Death and rape threats against Davidson

Yesterday Green MP and co-leader Marama Davidson tweeted:

I think this claim has to be seen as credible. But it seems worse.

RNZ: Green Party co-leader receives rape and death threats on social media

The MP posted on Facebook yesterday morning, supporting Auckland mayor Phil Goff’s decision to ban two controversial Canadian speakers from Auckland Council venues.

Marama Davidson said “vile” comments about death and rape were made by supporters of the Canadian pair on her Facebook post yesterday.

“Quite a lot of tears from supporters of the two…some quite vile disgusting death threats to me, my children…some rape threats and people just calling me the most disgusting names and abuse you could probably imagine.”

She deleted the comments straight away because she did not want the wider public to get offended by what was written.

But she was now trying to recover the messages so she could give them to the police.

“Yeah I think it is worthwhile just putting on record to the authorities. That could include the parliamentary security – that this threat has been received,” she said.

Davidson’s post on Facebook:

Threats against MPs and their families shouldn’t be tolerated in New Zealand.

I have reservations about the Auckland banning of the Canadians, but that doesn’t justify threatening someone who supports the ban. It is something that warrants debate, but not gutless anonymous online attacks.

I don’t know how bad the threats were, I haven’t seen them, but it is still a disgraceful blot on ‘free speech’ and politics in New Zealand.

I know what it can be like to be threatened online, it has happened to me including implied death threats, and also threats against members of my family. It is an insidious part of the Internet – threats and abuse are an abuse of free speech.

 

Death of diver shows difficulty of Thai cave rescue, rain forecast

That it took nine days to find the thirteen people trapped deep in a cave in Thailand indicated the serious of their predicament.

It didn’t take long for warnings to be made about how difficult it would be getting them out of the flooded cave system, especially with the looming threat of several months of monsoon rains.

And the risks have been emphasised even more with the death of an expert diver, who ran out of oxygen on his way back out of the cave after dropping off oxygen tanks along the exit route.

BBC: Ex-navy diver dies on oxygen supply mission

Petty Officer Saman Gunan lost consciousness on his way out of the Tham Luang cave complex, where he had been delivering air tanks.

The group was found by British rescue divers after 10 days in the cave, perched on a rock shelf in a small chamber about 4km (2.5 miles) from the cave mouth.

Teams of Thai and international divers have since supplied them with food, oxygen and medical attention, but there are mounting concerns about the oxygen level in the chamber, which officials said had fallen to 15%. The usual level is 21%.

The death of Saman – a highly trained diver – on Thursday underscored the danger of moving from the chamber to mouth of the cave, and raised serious doubts about the safety of bringing the boys out through the cramped, flooded passageways.

The diver died after losing consciousness in one of the passageways, said Passakorn Boonyaluck, deputy governor of the Chiang Rai region, where the cave is situated.

“His job was to deliver oxygen. He did not have enough on his way back,” Mr Passakorn said.

Very sad.

On the surface, a huge military and civilian rescue operation is racing against the clock to bring the boys to safety. Heavy monsoon rains are expected on Sunday, threatening further flooding.

Officials had initially considered leaving the boys in the chamber to wait out the rainy season – which could have seen them trapped there for up to four months.

But Thailand’s Navy Seal commander suggested on Thursday that the divers may now have little choice but to attempt a daring emergency rescue – fraught with danger for the boys, who are aged 11 to 16 and some of whom cannot swim.

The latest news: Thailand cave rescue: no attempt to get boys out tonight, says governor

That was last night Thai time. It is nearly two weeks since they got trapped in the cave.

Official says even if rains start overnight, the football team ‘cannot dive at this time’

“There is no chance the boys will come out today. it is not suitable. they still cannot dive.”

He says the British diver, who came out of the cave at 9pm (local time), reported that the boys were fine.

The governor adds that he speaks to the families every day and asks if they want him to bring out the children right now. He says he wants the minimum risk before attempting the rescue.

If it rains, he says, the authorities “will try” to bring them out.

Efforts today to find appropriate locations to drill a shaft down to the stranded footballers were unsuccessful, meaning that the only viable option out is via the tunnels.

More: Full report: Falling oxygen levels add to risks of delays

Oxygen levels in their chamber may have fallen to about 15%, the deputy army commander Chalongchai Chaiyakham said at a briefing on Friday. Normal oxygen levels in the air are about 21%.

So many people – the boys, and the rescuers – in confined spaces are using up the available oxygen.

Updates from authorities throughout the week have emphasised the dangers of shepherding the boys through the cave to the exit, but the oxygen issues that emerged on Friday highlight the risks of keeping the boys in place during the monsoon.

Major decisions face those leading the rescue attempt. Very difficult decisions.

The cave is in Chiang Rai, which is in the north of Thailand:

Google Maps

Wikipedia:

Thailand is divided into three seasons.The first is the rainy or southwest monsoon season (mid–May to mid–October) which prevails over most of the country. This season is characterized by abundant rain with August and September being the wettest period of the year.

Nonetheless, dry spells commonly occur for 1 to 2 weeks from June to early July.

The boys and there coach became trapped just before a current dry spell.

This from weather.com shows the imminence of rain:

 

 

Charles Manson dead

Charles Manson, convicted of masterminding a series of murders in 1969, avoided the death penalty but spent the rest of his life in prison, He has just died, aged 83.

Image result for charles manson

LA Times: Charles Manson, mastermind of 1969 murders, dies at 83

Charles Manson was an unlikely figure to evolve into the personification of evil. A few inches over five feet, he was a petty criminal and small-time hustler. And his followers bore little resemblance to the stereotypical image of hardened killers. Most were in their early twenties, middle-class white kids, hippies and runaways who fell under his charismatic sway.

But in the summer of 1969, Manson masterminded a string of bizarre murders in Los Angeles that both horrified and fascinated the nation and signified to many the symbolic end of the 1960s and the idealism and naiveté the decade represented.

Considered one of the most infamous criminals of the 20th century, Manson died of natural causes at a Kern County Hospital at 8:13 p.m Sunday, according to Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He was 83.

Sentenced to death for the crime, Manson escaped execution when the state Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional at the time. He spent decades behind bars, an unrepentant and incorrigible inmate who’d been cited for behavioral issues more than 100 times.

His death is more of a curiosity than anything, I doubt many will mourn much.

Manson did not commit the murders himself; instead he persuaded his group of followers to carry out the killings. The crimes received frenzied news coverage, because so many lurid and sensational elements coalesced at the time — Hollywood celebrity, cult behavior, group sex, drugs and savage murders that concluded with the killers scrawling words with their victims’ blood.

Manson and four of his followers — Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel and Charles “Tex” Watson — were convicted of murdering actress Sharon Tate, the wife of movie director Roman Polanski, in their Bel-Air home on Aug. 9, 1969, along with four others.

Tate, 26, who was eight months pregnant, pleaded with her killers to spare the life of her unborn baby. Atkins replied, “Woman, I have no mercy for you.” Tate was stabbed 16 times. “PIG” was written in her blood on the front door.

The next night they killed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their Los Feliz home. Manson picked the house at random, tied up the couple and then left the killings to the others. They cut “WAR” in Leno LaBianca’s flesh and left a carving fork in his stomach and a knife in his throat. Using the LaBiancas’ blood, they scrawled on the wall and refrigerator in blood “DEATH TO PIGS” and “HEALTER SKELTER,” the misspelled title of a Beatles song.

The 9½-month trial — the longest in U.S. history at the time — was as bizarre as the crimes.

A group of young female followers with shaved heads gathered outside the courthouse and conducted a 24-hour vigil for Manson. One morning Manson entered the court room with an X carved into his forehead and his followers soon did the same.

During the trial, Manson jumped over his attorney’s table and made a dash for the bench. While the bailiffs were dragging him out of the courtroom, Manson shouted to Judge Charles H. Older, “In the name of Christian justice, someone should chop off your head!” The judge began packing a .38-caliber revolver under his robe.

Van Houten’s attorney, Ronald Hughes, disappeared during the trial and was later found dead. Prosecutors suspected he was another Manson victim.

Bugliosi argued during the trial that Manson orchestrated the murders as part of a plan to spark a race war that he called Helter Skelter. Blacks would win the war even though, according to Manson, they were inferior to whites. Then he and his followers would survive by living underground near Death Valley and would eventually take over power. In a later trial, Manson was convicted in the slayings of musician Gary Hinman and Donald “Shorty” Shea, who worked at the San Fernando Valley ranch where the family lived for a time.

In 1972, the death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment when the state Supreme Court abolished the death penalty. Since then, Manson and his followers have been eligible for parole hearings. Only one of those convicted in the nine murders — Steve Grogan, who was involved in the Shea shooting — has been paroled. Atkins died in 2009 while incarcerated in Chowchilla.

Manson — who had spent more than half of his life in prison before the conviction — was housed at Corcoran State Prison since 1989. He broke prison rules dozens of times for violations including possessing cellular phones and a hacksaw blade, throwing hot coffee at a staff member, spitting in a guard’s face, fighting, refusing to obey orders and trying to flood a tier in his cellblock. Long ago, he turned the X on his forehead into a swastika. He was denied parole 12 times and had numerous disciplinary violations. His last parole hearing was in 2012, which he declined to attend.

So it’s a notable death but not a particularly sad one.

 

Explosions, deaths at Manchester concert

There was at least one explosion at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. There have been multiple deaths and injuries reported.

Current summary (BBC):

  • Greater Manchester Police say there have been number of fatalities
  • People are urged to stay away from the area around Manchester Arena
  • Rail lines blocked at nearby Manchester Victoria station
  • Ariana Grande concert was evacuated
  • A spokesman for the singer confirms she is unharmed

Guardian: Manchester Arena: police confirm fatalities after explosion at Ariana Grande concert

Police in Manchester have responded to a “serious incident” at the city’s arena, amid unconfirmed reports online of an explosion.

Greater Manchester police warned people to stay away from Manchester Arena while they dealt with the issue. Officers did not release any further details on what has happened. A concert by Ariana Grande was being staged at the time.

UPDATE:

Here is the full update from Greater Manchester chief constable Ian Hopkins:

I can confirm the details of events tonight that we currently know. At around 10.33pm last night we received reports of an explosion at the Manchester Arena in the city centre. It was at the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert.

Currently we have 19 people confirmed to have died and around 50 people injured.

The injured are being treated at six hospitals across Greater Manchester. My thoughts are with all those who have been affected and we are doing all we can to support them.

Officers from GMP and emergency services are working at the scene and are supporting those affected. We are coordinating the response from GMP headquarters.

An emergency number is available for those who are concerned about loved ones or anyone who may have been in the area. It is 0161 856 9400.

We are currently treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise. We are working closely with the national counter-terrorism policing network and UK intelligence partners.

This is clearly a concerning time for people but we are doing all we can, working with local and national agencies to support those affected and gather information about what has happened tonight. As you will understand, we are still receiving information and updates, so will provide more details when we have a clearer picture.

Dudley family want manslaughter charges

After a Coroner’s Inquiry found that the primary cause of Stephen Dudley’s death was the brutal and unprovoked assault on him, his family is calling for manslaughter

RNZ: Dudley family seek manslaughter charges

The family of a West Auckland teenager who died after being attacked on a rugby pitch will seek manslaughter charges against his schoolmates, based on a new coroner’s report.

A coroner’s report found Stephen had an underlying heart problem and died when the stress of the assault induced a heart attack.

The 15-year-old had just finished rugby training when a teammate picked a fight. The teammate’s older brother then joined in, laying one hard punch to Stephen’s throat and more to his body.

Stephen collapsed on the field and despite CPR attempts by emergency services, he died in hospital less than two hours later.

The two brothers were charged with manslaughter but the charges were downgraded to assault after there was not enough evidence to connect the assault to the heart attack.

The boys were then discharged without conviction and with permanent name suppression.

However, coroner Gordon Matenga has accepted crown pathologist Paul Morrow’s evidence that the assault was the most significant factor leading to the heart attack.

The Dudley family said the coroner’s findings were vindicating but bittersweet.

The family felt robbed by their son’s premature death and wanted justice, their spokesperson Ruth Money said.

“We believe the appropriate charge is manslaughter, certainly against the eldest brother, who was very large when you compare the size of him and Stephen.”

“It was a very violent, very physical assault… that’s been backed up by the coroner’s findings.”

The family’s lawyer, Nikki Pender, said they were writing to the solicitor-general to seek manslaughter charges against the two brothers.

“Stephen was happy and healthy one minute, the physical assualt happens, and he collapses.”

I had wondered if it was possible to have new charges as it has already been dealt with by the Court. You can’t be tried for the same offence twice if there was a legal outcome of the first trial. Apparently it is possible.

There was no risk of double jeopardy – where someone cannot be tried for the same offence more than once – because the brothers were previously charged with assault, not manslaughter, Ms Pender said.

But one of the attacker’s lawyers claims too much uncertainty.

But the lawyer for one of the brothers, Ron Mansfield, said there was too much uncertainty over what was the key factor in Stephen’s death and a new trial was unlikely.

“We’re dealing with a criminal standard when looking at the culpability of a crime – the coroner’s not.”

“He’s looking for the cause of death… They are quite distinct.”

Assessing criminal conduct had already been done by people at a very senior level, involving specialists, Mr Mansfield said.

“The outcome was just and fair.”

It was wrong to see the brothers as villains, he said.

Many people, myself included, disagree that the brothers were not villians. They may not have intended to kill Dudley, but they recklessly attacked him and any normal person would know that that sort of thuggery could lead to grave consequences.

Coroner rules on Dudley’s death

The Coroner has ruled that the assault on schoolboy Stephen Dudley was the most significant factor in his death. It had already been found that Dudley also had an undiagnosed heart condition that was also a factor.

NZ Herald: Exclusive: Fatal assault – Stephen Dudley’s family want manslaughter prosecution after inquest findings

The family of a schoolboy who died after a violent assault at rugby training is calling for a manslaughter charge to be laid after the Coroner ruled the actions of another teen was “the most significant factor” in his death.

Stephen Eruwera Dudley died on June 6, 2013 after he was punched repeatedly by two teenage brothers at a West Auckland rugby field.

KEY POINTS

  • Stephen Dudley died after a an assault at rugby practice in 2013
  • Two teens were charged with manslaughter
  • The charge was lessened to assault after an undiagnosed heart condition was revealed
  • Coroner Gordon Matenga said one of the teen’s punches directly led to Stephen’s death
  • The Dudley family are calling for new charges following the Coroner’s findings

The brothers were initially charged with manslaughter.

But after medical examinations revealed an undiagnosed heart condition, the Crown withdrew the charge – saying it could not be determined whether the assault contributed to Stephen’s death.

In 2014 the brothers pleaded guilty to assaulting Stephen and were discharged without conviction and granted name permanent suppression.

Last year, just after third anniversary of Stephen’s death Coroner Gordon Matenga held an inquest.

Today he released his report, and found that while Stephen may have had an underlying heart condition, his death was the direct result of “stress associated with physical assault”.

Even though Dudley had a problem with his heart he would have lived longer if he hadn’t been attacked and beaten.

There has to be consequences for those who viscously attack others unprovoked, especially if the victim dies.

A clear legal message has to be strongly made that thuggery is both unacceptable and potentially very dangerous.

Brent Dudley said his son was seen by witnesses laughing and joking as he left rugby practice.

It wasn’t until he was “coward punched” that his health fatally deteriorated.

“We are happy that the Coroner saw it the same way that we do.”

The couple said they “strongly believe” the teenager who delivered the fatal blow needed to be held to account.

“We feel, strongly, that he has a case to answer,” Brent Dudley said.

I agree.

Another celebrity death

Another celebrity death, this time Carrie Fisher who was an actress and author.  I guess that will give them something to fill news pages and news bulletins with for another day or two.

I know it’s a slow news time of year but 1 News led their 6 o’clock news for two days in a row with long items on the death of George Michael.

No doubt there will be another rush of laments in social media about how bad a year 2016 has been.

Actually people dying isn’t something new, millions of people die each year. And celebrity deaths are like the end of life for anyone.

I guess media glorification of celebrity deaths is a sign of the times. Ex musicians and ex actors and news presenters (who wish to be seen as celebrities) are an ageing population so over reactions to the deaths of a few are likely to be a thing in 2017 as well.

Deaths can be very sad for those who are close to the deceased, but grieving over people we never knew except as performers (so we never knew them as people) seems to be getting a bit over the top.

My favourite movie that Carrie Fisher was in was the Blues Brothers but I had no idea she was ‘Mystery Woman’ in that. When there were news reports that she had had a heart attack I recognised the name but didn’t know what she was known for – she was in Star Wars too.

Another death in the news too – Richard Adams, author of Watership Down. He was 96 so did pretty well compared to Fisher who was 60.

Deaths can be sad, especially for those who are close and new the people well. But media coverage tends to be done to death.

We only hear about a select few. There are about 55 million deaths per year, which is about 150,000 per day.

An ironic quote:

The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.

Stalin tried to avoid tragedy by creating a statistic.

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely – Budha

Debating Castro’s legacy

There have been contrasting responses to the news of the death of Fidel Castro. A hero who stood up to the US, or a brutal dictator? Both.

Wikipedia:

Castro is a controversial and divisive world figure.

He is decorated with various international awards, and his supporters laud him as a champion of socialism and anti-imperialism whose revolutionary regime secured Cuba’s independence from American imperialism.

Conversely, critics view him as a totalitarian dictator whose administration oversaw multiple human-rights abuses, an exodus of more than one million Cubans, and the impoverishment of the country’s economy.

Through his actions and his writings he has significantly influenced the politics of various individuals and groups across the world.

In Browning can’t understand why Cuban exiles are celebrating Castro’s death David Farrar points out  a Facebook comment of Green MP Stefan Browning.

I’m saddened by the death of Fidel Castro. He represented so significantly the battle against the worst of the forces of capitalist greed and the tyranny of oppression by the USA industrial military complex. Cuba has problems but its achievements and humanitarian reach have been significant too, especially considering the blockades and measures against it. I was disappointed by this Stuff announcement that has so much about those celebrating Fidel’s passing, when millions will be mourning.

Fans of socialism have turned a blind eye to some appalling un-democratic, authoritarian and brutal leaders.

Farrar comments:

I’m saddened by the fact an MP who has never had to live under an authoritarian dictatorship praises it so much and can’t understand who the hundreds of thousands who actually lived under it despised it.

Castro imprisoned gays, killed political opponents, tortured prisoners, censored the Internet, banned trade unions, made strikes illegal etc etc. But because he was an enemey of the US, Browning thinks he was a great guy.

Browning is attracting huge negative feedback on his Facebook page for his tears of sadness at the death of an authoritarian dictator.

Even on the left there has been a very mixed reaction to Castro’s death.

The Standard: Fidel Castro has died

Cuba is a unique place with some weaknesses and problems but with other features that are outstanding.

RIP Fidel Castro.

That was under the authorship of ‘Notices and Features’ so someone chose not to put their own name to it. There was some support and also harsh criticism of Castro’s legacy.

Martyn Bradbury: Rest in Revolution Fidel Castro

2016 has been a shit year, and it continues to find ways to keep killing off all my heroes, this time 2016 has managed to wrestle life from the Godfather of the Revolution, Fidel Castro…

…and the World lost an idea that common people could join together and fight the forces of Capitalism with weapons if need be.

A revolutionary hero just turned up at the pearly gates demanding a meeting with the workers – Rest in Revolution Fidel.

That must be the workers Castro didn’t torture or murder. It’s odd that Bradbury should suggest castro has arrived at the ‘pearly gates’ when thought that religious beliefs were backward and viewed the Roman Catholic church as ” a reactionary, pro-capitalist institution” (however Castro ended up organising a visit to Cuba by the Pope in 1998).

Is a Castro type revolution what Bradbury keeps trying to talk up for New Zealand?

Comments at The Daily Blog were also a mix of praise and condemnation.

 

 

 

Obama and Trump on Castro’s death

Two contrasting responses to the news of the death of Fidel Castro are getting some attention.

President Barack Obama with a carefully worded official statement:

castro-obama

President-elect Donald Trump:

castro-trumptweet

Looking ahead, this is pointed out at New York Times during the election campaign in Business or Politics? What Trump Means for Cuba:

On the campaign trail, President-elect Donald J. Trump threatened to roll back the sweeping détente with Cuba, lambasting the “concessions” made to its Communist government and raising the possibility that one of Mr. Obama’s signature foreign policy initiatives could be stripped away.

…the critical question remains whether Mr. Trump, a real estate mogul and hotel developer, will be a businessman at heart and allow Mr. Obama’s measures to continue — or if he will instead keep a vow he made and scale back everything from diplomatic relations to the unlimited rum and cigars Mr. Obama recently allowed from Cuba.

Such a move by Mr. Trump would underscore the shifting relations between the United States and Cuba, which have long depended on who occupied the Oval Office.

“Several large European investment groups have asked me to take the ‘Trump Magic’ to Cuba,” Mr. Trump once wrote in a 1999 editorial in The Miami Herald supporting the trade embargo against Cuba.

“My investment in Cuba would directly subsidize the oppression of the Cuban people,” he said at the time. “But I’d rather lose those millions than lose my self-respect.”

Mr. Trump has, at other times, been vague on the issue. During the primary contest, he repeatedly said he thought restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba was “fine,” but added that the United States and the Cuban people did not get enough in return.

Asked by a reporter if his comments meant he would break off diplomatic relations with Cuba, Mr. Trump suggested that he might, and said he probably would not appoint an ambassador to Cuba.

“The agreement President Obama signed is a very weak agreement,” he said. “We get nothing. The people of Cuba get nothing, and I would do whatever is necessary to get a good agreement.”

In March, he told CNN that he would “probably” continue having diplomatic relations with Cuba, but he said he would want “much better deals than we’re making.”

Then, Mr. Trump took a harder line in Miami this fall.

“All of the concessions Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime were done through executive order, which means the next president can reverse them, and that I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands,” Mr. Trump said at a campaign event in September. “Not my demands. Our demands.”

I think that given Trump’s record of changing his stance on many issues and these varying indicators it’s impossible to predict how he will handle the USA-Cuba issue.

It’s also difficult to predict how Cuba will approach their relationship with the US now Fidel Castro is dead.

‘More Muslim than you’

An interesting tweet from@AliIkram

RIP

cnc1hxuvmaany4s

I hadn’t heard of Abdul Sattar Edhi but he has just died and is being widely mourned.

He has been called the ‘Father Teresa of Pakistan’.

Abdul Sattar Edhi (Memoni, Urdu: عبدالستار ایدھی‎; 1 Sindhi: عبدالستار ايڌي‎ January 1928 – 8 July 2016) was a prominent Pakistani philanthropist, social activist, ascetic, and humanitarian. He was the founder and head of the Edhi Foundation in Pakistan and ran the organization for the better part of six decades. He was known as Angel of Mercy and was considered Pakistan’s “most respected” and legendary figure. In 2013, The Huffington Post said that he might be “the world’s greatest living humanitarian.”

Revered by many as a national hero, Edhi created a charitable empire out of nothing. He masterminded Pakistan’s largest welfare organisation almost single-handedly, entirely with private company and donations.

Wikipedia:

Al Jazeera refers to him as legendary and “a prominent Pakistani philanthropist and humanitarian”.

Thousands attend funeral for Pakistan’s legendary Edhi

Tens of thousands attended the state funeral for Pakistan’s legendary philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi in Karachi.

Prominent Pakistani philanthropist and humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi was laid to rest on the outskirts of Karachi on Saturday at a state funeral attended by thousands of people. 

Edhi, 88, died late on Friday at a medical centre after a long battle with kidney disease. His death triggered a massive outpouring of grief across the nation of 190 million for a man who trancended social, ethnic and religious divisions. 

Tens of thousands attended Saturday’s ceremony, the first state funeral since the 1980s, at Karachi’s National Stadium. 

At one moment, crowds broke through the military lines to help carry Edhi’s coffin, which was draped with Pakistan’s green and white flag and covered with rose petals. 

Pakistan’s top civilian and army leadership offered funeral prayers at the stadium, as the country mourned the loss of a man commonly known as the “Angel of Mercy” for his internationally acclaimed social work.

For more than 60 years the Edhi Foundation, a charity he created with his wife, Bilquise, has run clinics and orphanages across Pakistan and managed a fleet of ambulances that provided much-needed assistance to poor communities failed by an inadequate public health and welfare system. 

“He was one of the chosen ones. People like him come once in many centuries, and he was a special chosen one,” one woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told Al Jazeera at the funeral.

A hero to the poor

Born in the western state of Gujarat in British India, Edhi and his Muslim family moved to Pakistan in 1947 during the violent partition of the subcontinent.

He built up his charity solely through donations, focusing on addicts, battered women, orphans and the disabled.

Despite the vast sums of money that passed through his charitable foundation, Edhi lived modestly with his family in a two-room apartment adjacent to the headquarters of his foundation.

Renowned for an ascetic lifestyle and recognised by his long white beard and traditional black cap, Edhi was a hero to the poor but infuriated some religious leaders with his refusal to give preferential treatment to Muslims above minorities.

He also berated hardline groups for attacking civilians, criticised the government for incompetence and corruption, and denounced tax-dodging by the rich.

Despite constant threats, the Edhi Foundation became Pakistan’s most relied upon social safety net, handling many of the responsibilities that the Pakistani government could not.

The Edhi foundation was at the forefront of the response last year when a devastating heatwave struck Karachi, a city of more than 20 million people.

Sounds like a good bloke who did extremely well in a challenging part of the world..

It’s good to see someone who does so much and uses religion positively and not to discriminate.