For better or for worse, we have learned to take the outrageous utterances of President Rodrigo Duterte with a lot more than the proverbial grain of salt.
When he jokes about rape, we shake our heads but shrug it off, because the Palace assures us that Mr. Duterte is not a misogynist and has the utmost respect for women.When he curses out world leaders for expressing concern about his bloody war on drugs, we are no longer surprised, telling ourselves that is simply his way and he will never change.He even survived religious anger at his statement that God is stupid by offering a half-baked apology.But Mr. Duterte should know by now that tolerance at home does not shield him from the consequences of his words when he is abroad.On a state visit to Israel, Mr. Duterte has been pointedly reminded of an incredibly insensitive remark he made in 2016 comparing himself with Adolf Hitler. At the time, he compared his war on drugs to Hitler’s genocide of six million Jews. “Hitler massacred three-million Jews… there’s three-million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”Duterte apologized for his remarks at the time, saying they were aimed at critics who compared him to Hitler—but the damage had already been done.This week, Israeli human rights activists protested his visit while the newspaper Haaretz branded him “a Hitler admirer” in its editorial.
“Under the shadow of Duterte’s visit, Israel once again proves it’s willing to overlook leaders’ human rights violations for the sake of opportunities for arms deals and defense contracts,” the editorial read.Urging Israeli President Reuven Rivlin not to meet a “mass murderer” like Mr. Dutere, human rights advocate Eitay Mack said, “Certainly there is no place for a mass murderer and a person who supports rape, shooting women in their sexual organs and bombing schools to meet with Israel’s president.”Thankfully, Mr. Duterte was more subdued in his remarks during a visit to Israel’s national Holocaust memorial Monday, saying the horror should never be repeated and that despots have no place in the modern world.“I could not imagine a country obeying an insane leader, and I could not ever fathom the spectacle of the human being going into a killing spree, murdering old men, women and children. I hope this will not happen again,” he said.“There is always a lesson to learn: That despots and leaders who show insanity, they should be disposed of at the first instance,” he said.The words were appropriate, but would have been more credible coming from a leader who exercises greater care in what he says, whether at home or abroad.
7.1. Determination, humanity – D. Tribune – More from PCSO
The Straits Times says:
A welcome scramble for a role in Africa
Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered African nations a generous hand by promising them a boost in infrastructure connectivity and trade, agricultural aid, and US$60 billion (S$83 billion) in financing, even as these nations seek more transfer of Chinese technology and know-how. Clearly, the Asian economic powerhouse and its African partners enjoy a win-win relationship both bilaterally – with China having extended about US$125 billion in loans to the continent since 2000 – and in their mutual benefits from China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Africa is integral to the success of the BRI, which could transform the economic destinies of Asia, Oceania, Europe and Africa through the creation of trans-continental infrastructure links, such as roads, railways, ports and industrial hubs, along both land and sea trade routes.
In the case of Africa, China’s interest reveals the potential of a vast continent. Civil wars, famines, terror and corruption might dominate how the world sees much of Africa. But what this obscures are the riches of the land and the inventiveness of its people. Placing the continent’s economic profile in historical perspective, the African Development Bank notes that in at least two-thirds of the African countries with data, per capita income rose for eight consecutive years at a rate of 3.5 per cent or more between 1950 and 2016. Growth was underpinned by improvements in economic fundamentals in some of the countries. Looking ahead, a McKinsey report says that the sources of the continent’s future growth will include the world’s most rapid urbanisation rate and, by 2034, a working-age population that is larger than either China’s or India’s. “Accelerating technological change is helping to unlock new opportunities for consumers and businesses, and Africa still has abundant resources,” the report adds.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/st-editorial/a-welcome-scramble-for-a-role-in-africa
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