Saturday, April 7, 2012

Genocide Memorial 18th Anniversary in Rwanda...

Genocide Memorial Center in Gisozi
Today is another memorial day for the Genocide against Tutsis 18 years ago.

800,000 to 1,000,000 were slaughtered in 100 days. It was the fastest paced genocide ever. It was all over even before the world admitted that something was happening in Rwanda.

The U.N. was avoiding the use of the term "genocide" because it would trigger certain actions if it did.
They ended up deliberately turning their back against the genocide that was occurring in Rwanda.
Shame. But a fact.

Photos of People Killed during Genocide
Many Western world countries were also keeping their actions in step with the U.N.'s decision, indecision in that matter. It was probably natural under the circumstances. Nonetheless, it was also shame on them.

Slaughtered people are dead. So they are no longer alive. At least physically. They are gone. But many people survived the genocide and are still alive. They live with deep scars and horrible memories. They still suffer from nightmares and become hysteric about the terrifying memories from time to time. Each year's memorial period of 100 days until July 4th, including the week-long Mourning Week starting today, is the toughest time for these survivors. The past becomes alive again and again. And again.

The government is campaigning a slogan for the Genocide Memorial Period each year: "Never again."
Rightfully so. Probably people will be reminded and brainwashed not to think of any genocide again.
Or do they wish. Whether it be true or not, many people suffer greatly in the mean time.

From early morning, cars are driving around the towns with a loud speaker, calling people to attend the genocide memorial ceremony to take place all over the places in the country. This almost mandatory ceremony attendance will continue on and off for the next 100 days all over the country. People must attend it. Otherwise, you may be labeled negatively. Many times, businesses are forced to close down to attend the ceremony.

Tombstone listing People Killed
Some human rights activists criticize this forced attendance as an evidence of dictatorship and lack of freedom. Well... they may be right from their Western-style democracy viewpoint. But I am not sure if it is appropriate to apply the Western democracy to this virgin country. But, they cannot be blamed to be totally wrong because there are involuntary and unwilling components in these government-led activities.

The truth will prevail. No matter how long it may take.

On the other hand, there have been numerous positive developments. I am an advocate of this country. A strong one. I am amazed by the leader and the government in their efforts to becoming an exemplary nation in Africa. Not just economically but in many many fronts. I see clear evidences and even good fruits. However you dice and slice it, it is absolutely true that Rwanda has been transforming from a nation torn apart into pieces by the genocide into a nation of economic development, transparent governance, forgiveness and healing, clean streets, safe environment, pursuit of excellence, business friendliness and on and on. The list can go on. Amazing. Simply amazing. Enough said.

On this day, I pray that another genocide of any kind against any people should never happen again. Never again.

I also pray that Rwandans, particularly Rwandan leaders, fear God Almighty and humble themselves before Him and seek His divine wisdom for their future.

I sincerely pray that God will bless this nation to make an unprecedented precedent in Africa and in the world to be the fastest developing nation without losing a balance.

I also pray that Rwanda becomes a blessing to many other African countries and beyond not only economically but also socially and spiritually.

On this day, I confess that I am blessed and thankful to be part of this nation-rebuilding process in Rwanda. Thank you, Lord, for bringing us to Rwanda! - Jeffrey  

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