MIAs new documentary puts spotlight on war in Sri Lanka

Her latest album, AIM, was released in September 2016. Its hit song, Borders, speaks of politics and rebelling against the system. (Colombo Gazette) The documentary footage follows M.I.A. from childhood through adulthood, exploring her individual background and love of music, but viewers should not expect the music to be her only focus. M.I.A., originally from Sri Lanka, documented the genocide around her. Her mission in the documentary release is to showcase her own filmmaking, and the places she came from. The war in Sri Lanka ended in 2009. Over 70,000 people died in the 25-year genocide, according to World Without Genocide.M.I.A. has been a long-time activist, speaking on the war in Sri Lanka. Her privilege as a pop star has kept parts of the public from believing she can identify with the tragedy. “In Sri Lanka, we were surrounded by civil war. My dad was the founder of the Tamil resistance,” she said in the trailer. “There’s a genocide going on. We don’t want to talk about death. Talk about Beverly Hills.” She urges other celebrities to do the same. “You’ve got access to the microphone. Please use it to say something.” “When the war came to an end in Sri Lanka in 2009, it actually did affect me,” she told The Guardian in May 2017. “Everyone was, like, ‘What the f*** does she know? She’s, like, a pop star,’ but that was my life. It was 50 percent of who I was, it was my identity. I didn’t know what to do with myself.”In 2016, she was banned from entering the U.S., though her visa was approved in May 2017, according to NME.M.I.A. is most known for her single Paper Planes which was released in 2007. In the documentary trailer, the singer explains the track is inspired by the stereotypes surrounding immigrants. Lyrics are missed with sound effects of gunshots and a cash register ding, stressing the idea that immigrants want to take money from natural citizens. Pop sensation M I A is not a typical pop star, and her upcoming documentary, MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. won’t be a typical pop documentary, Newsweek reported.The film, which premiered at Sundance, has been praised for its innovation and spirit, reaching past the boundaries of the life of a typical celebrity. The film will be released in theaters on September 28. read more

Chernobyl nuclear disasteraffected areas spring to life 33 years on

Sixty per cent of Homiel’s produce – comprising meat, dairy products and handicraft – are exported to neighboring regions and countries while the region attracted $17.7 billion worth of domestic and foreign Investment between 2011 and 2017, representing just over 15 percent of the country’s total direct investment during that period.A ceremony marking International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day was held at UN Headquarters in New York on Friday. While the Soviet Government only acknowledged the need for international help to mitigate the disaster in 1990, that same year the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for more international cooperation.Stigma is still pervasive, but the economic revival is visible UNDP’s Zachary Taylor, BelarusA Chernobyl Trust Fund, managed now by the humanitarian affairs coordination office, OCHA, was created by the UN in 1991, and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) became involved in 2002, when the Organization announced a new focus on longterm development. The agency and its offices in the three countries affected, have taken the lead in that area, ever since.  “In the 33 years since that tragic night, there’s been a re-thinking of the way local populations in southeastern Belarus have handled themselves”, said Zachary Taylor, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative in Belarus. “Stigma is still pervasive, but the economic revival is visible. This is a fertile and productive region and its people are open, resilient and resourceful.”#FBF to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 33 years ago. The women, men & children affected by radioactive contamination must never be forgotten. More on Friday’s Remembrance Day: https://t.co/gkWDTzeCtF pic.twitter.com/Kpsm1okgf1— United Nations (@UN) April 26, 2019 37,000 small- and medium-sized businesses now operate in the areas directly affected by the disaster, up from only 2,375 in 2002.“But let’s not rest on our laurels. There’s much more that needs to be done to bring the area back to its full potential. We need to keep investing in training, safety, long-term development planning, new technologies, including tourism and organic farming. This is an area that’s been left behind for too long. Let’s double our efforts to make sure it catches up,” said Mr. Taylor.The disaster affected Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. Around 470 small towns and villages have been destroyed in Belarus alone, with 138,000 people unrooted from their homes.The disaster still represents a huge financial burden. In Ukraine last year, 5 to 7 percent of the national budget was still dedicated to Chernobyl-related recovery activities. In Belarus, the overall economic loss is estimated at $235 billion. Missed profits and investment opportunities alone are estimated at $13.7 billion.UNDP has been working with the rest of the UN system and international partners to help Chernobyl-affected areas in Belarus and Ukraine move from recovery and humanitarian support, to creating new jobs, strengthening social services, improving infrastructure, business and increasing investment opportunities. read more