Terrorism is a sign of how dysfunctional our society an countries are at dealing with global conflicts. I’m so saddened by the violence and watch with manifest unease how the far right and anti-immigration populist party will exploit what happened for their own benefit. We still haven’t got confirmation on which group is behind the attacks. My condolences go to the victims and their families.
Read full story here.
Believe it or not in Finland there are fitness centers that advertise to their Finnish customers that foreigners won’t be allowed to use their facilities, especially those that live in an asylum reception center nearby.
Kuntokeskus Valolinna is a fitness center in the town of Heinola, located about 140km north of Helsinki, which advertised on its website and in a newspaper the following:
Kuntosali Valolinna will continue to serve only Finns in the future. Due to outside requests, migrants staying in Heinola will not be allowed to become members of our fitness center because our membership is full.
Say what?! You won’t accept foreigners because your membership is full?
An asylum reception center is being opened near Kuntokeskus Valolinna and this appears to be the reason why the fitness centers wants to assure its customers that these people fleeing war will be kept out of the fitness center.
Non-Discrimiantion Ombudswoman Kirsi Pimiä was quoted as saying in YLE that the announcement by the fitness club is discriminatory.
Like cancer, fear, inaction and xenophobia cripple and destroy nations.
Finland and Europe are looking more lost than ever concerning the refugee crisis and this has been shamelessly exposed in the raw at the EU’s Malta summit. If we fail to resolve the refugee crisis as a region we will face another problem that will be many times worse: Forfeiting our noble values and freedoms for short-term ineffective quick fixes.
One of these freedoms at jeopardy is the Schengen Agreement, which allows passport free travel through 26 European states.
Since such short-term responses to the crisis, which aren’t responses at all, are doomed to failure it means that the matters will get worse before they improves. We know well what is at stake in Europe when we pander xenophobia and scapegoat groups.
According to The Guardian, there’s nothing to suggest that the “the confusion, disputes and mudslinging of the past few months” have brought the EU closer to a solution. Probably the most worrying question is that our inaction will exonerate isolationist hardliners like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
“I don’t say he [Orbán] should be entirely supported,”a senior diplomat at the Malta summit was quoted as saying in The Guardian. “But he has a point. There is some truth in what he says. Drastic, restrictive positions would have helped earlier.”
In Finland anti-immigration politicians like Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Laura Huhtasaari are stating that we should scrap our international refugee agreements and laws in order to stop refugees from coming to the country.
While some of you may not think much about what Huhtasaari posted, her party is one of the coalition partners in government of a prime minister who offered his home to refugees not too long ago.
Imagine. Here’s an MP of a government party of a country making such a claim that saw over 1.2 million of its people emigrate between 1860 and 1999 and relocated some 420,000 refugees after hostilities ended with the former Soviet Union in September 1944.
Laura Huhtasaari Raato, if we close our border it’s still ok to seek asylum. We must now decide what agreements and laws we can respect because we have reached a limit [with the number of refugees].
Raato Laaksonen Do you mean that lawmakers will decide not to respect laws?
Laura Huhtasaari If laws and agreements bring considerable harm and turn against us we have to review whether we plan respect them.
Migrant Tales understands that Helsinki’s Pitäjämäki reception center was the target of an arson attack on Friday or Saturday. A Molotov cocktail was hurled at the reception center but didn’t light up properly.
A handgun and tommy gun was found in the possession of a man sitting in his car near the Pitäjänmäki reception center.
The man in the car wasn’t apparently planning to attack the reception center and wasn’t connected with the arson attack, according to the source.
On Friday the police apprehended a man in car with a handgun and tommy gun near the Pitäjänmäki reception center.
While this attempted arson attack was not reported by the media the question is how many of these types of unreported attacks have their been in Finland?
Two arson attacks have already been reported by the media: in Lammi (6.10) and Ylivieska (31.10).
Timo Soini is chairman of the nationalist populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. After the most recent opinion polls showed that the political future of the PS is bleak to say the least, what will Soini do after his party returns to the minor political leagues? Will he start to sell used cars?
Would he sell used Halla-ahos or, maybe, Immonens, Eerolas, Elos, Huhtasaaris and Slunga-Poutsalos at rock-bottom prices?
Would you buy such a used car from him and would you trust his promises?
Why not buy an Immonen? The engineering is as simple as the foul and poisonous arguments it exhales from its behind. So simple, in fact, that the biggest threat to this car and its driver is adding a square root to its 1 + 1 = 2 anti-immigration arguments. Buy it to impress racist simpletons. Source: www.zwischengas.com/de/blog/2012
Here’s a spanking-new Eerola! Impress your friends with this vehicle that comes with a year supply of barf bags. Is it a rocket or a car? Who knows? You’ll respond that even if you are a practical nurse that has worked 12 years at a refugee center you still consider yourself an authority on immigration (sic!). Look at the headlights and rocket “fascist-style Mussolini” look. It’s backlights are intended to be more subdued in order to neutralize the racist demeanor that flashes whenever you signal to switch lanes. Source: www.dominnie.blogspot.com
An important new report by Medical Justice, ‘A Secret Punishment’ – the misuse of segregation in immigration detention, highlights the human damage caused by the use of segregation in immigration detention, as well as its political purposes.
Arriving at Heathrow Airport in 2011 on a family reunion visa, 24-year-old ‘MD’ expected to be reunited with her husband – a refugee whom she had not seen in three years. Instead, she was questioned by an immigration officer and, after becoming confused by the questions, subsequently detained in Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre. She did not leave until nearly a year-and-a-half later, by which time her mental health had deteriorated to such an extent that she was deemed to be ‘lacking capacity’ under the Mental Health Act. In detention she had sliced open her forehead with the top of a sardine tin, cut her face and stomach with broken pieces of china and attempted to strangle herself with a telephone cable. She self-harmed at least eleven times between August and November 2011, the response to which was to handcuff her, restrain her and remove her from association with other detainees. The High Court later ruled that what she been though amounted to ‘inhuman and degrading treatment’ under Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which also covers torture.
That segregation – the isolation of an individual for up to 23 hours a day – can amount to torture is now established. It is a ‘secret punishment’ according to Medical Justice. Their report documents the scale of damage caused by segregation by examining their own casework with people who are or have been detained. It also draws on what little external scrutiny exists – most notably the inspection reports from HM Inspector of Prisons (HMIP) and the annual reports of the Independent Monitoring Boards (IMB).
Here’s the billion-euro question: Why are integration programs in Finland usually doomed to failure? What can Finland and Europe learn from countries like Canada that have a more successful approach to integration?
One matter is for certain: A big part of the problem resides in between our collective ears. Do we see migrants as a problem or an asset to our society? Certainly factors like human and financial resources play important roles in determining how successful our integration programs are.
You don’t have to search too far to understand the challenges we face in making people feel that Finland is their home and that they’ll be treated with respect and as equal members of society. Even if the answer to the problem sits under our noses the big question is if we want to do anything about it.
Like in any other country, social exclusion in Finland is not only costly to tax payers but for migrants, who are obliged to go through a slow rites of passage, or integration ritual, which doesn’t even assure them of a job after all of their efforts.
Brandy Yanchyk, a Canadian documentary film producer, recently showed her most recent documentary, Finding Edge Road, in Finland.
See Find Edge Road demo here.