Attitude check: Unless affected, why bother?

What about the Filipinos? Piracy focus seen as hypocritical

By Daniel Wallis
Reuters UK

MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) - The international community is showing hypocrisy by suddenly focussing on Somali piracy because of the capture of one American, a regional maritime group said on Saturday.

Sea gangs from the lawless Horn of Africa nation grabbed world headlines this week when they briefly hijacked the U.S. freighter Maersk Alabama. Its 20 crew retook control, but the gunmen took captain Richard Phillips hostage on a lifeboat.

The global media has tracked in great detail each twist and turn of the drama as it unfolds, including a failed attempt to swim to safety by the former Boston taxi driver.

But Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme said it was a pity similar attention was not paid to the nearly 250 other hostages -- all from poorer nations -- currently being held by other Somali pirates.

The biggest nationality represented, at 92, is Filipino.

"The media and the international community at large is just demonstrating its hypocrisy," he said in the Kenyan port of Mombasa, where the 17,000-tonne Alabama was due on Saturday.

"Journalists have flooded here from all over the world because of one American captain. What about all the others, from Bangladesh, from Pakistan, from the Philippines, some of whom have been held now for months?" [...]

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Postscript from my old post on 10/20/2008.

"When the rich are significantly affected, the world begins to panic. But when the poor are dying, the world pretends to be as is.

"Most of the world won't change until they themselves would experience for a considerable period of time a significant proportion of what the rest of the world are fully experiencing for a lifetime."

See also my old post on 9/30/2008 concerning this piracy.