samoa Observer, would pass by without a story of our young people involved in crime and violence, let alone their heinous nature. This is despite the fact we have now a lot more organisations set up to deal with such situations than we had before. Moreover, we have seen our court system getting tougher by ensuring harsher penalties for those who commit crime. We have a lot more church denominations now than we had two decades ago, though I see this as contributing to the problem in my islands. All this does not seem to lead to a positive solution. At one stage there was a case where the parents were seen as teaming up with their own little girl to commit a crime. The big question is, what is the root of all this?
Everyone in his own island would like to look for an answer to this, but to me, I believe we have a common factor to the problem, and that is money. I also think 95% of all social problems in the region or rather anywhere in the world are money driven. Broad discussions over media channels in my islands seem to blame the degradation of parental, family and community guidance of their young people, like some of you have done here, and some have even hinted at the failure of church missions. I personally do not agree.
In a generation where the people are embracing consumerism of new inventions, we need money. Lack of money drives people to become idle and isolated - nothing to do, nothing to positively think about, and eventually commit a crime. Parents cannot afford to send their children for a decent education if they do not have the money. Even going to church, you need money to actively participate. The need of money is also the main cause for people to destroy the environment.
So what do we do?
I believe it is about time the Pacific region looks at a collective effort to promote education of specialised skills where our people can use the resources that are abundant in our islands to make money. That would minimise unemployment.
It is also about time the mission of the Churches looks at a regional effort to encourage its members to build people, not building mansions and expensive churches. A major part of building people is to see that every one has access to a Christian Bible, that would give people a lot of reading to enjoy rather than being idle all day.
I thank all who are expressing concern to this problem now, it seems this is escalating to an extent whereby it is going to be costly for us to deal with it in the future, if we are to just sit and watch.
Substantive responses received by the Small Islands Voice global forum to the posting on ‘Does television impact youth violence?’ by G. Marfleet and writer from Seychelles
http://www.sivglobal.org/?read=41 2ns September 2003 From Jim Bannan Many disagree that violence on television causes youth to be violent. But I challenge any of them to say violence on television causes anyone to be less violent. We need to develop good programming that reinforces good values.
From Concilia Sukina, Papua New Guinea I am from Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea, and I would like to make few comments on the following:
Effects of violent television and video programmes: I would like to argue that television and video programmes do have bad effects in some ways on our youths today. How? Why? Many programmes that comes on are not educational and it doesn't help them educate instead they give them bad thoughts that they might want to try out.
It is a problem today with youths. In a small community where I come from, it is very hard to discipline them, because they live in a community and they make up the community so get easily influenced by other youths, especially drinking. We have to help physically and spiritually draw up programmes for rehabilitation exercises etc.
Youths are the future generations. Above all, if a family that stays together should pray together and have trust in God. A strong foundation of a loving and caring family leads to a happy family and a good future. Spiritually and physically we have to pray and help our youths of today. This is my concern.
From John Maneniaru, Solomon Islands Thank you.
From Ronald ToWartovo, Papua New Guinea I read with interest the issues pertaining to films and violence but the major issues confronting the future of small islands states is the ability to survive in the face of a ever changing global environment. Some islands are sinking and the future of such islands looks very bleak and desperate. Where will the islanders go and how can sustain their continued existence. The bigger countries do not seem to be interested and they have problems of their own. With a high population growth and less arable farm land the future looks uncertain for such islanders. The international aid organisations seem to be only interested in countries where they can foster their economic, political and security interests but not in such vulnerable and disappearing island states. This is despite the hot air about green house gas emissions and rising sea levels. The Pacific Islands are one of these cases that feel they are being ignored and not welcome in spite of a lot international rhetoric around the Kyoto Agreement on green house emissions and international control limits.
From Ranani, Fiji I agree with most of the views and comments as each expression is based on individual experiences. Further we tend to value our experiences based on what we have been exposed to in our lives. Fiji being a small island in one sense but large in another sense, we are like juveniles. We like to act like adults though we are not really ready in actual fact.
Who can dispute that television impacts youth violence? I have seen that in my life. I have never seen youngsters and youth behaving in such rough and ruthless manner when I was growing up. I see youngsters of today trying to show off what they saw on TV, often hurting their own siblings before they realise the results of their action. It is a great shock to me, as I come from one of the oldest cultures in the world. Culture comes with restraint, tolerance of other people's views and opinions. I receive offers of pictures of young girls perhaps in indiscrete poses. I receive offers of programmes to wipe away the dirty images I might have been seeing from the internet, so that I can ‘hide’ my true self from my wife and family. They
tell you that some one has fallen head-over heels in love with you or have a great crush on you. How many of us realise that these are lies? Once you are exposed to these evil forces, it is hard to extricate yourself.
I agree with ‘Society needs to re-evaluate itself. Accept the fact that we have gone wrong, somewhere, somehow, and see how best to help solve the problem rather than finding scapegoats for a situation for which we alone are responsible. It is time that we start doing some thing positive. When we want to pass a commentary, we have to do it in an unbiased manner. I consider that we have forgotten about ‘restraint’. The display of restraint in our base instincts, hunger, anger, desire to possess and sexual desires shows the level of our cultural development. Unfortunately the mass media, whether it be news paper, magazines, TV or films, tend to take our instincts away from restraints. By depicting crimes, particularly sexual crimes in great details, the media tries to create great 'interest' of the public, in order to increase their circulation leading to monetary gain for the media. In this venture culture, dignity and ethics are forgotten. If one is to ask ‘What are ethics?’ of a youngster today,
what would be their response? Their answer is not their fault - it our creation - creation of adults in power today. We tend to preach one thing and practice another. When the youth sees that there is no integrity in what we say, why should they have to follow what you say? We have to adopt age old policy, ‘practice before you preach’. That is the only way we can have credibility.
I believe that would come with a little self sacrifice. I can guarantee that you would get much greater returns in life. Of course it would take time. Trees do not grow in one day, but are cut in matter of minutes. If we have patience, if we can see the light at the end of today's darkness, we can succeed.
Substantive responses received by the Small Islands Voice global forum to the posting on ‘Breaking the cycle of crime and violence’ by Brian Mommsen
http://www.sivglobal.org/?read=42 16th September 2003 From Dick Eade, Vanuatu
If videos and TV were banned there would be fewer problems in all societies. They cannot be totally banned as there is a lot of very good material that has positive effects. So, what to do? Set standards and stick to them, e.g. no guns, no drugs, no violence.
Many attempts at controls focus on what NOT to show. This should be reversed into what IS to be shown and only if it has some merit. No merit or contribution to the well-being of society- no show.
From Ted Bull, St. Lucia Your E-mail today came at a very inappropriate time especially re the contents of the letter. One of the strongest supporters of your causes was brutally and senselessly murdered as she came to her home in St Lucia after looking after stray animals. Jane Tipson was a very strong fighter for all the causes of the under dog and throughout the islands she is well known for her love of animals and their well being.
Please find the attached press statement for immediate release on the assassination of Jane Tipson, Eastern Caribbean Coalition for Environmental Awareness, Administrative Secretary and Project Director in St Lucia
Assassination of Jane Tipson, A defender of humans, animals and wildlife, A world region’s loss!
It is with grief and shock that we learnt of Jane Tipson’s murder early this morning, a woman whose integrity, extraordinary courage and dedication to the world’s wildlife, animals and the environment knew few limits, if any, in islands where such policies are not always popular.
At one o’clock in the morning as she entered her property at Monchy in St. Lucia in the East Caribbean she was ambushed and shot. She died instantly. The act is one that will mark all of those that knew and loved her. It is imperative that every step is taken to understand the true reasons for Jane’s death and ensure that the culprit is lawfully brought to justice.