Saturday, August 28, 2010

Manila Bloodbath

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When the dust had settled, there is usually anger, also sadness, even bitterness and a lot of soul-searching. I am referring to the bus hijacking in Manila by a lone gunman, former decorated police officer, Rolando Mendoza who armed with an M-16 assault rifle, killed eight of the Hong Kong tourists he took hostage on Monday (i.e. August 23, 2010). It seemed that Mendoza opened fire after police bungled negotiations with him.

And to add to the seething anger in Hong Kong was an image on television that showed the draping of Mendoza’s casket with a Philippine flag as if he was a hero – leading China to issue a strong condemnation. It said, "The person who deserves a national flag at funeral should be someone of heroism, decency and integrity, not someone who inflicts atrocity on innocent lives".

It added: "This is nothing but a smear on the dignity of the Philippine national flag". The family removed the flag after China's protest.

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This atrocity brought death, grief and suffering. The Chinese mourned their dead and I am sure Filipinos shared their bereavement. So too, Mendoza’s family must embrace the pain of his death and also the tortured desperation of his despairing action.

As we remember this awful tragedy, we may be consoled by what Homer once said: “Life and death are balanced on the edge of a razor”.

In today’s EPL game, Arsenal faced a combative Blackburn, and the Gunners needed nerves of steel before they could subdue the latter 2-1. Arsenal took the lead when Theo Walcott rounded off a slick move by powering an angled shot (20), but Mame Biram Diouf tapped in from an El-Hadji Diouf pass as Blackburn impressively equalized (27). This was a fast and furious game, but with patience and persistence, Arsenal’s Andrey Arshavin finally grabbed the winner for his team when he drove in a shot after a Cesc Fabregas effort was deflected into his path (51).

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