Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Malalai: Get out, if you can't help (and we're not!)

Malalai Joya (left) recently won a Cinema For Peace award during the Berlin Film Festival. You can see a Youtube video of the news of this award here (or here if you speak Farsi). Also visit the swishy Cinema For Peace website, where you can see photos of the gala awards event, which included Nicole Kidman, Ben Kingsley, and Hilary Swank as well as Malalai.

The award, presented by Hilary Swank, was presented on account of the film Enemies of Happiness, directed by Danish director Eva Mulvad. Ms. Swank's presentation speech went like this:

I am truly honoured to present this award to a woman who is a personal inspiration to me and to people all over the world. I believe that I speak for everyone gathered here tonight to honour you and your work when I say: we stand by you, behind you, for you, to help carry your voice for justice. ...
Now, over at Rabble.ca, Malalai Joya speaks to Canadians:
Canada should change its policy on Afghanistan
Malalai Joya - March 3, 2008

On behalf of my people, I send my condolences and share the pain of those Canadian families who have lost their loved ones in Afghanistan.

After 9/11, unfortunately the United States and its allies like Canada pushed us from the frying pan into the fire, by putting in power the Northern Alliance criminals and warlords. As long as they follow this wrong policy, the situation in Afghanistan will become more disastrous.

Canada should not continue its current policy until 2011. Canada should act independently of the United States and find an alternative policy if they really want to be an honest friend of the Afghan people and improve this catastrophic situation.

Today, in the name of bringing human rights, women's rights and democracy, our country has been occupied. Under the nose of NATO troops and Canadian troops, the situation of women is getting worse day by day. ...

Just this winter, more than 1000 people died from the cold, because of poverty. ...

This situation continues because, of the billions of dollars that Afghanistan has received from the international community, most of the money has gone into the pockets of the warlords and druglords that the U.S. and its allies have imposed on our country. ...

These troops are supposedly bombing the Taliban, but instead of killing Taliban ordinary people are the victims. And the Taliban is only becoming more powerful again. People right now do not trust these foreign troops and they do not support this government. If they continue their policy they will face the resistance of the Afghan people and more blood of innocent people will be shed. ...

Today, the people of Afghanistan are faced with two enemies: internal enemies in the form of fundamentalists like the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, and foreign enemies who do not think about the interests of the Afghan people for a moment.

There is no question that Afghanistan needs a helping hand. But our people are now saying, if you do not support or help us, it would be better that you leave Afghanistan so that people here can fight against their enemies who are in power themselves. ... (link)

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