Friday, June 15, 2012


LINGERS IN DESERTED SYRIAN TOWN - United Nations monitors reported a strong stench of dead bodies as they finally managed to enter the besieged Syrian town of Al-Heffah, allegedly the site of the country's latest massacre. After days of heavy fighting between government forces and opposition fighters, the observers say the town appears smouldering and nearly deserted. The UN monitors have been trying to enter the town after several days of fighting, but were forced to turn back on Tuesday when they were attacked by a crowd. They finally gained access to find buildings burnt down, shops abandoned and a body lying in the street. Smoke rose from destroyed buildings and burnt-out cars littered the roads. There were signs of a heavy bombardment.
 "Most government institutions, including the post office, were set on fire from inside," the UN Supervisory Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) said in a statement. "Archives were burnt, stores were looted and set on fire, residential homes appeared rummaged and the doors were open.

"A strong stench of dead bodies was in the air and there appeared to be pockets in the town where fighting is still ongoing." Only a handful of residents could be seen, and one man said 26,000 people had fled. Rebels pulled out of the town this week, saying the thousands of remaining citizens risked being killed in cold blood, a warning echoed by the United States. The eight-member UN team that visited the town reported that the ruling Baath party headquarters was shelled and appeared to have been the site of heavy fighting. "Remnant of heavy weapons and a range of calibre arms were found in the town," the UN statement said. "Cars, both civilian and security, were also set on fire and damaged." It said the number of casualties was still unclear. 
Violence has surged in recent weeks after rebels abandoned a ceasefire negotiated by international envoy Kofi Annan in his efforts to ease the conflict between Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the movement fighting to end his family's four-decade rule.

The smell of dead bodies lingered as United Nations monitors entered the deserted Syrian town of Haffa, where they observed evidence of looting and burned buildings in what had been a farming community of Sunni Muslims. At the site of what would be the third massacre in three weeks, an unarmed UN team reported evidence of shelling and heavy fighting as members walked through a scene of torched cars, burned offices and stores, and looted homes. Committing violence is a heinous sin. It is everyone's duty to give up violence and cruelty actions against others.

Persons who are attached to sinful activities generally become envious and violent toward other living entities. ... Violence toward other living entities is the root of all sinful activities. Those who are fortunate enough to engage in Krsna's devotional service naturally do not possess a propensity for violence. ... Those activities that aim at benefiting others are favorable for devotional service, while those activities that aim at causing them violence are opposed to devotional service. ... There are three kinds of violence: violence toward human beings, violence toward animals, and violence toward demigods. Violence is born from hate. ... Cruelty toward men and women causes great disturbances in the world. When people practice cruelty toward one another, compassion leaves the world and irreligiousness in the form of cruelty become prominent. (Caitanya-siksamrta 2/5).

Śrīla Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thākura :
“Śrī Bhaktivinoda Vānī Vaibhava” - Vol 2. “Abhidheya”
Chapter 73 - "Violence Toward the Living Entities"
Compiled by Śrīpad Sundarānanda Vidyāvinoda

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