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Monday, June 10, 2019

the myth of kindness and compassion of Western World - Belgium apologises !!


India is a country of snake-charmers; the majority religion is intolerant, racism is widely prevalent, people are not treated properly .. .. unlike Western World which is most kind and charitable to people .. .. History written by British ~ replace India with any other Asian country or African country, you will be reading a similar history in the text books or in Wikipedia, BBC or any other history source !!  know thy myth of kindness and compassion !! 

The man in picture is : Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel apologising after  a speech at a plenary session of the Belgian Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, April 4, 2019. ... The Prime Minister's apology marks the first time Belgium is taking official responsibility for the harm it caused during its colonial rule in Central Africa.

Belgium, is a country in Western Europe,  bordered by the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, France and North Sea.  The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.The sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organization is complex and is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking, mostly Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, and the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. Historically, Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that also included parts of northern France and western Germany. Its name is derived from the Latin word Belgica, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. In the past few centuries,  Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars. The country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution when it seceded from the Netherlands.

Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has very high standards of living, quality of life, healthcare, education, and is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index. It also ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world.

It must have been with at least some trepidation that Albert II, King of the Belgians, stepped off the plane in the Congolese capital Kinshasa recently  to take part in celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the country's independence from Belgium on June 30 1960.Albert is the great-grandnephew of Leopold II, the Belgian king who wrought colonial terror of the worst kind in the vast central African territory which he called the Congo Free State and ruled brutally as his private property from 1884 until 1908.If that was not bad enough, Albert's late brother, King Baudouin was accused of indirectly inciting the post-independence assassination of Congo's independence hero and first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, in 1961. Lumumba's sons announced this month that they want to bring murder charges against 12 living Belgians for involvement in their father's assassination.

Little wonder then that before the King was allowed to travel to the still troubled Democratic Republic of Congo, the matter triggered a heated debate in the Belgian Parliament.  There is more to read on that !! ~   Belgium apologized for the kidnapping, segregation, deportation and forced adoption of thousands of children born to mixed-race couples during its colonial rule of Burundi, Congo and Rwanda.The apology is the first time that Belgium has recognized any responsibility for what historians say was the immense harm the country inflicted on the Central African nations, which it colonized for eight decades. Prime Minister Charles Michel offered the apology in front of a plenary session of Parliament, which was attended by dozens of people of mixed race in the visitors gallery.

“Throughout Belgian colonial Africa, a system of targeted segregation of métis and their families was maintained by the Belgian state and acts were committed that violated the fundamental rights of peoples,” he said, using the term for mixed-race people.“This is why, in the name of the federal government, I recognize the targeted segregation of which métis people were victims” under Belgian colonial rule in Africa, and “the ensuing policy of forced kidnapping” after independence, he added.“In the name of the federal government,” Mr. Michel said, “I present our apologies to the métis stemming from the Belgian colonial era and to their families for the injustices and the suffering inflicted upon them.”“I also wish to express our compassion for the African mothers, from whom the children were taken,” he said.

The prime minister said that the Belgian government would make resources available to finance additional research on the issue, open up its colonial archives to métis people and offer administrative help to those seeking to gain access to their official records and seeking Belgian nationality.Over the past year, Belgium has taken a number of steps to reassess its colonial past. The apologies also come at a time when politicians across Europe are under pressure from a growing African diaspora and a younger generation that wishes to shed a new light on colonial history in order to tackle latent racism and discrimination in European society.

Some experts on colonial history noted that Belgium’s apology came late — nearly 60 years after the three countries gained independence. Highly educated people, great civilisation, kind-hearted, caring – and other adjectives they gave themselves but perpetrated heinous crimes on humanity on various colonies – that is the European World for you !!Racial segregation was a pillar of Belgian colonial rule, historians say. Until the late 1950s, the colonial authorities discouraged interracial romance and banned interracial marriage before the Catholic Church.Many white Belgian men, nevertheless, married black Congolese women according to local customs, producing children sometimes called métis. But in the eyes of Belgium, these children undermined official segregation policies and blemished the white race’s prestige, official documents from that time show.Fearing a repeat of the Red River Rebellion in Canada in 1869-1870, when métis people revolted and overthrew the local government, the Belgian authorities ordered métis children in Congo to be separated from their families, and from the black population as a whole.

An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 children were segregated from their parents — most often from single African mothers — and placed in orphanages and schools predominantly run by the Catholic Church, historians said.  “Children born out of parents of mixed color during colonial times were always considered as a threat to the colonial enterprise, to profits and to the prestige and the domination of the white race.  The affected had been demanding  that the government open up its colonial archives and grant administrative help to hundreds of people in Congo and in Belgium who still do not possess their official birth certificates, and to those who wish to reconstitute their true family history.

The Catholic Church apologized in 2017 for its “participation” in the kidnapping and segregation of métis children and in the banning of mixed-race marriages. In a letter, the Belgian bishops stated: “Many never knew their mother or their father, and many mothers never saw their children again. For a long time, they couldn’t fully exercise their civic rights, and a large number later found itself on the margins of Belgian society in insecurity and hardship.”The letter said, “We present our apologies to those people for the part taken by the Catholic Church in these deeds.”

The ugly face of humans … who had always claimed themselves to be superior, kind, and capable of preaching others !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
10th June 2019.

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