Monday, 5 April 2010
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Last night I went to hear Douglas Alexander MP, the Secretary of State for International Development, speak about the work of DFID (Department for International Development) for the UK Government. Whilst not answering my question quite so directly as I'd hoped, he assured the voters present that he understood something of the Thai/ Burma border situation, having visited Burma (http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/FMR30/6.pdf)
The situation I raised was regarding the Shan, a people (amongst others) who have lacked the public profile maybe afforded to the Karen and Karenni peoples, and yet, like many minority groups in Burma, filtering into Thailand, without identity papers, surviving through prostitution, fuelling the trade in human trafficking that haunts the border of Thailand and Burma. I heard a while back of someone going, credit card in hand, to buy children (they then set up an orphanage).
When children are a commodity like a bag of groceries, we realise (one hopes we do) that there is something deeply disturbing with the devaluation of human life. Or do we? After all, we fail to address this dilemna in the family planning clinic when advising on abortion, or in the elderly care home when considering the dignity of a client in the final phases of death who might be considered for euthanasia one day.
Is there a space in us that needs to review our 'compassion fatigue'as it was once coined so cruelly? Perhaps there is something that needs to happen to us that took hold of Wilberforce - a deep and unrelenting passion for people in God's image that fuels our lives to fight for them to the last. I mean not just feel mildly pitying but profoundly, life-capsizing, political-corridors-storming, Church-and-Society alarm-clocking compassion that weeps and sweeps change.
Posted by Ian from England at 19:34