AT LEAST 25 PEOPLE DEAD IN
INTENSIFYING SYRIA VIOLENCE
Beirut (AP) - Violence sweeping across Syria killed 25 people on Saturday, most of them in a battle between troops and a growing force of army defectors who have joined the movement to oust the autocratic president, activists said. The Arab League, meanwhile, agreed on the details of economic and diplomatic sanctions against the regime. The revolt against Bashar Assad's rule began with peaceful protests in mid-March, triggering a brutal crackdown. The unrest has steadily become bloodier as defectors and some civilians take up arms, prompting the United Nations' human rights chief to refer to it this week as a civil war and urge the international community to protect Syrian civilians. Sanctions by the United States, the European Union, Turkey and the 22-member Arab League have so far failed to blunt the turmoil, but are leaving Assad's regime increasingly isolated. Arab League ministers meeting in the Gulf nation of Qatar on Saturday to finalize the bloc's penalties agreed on a list of 19 Syrian officials subject to a travel ban. Among them are Cabinet ministers, intelligence chiefs and security officers, but the list does not include Assad.
Many of the Arab sanctions, which were first announced last Sunday, went into effect immediately, including cutting off transactions with the Syrian central bank, halting Arab government funding for projects in Syria and freezing government assets. The worst violence on Saturday took place in the restive northwestern city of Idlib. The pre-dawn clashes between regime forces and defectors killed seven soldiers and policemen, as well as five defectors and three civilians, according to a British-based group of Syrian activists called the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The U.N.'s top human rights official said this week that Syria is in a state of civil war and that more than 4,000 people have been killed since March. Until recently, most of the bloodshed in Syria was caused by security forces firing on mainly peaceful protesters, but there have been growing reports of army defectors and armed civilians fighting regime forces.
At least 25 people were reported killed in Syria Saturday as violence intensified in the eighth month of an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, pushing the death toll close to 4,600. The United Nations' top human rights forum has condemned Syria for "gross and systematic" violations by its forces, including executions and the imprisonment of some 14,000 people. Syria faces deepening international and regional isolation, with the Arab League, the European Union and the United States piling on tougher and tougher sanctions. In this material world no one wants suffering, violence or war, but they come.
WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
The material world is compared to dāvānala, a forest fire. As we have experienced, no one goes to the forest to set a fire, but still it takes place. Similarly, no one within this material world wants to be unhappy. Everyone is trying to be very happy, but one is forced to accept unhappiness. In this material world, from time immemorial to the present moment, there have been occasional wars, world wars, even though people have devised various means to stop wars. When I was a young man there was the League of Nations. In 1920, after the First World War, different nations formed the League of Nations, just to arrange for peaceful living among themselves. No one wanted war, but again there was a forest fire - the Second World War. Now they have devised the United Nations, but war is still going on - the Vietnam War, the Pakistan War, and many others. So you may try your best to live very peacefully, but nature will not allow you.
Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
"The Journey of Self-Discovery"
"The Spiritual Master"
'The Bona Fide Spiritual Master'