Posts Tagged ‘landmine’

What can YOU do to urge the United States to join the Mine Ban Treaty?

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Guest Blog by: U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Handicap International U.S.

President Barack Obama announced in December 2009 that the administration had initiated a comprehensive review of its U.S. landmine policy to determine whether the U.S. will join the Mine Ban Treaty. However, the U.S. has still not announced the outcome of the review process. U.S. citizens, landmine survivors and campaigners from every corner of the globe have been calling on the U.S. to join the treaty for the last fifteen years. The world has waited long enough.

Since the policy review began, the administration has received letters of support for the Mine Ban Treaty from 68 Senators, NGO leaders, key NATO allies, 16 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, victims of U.S. landmines, and countless concerned Americans like you.

The United States Campaign to Ban Landmines, in partnership with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), needs your help to ensure that the outcome of the review process is announced and that the treaty is submitted by the administration to the Senate for consent now.

Please use the CapWiz tool on our website to write your own letter to the administration to tell the U.S. that it’s time to join the Mine Ban Treaty and to ban the use of this barbaric weapon once and for all!

This post concluded our bi-weekly Guest Blog series from the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Handicap International U.S. For more information about the US Campaign to Ban Landmines, please visit www.uscbl.org

Why should the United States join the Mine Ban Treaty?

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Guest Blog by: U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Handicap International U.S.

• The Mine Ban Treaty has established a strong international standard of rejecting any use of antipersonnel mines. Nearly all of the 36 states that remain outside the Mine Ban Treaty are in de facto compliance with most of the treaty’s provisions—i.e., they do not use or export landmines. The international stigma against the weapon has become so strong that it would be extremely difficult for the United States to use landmines without significant political ramifications.

• The U.S. already complies with the Mine Ban Treaty’s key prohibitions. It has not used antipersonnel landmines since 1991 (during the 1991 Gulf War), has not exported the weapon since 1992, has not produced antipersonnel mines since 1997, and has no plans for future procurement of antipersonnel mines.

• The U.S. is already the world’s largest contributor to mine clearance and victim assistance programs and it should match its financial commitment with a political commitment to end the threat of use of antipersonnel mines.

• The weapon has little or no military value to U.S. forces today as showed by the simple fact that the U.S. did not use antipersonnel mines of any kind for the past 20 years, in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, or any other location, during both high and low intensity conflict. But again, the political costs of the U.S. using antipersonnel mines today would be very high. Key U.S. allies have already joined the Mine Ban Treaty, including all NATO member states (except Poland, which has signed but not yet ratified) and many key allies such as Australia, Colombia, Japan, South Africa, Afghanistan, and Iraq. If the U.S. used mines during a joint operation with any State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty, that State Party would be at great risk of violating the treaty, which prohibits any assistance with the use of mines.

• So-called “smart mines” equipped with self-destruct or self-deactivating mechanism (that the U.S. retains the right to use indefinitely anywhere in the world, under the current policy) still pose humanitarian dangers and are by no means safe for civilians. First, while they remain active, these “smart” landmines are still unable to discriminate between a soldier and a child. Second, their self-destruct mechanisms have an estimated failure rate of 1 to 10%—resulting in new civilian casualties even after conflict, not to mention loss of land use and hindered development because communities may still fear active contamination.

• Acceding to the treaty would reinforce President Obama’s stated commitment to international humanitarian law, protection of civilians, arms control and disarmament, and multilateralism. U.S. accession would help convince other countries not yet party to join and strengthen the emerging norm against antipersonnel mines; thereby ensuring landmines are not used in the future and prohibiting additional humanitarian and socio-economic harm.

Stay tuned for more in this bi-weekly Guest Blog series from the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Handicap International U.S

What is the United States’ Stance on the Mine Ban Treaty?

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Guest Blog by: U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Handicap International U.S.

Back in 1994, President Clinton became the first world leader to call for the “eventual elimination” of antipersonnel landmines. In 1998, Clinton set the objective for the U.S. to join the Mine Ban Treaty in 2006. The Bush administration reversed that decision in 2004 and instead decided that the U.S. would retain the right to use any antipersonnel mine equipped with self-destruction or self-deactivation mechanisms (also called “non-persistent” or “smart” mines) anywhere in the world indefinitely. Under the Bush policy—which still remains in place, the U.S. pledged to stop—and to our knowledge has stopped—production of so-called “persistent” or “dumb” mines everywhere in the world, including Korea, as of 2011. The U.S. has also, despite reserving the right to do so, not used any landmines since 1991 nor produced any new landmines—persistent or non-persistent—since 1997.

In December 2009, the United States attended the Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World—the first time the U.S. has ever participated in a Mine Ban Treaty meeting—where U.S. officials confirmed that a review of U.S. landmine policy was underway. The U.S. held a series of consultations on its landmine policy during 2010 to seek the views of its allies, U.N. and international organizations, and civil society. To date the Obama administration has not announced an outcome to this review.

Stay tuned for more in this bi-weekly Guest Blog series from the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Handicap International U.S.

What is the Ottawa Process or Mine Ban Treaty?

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Guest Blog by: U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Handicap International U.S.

The political initiative launched in October 1996 and culminating in the opening for signature of the Mine Ban Treaty in Ottawa, Canada, in December 1997 is known as the Ottawa Process. The Ottawa Process was unorthodox, historic and unprecedented. The treaty, which prohibits the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and their Destruction, is the product of an unusually cohesive and strategic partnership between non-governmental organizations, international organizations, United Nations agencies and governments. To date a total of 160 nations have joined the Mine Ban Treaty; unfortunately, the United States is not one of them.

Stay tuned for more in this bi-weekly Guest Blog series from the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Handicap International U.S.

THREE-LEGGED ELEPHANTS IN “THE EYES OF THAILAND” TO HAVE THEIR MINNESOTA PREMIERE AT THE TWIN CITIES FILM FEST

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact Name:  Tim VandeSteeg

Phone: (310) 497-4495

Email: tim@indiewood.net

 

THREE-LEGGED ELEPHANTS IN “THE EYES OF THAILAND” TO HAVE THEIR MINNESOTA PREMIERE AT THE TWIN CITIES FILM FEST

Ashley Judd narrates the eight-time award-winning documentary “The Eyes of Thailand” about one woman’s quest to help two elephant landmine survivors walk again on prostheses.

LOS ANGELES, CA – (October 4, 2012) – D.V.A. Productions, in Association with Indiewood Pictures, is proud to announce the Minnesota Premiere of the 8-time award-winning and critically acclaimed documentary The Eyes of Thailand, narrated by Ashley Judd.

The Film will Premiere at Twin Cities Film Festival on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 5:30pm at the Showplace ICON Theater (1625 West End Boulevard St. Louis Park, MN 5541). The Film is Directed/Produced by Windy Borman and Produced by Tim VandeSteeg, a Minnesota native and Special Guest for the Minnesota Premiere.

Tickets are available now at <http://www.twincitiesfilmfest.org/>.

After losing their legs from stepping on a landmine, two elephant survivors are given a second chance to walk again in this powerful and heartwarming story of sacrifice and perseverance.  “There are documentaries that make you think, those that make you feel, and then those like ‘Eyes of Thailand,’ that leave you shaken, inspired and unable to see the world the same ever again. We couldn’t be more honored to celebrate a film like this – one of vision, passion and heart. It is cinema at its most electrifying”, said Steve Snyder, Artistic Director at Twin Cities Film Fest.

The Eyes of Thailand is a story of sacrifice and perseverance that shows how far one woman will go to save an endangered species from threats above and below the surface. I hope it will raise awareness to protect Asian Elephants—and all beings—from the terror of landmines,” said Ashley Judd.

“The Eyes of Thailand” was awarded the “ACE Documentary Film Grant” from The Humane Society of the United States. Jonny Vasic, Director of the ACE program says, “The Eyes of Thailand is an inspiring and unique documentary that will open up hearts and minds about the amazing veterinary work being performed at the Asian Elephant hospital.”

The film received the “Best Documentary” Jury Award at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival and Soraida Salwala received the “Best Herione in a Wildlife Film” Award at the International Wildlife Film Festival. The film has also garnered Humanitarian, Green, Animal Advocacy and Animation awards since its World Premiere in April 2012 at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

The elephant stars of the film have been capturing the hearts of people worldwide and were featured in National Geographic, Takepart.com, Yahoo, Huffington Post and IndieWire.

“When I met Soraida, Mosha and Motala in 2007, I knew I discovered an untold story that I needed to share with the world.  Witnessing Mosha and Motala take their first steps on their new prostheses was one of the most amazing moments of my life. I cannot wait to share it with the world,” said Director/Producer Windy Borman.

“The Eyes of Thailand” is a story that embodies heart, courage and compassion to make a real difference and improve the lives of others, no matter whatever obstacles stand in your way,” said producer Tim VandeSteeg.

The filmmakers have created a successful and loyal following through the film’s social media sites, including Facebook <www.facebook.com/eyesofthailand> and Twitter <www.twitter.com/eyesofthailand>, and the film’s website <www.eyesofthailand.com>.

For further inquiries, please contact: Tim VandeSteeg tim@indiewood.com

Award-winning film brings story of elephant landmine survivors to Canada

Monday, October 1st, 2012

PRESS RELEASE

Mines Action Canada and D.V.A. Productions (San Francisco), in association with Indiewood Pictures, are proud to announce the Canadian Premiere of “The Eyes of Thailand” at the One World Film Festival in Ottawa, Ontario. The film will open the festival with a screening on Thursday, October 11, at 6:30pm at the Library and Archives (395 Wellington Ave) and a Q & A with Director/Producer Windy Borman will follow. Tickets can be purchased online at: http://bit.ly/TM5spQ or through Mines Action Canada’s donation page www.indiegogo.com/EOTtoOttawa .

“The Eyes of Thailand” is directed/produced by Windy Borman and produced by Tim VandeSteeg. The 8-time award-winning documentary, narrated by Ashley Judd, tells the heartwarming and heroic true story of Soraida Salwala, a passionate woman who dedicated 10 years of her life to help two Asian elephants walk again after losing their legs in landmine incidents.

Judd writes, “The Eyes of Thailand is a story of sacrifice and perseverance that shows how far one woman will go to save an endangered species from threats above and below the surface. I hope it will raise awareness to protect Asian Elephants—and all beings—from the terror of landmines.”

Mines Action Canada is thrilled to partner with One World Film Festival to bring “The Eyes of Thailand” to Canada during the 20th anniversary of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Paul Hannon, Executive Director said “This film demonstrates the indiscriminate nature of landmines and how in mine affected areas no one is safe until all the mines are cleared. Windy Borman graduated from our Youth Leaders training in 2010 during the filming of ‘The Eyes of Thailand’ and now that the film is finished we’re very excited to help One World Film Festival and Windy share this story with Canadians.”

Borman became involved in the landmine issue after meeting Soraida, Mosha and Motala in Thailand and seeing their journey from landmine victims to survivors. “Witnessing Mosha and Motala take their first steps on their new prostheses was one of the most amazing moments of my life. I cannot wait to share it with Canada – a country known for its leadership in the movement to ban landmines. I hope the film will serve as a reminder that there is still work to be done to eradicate landmines so that all beings can walk without fear” said Borman.

“The Eyes of Thailand” was awarded the “ACE Documentary Film Grant” from The Humane Society of the United States and the “Best Documentary” Jury Award from the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival. Salwala received the “Best Heroine in a Wildlife Film” Award at the International Wildlife Film Festival. The film has also garnered Humanitarian, Green, Animal Advocacy and Animation awards since its World Premiere in April 2012.

Interview opportunities exist with Director/Producer, Windy Borman on October 11, 2012.
Contact: Erin Hunt, Program Officer
Mines Action Canada
Phone: + 1 613 241-3777
Cell: + 1 613 302-3088
E-mail: erin@minesactioncanada.org

Film Links:

Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/events/484659311553545/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/eyesofthailand

Twitter: http://twitter.com/eyesofthailand

Web site: http://eyesofthailand.com

###

Top 10 Things You May Not Know About Landmines

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Guest Blog by: U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Handicap International U.S.

You’ve seen the devastating effects of landmines in Windy Borman’s documentary “The Eyes of Thailand.” What most people don’t realize is that landmines are still posing a threat to millions of civilians, and in Mosha and Motala’s case elephants, everyday around the globe.

Here are some little known facts about landmines:

  1. Around 4,000-5,000 people were maimed or killed by landmines last year alone
  2. There are tens of millions of landmines in the ground in 78 countries
  3. 30-40 percent of mine victims are children under 15 years old
  4. The United States has 10.4 million Anti-Personnel Landmines (APLs) stockpiled, the third largest mine arsenal in the world
  5. Landmines cost as little as $3 to produce and as much as $1,000 per mine to clear
  6. Landmines have injured and killed thousands of U.S. and allied troops in every U.S.-fought conflict since World War II, including recently in Iraq and Afghanistan
  7. U.S.-made or supplied APLs have been found in 32 countries, including Afghanistan
  8. Landmines are indiscriminate killers that target civilians long after a conflict has ended. Most kinds of landmines last forever. Mines laid during WWII are still killing and maiming civilians
  9. At the beginning of the 20th century, nearly 80 per cent of landmine victims were military personnel. Today, 90 per cent of landmine victims are civilians
  10. Landmines set in motion a series of events that leads to environmental damage in the forms of soil degradation, deforestation, pollution of water resources with heavy metals and altering entire species’ populations through degrading habitats and altering food chains

Stay tuned for more in this bi-weekly Guest Blog series from the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Handicap International U.S.

“The Eyes of Thailand” sets sights for Northwest Premiere at the Port Townsend Film Festival This Weekend

Monday, September 17th, 2012

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact Name:  Windy Borman

Email: windy@dvaproductions.com

 

‘THE EYES OF THAILAND’ SETS SIGHTS FOR NORTHWEST PREMIERE AT THE PORT TOWNSEND FILM FESTIVAL

Ashley Judd narrates the eight-time award-winning film that has its roots in the Pacific Northwest.

SEATTLE, WA (September 17, 2012) – D.V.A. Productions, in Association with Indiewood Pictures, is proud to announce the Northwest Premiere of The Eyes of Thailand at the Port Townsend Film Festival (PTFF). The Film will screen Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 6:15pm at the Rose Theatre (Port Townsend, WA) and Sunday, September 23 at 12:30pm at the Uptown Theatre (Port Townsend, WA). Tickets are available at <http://www.ptfilmfest.com/>. Special guests include Director/Producer Windy Borman.

“The Eyes of Thailand” is directed/produced by Windy Borman and produced by Tim VandeSteeg. The 8-time award-winning documentary, narrated by Ashley Judd, tells the heartwarming and heroic true story of Soraida Salwala, a passionate woman who dedicated 10 years of her life to help two Asian elephants walk again after losing their legs from stepping on landmines.

Judd writes, “The Eyes of Thailand is a story of sacrifice and perseverance that shows how far one woman will go to save an endangered species from threats above and below the surface. I hope it will raise awareness to protect Asian Elephants—and all beings—from the terror of landmines.”

Borman began production on “The Eyes of Thailand” in November 2007, while traveling in Thailand with a Port Townsend theatre company, but when Borman met Salwala and the two elephant landmine survivors, the direction of the film changed.

“When I met Soraida, Mosha and Motala, I knew I discovered an untold story that I needed to share with the world. Witnessing Mosha and Motala take their first steps on their new prostheses was one of the most amazing moments of my life. I cannot wait to share it with the world–and especially the company members from Port Townsend,” said Borman.

“The Eyes of Thailand” was awarded the “ACE Documentary Film Grant” from The Humane Society of the United States and the “Best Documentary” Jury Award from the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival. Salwala received the “Best Heroine in a Wildlife Film” Award at the International Wildlife Film Festival. The film has also garnered Humanitarian, Green, Animal Advocacy and Animation awards since its World Premiere in April 2012.

The elephant stars of the film have been capturing the hearts of people worldwide and were featured in National Geographic, Yahoo, Takepart.com, Huffington Post and IndieWire.

The filmmakers have created a successful and loyal following through the film’s social media sites, including Facebook <www.facebook.com/eyesofthailand> and Twitter <www.twitter.com/eyesofthailand>, and the film’s website <www.eyesofthailand.com>.

For further inquiries, please contact: Windy Borman windy@dvaproductions.com

Pre-Order your Official “Eyes of Thailand” Gear

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

To help you show off your “Eyes of Thailand” spirit at our upcoming film festivals, we’ve launched a Facebook Store so you can pre-order your official “Eyes of Thailand” T-shirts and posters. The gear is in limited supply, so pre-order yours TODAY!

“Dream Big” T-Shirts: We love to see Democracy in action! Our Facebook Fans voted in August on their favorite T-shirt designs and here’s the winning look. The design features Motala and Baby Mosha on the front with our “Dream Big” slogan, and the title of the film on the back. Men’s, women’s and kid’s sizes available.

 

(c) Eyes of Thailand, LLC

 

Official Film Posters: Now you can bring home a bit of elephant history with an official poster for “The Eyes of Thailand”. Posters are unsigned and measure 24″ x 36″, exactly the same size we use at our film festival screenings!

 

(c) Eyes of Thailand, LLC. All rights reserved.

SPECIAL NOTES:

  • If you selected a T-shirt or poster as part of a Donation Perk, you do NOT have to pre-order your gear. We already have you factored into the headcount.
  • Posters and T-shirts will be mailed later this month.
  • If you’re coming to a festival in September, we’ll have T-shirts on hand for cash purchase.
  • Once we decide on a water bottle company, we’ll reveal the water bottle design and add them to the Facebook Store, too.

“The Eyes of Thailand” wins Green Planet Award

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

The Eyes of Thailand” continues its award streak by receiving the Green Planet Award from FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival. The Green Planet Award is given to the film whose missions are “celebrating the vision of man’s shared humanity and achieving sustainability on our planet.”

“The Eyes of Thailand” tells the true and inspirational story of Soraida Salwala’s quest to help two elephant landmine survivors walk again. Treating their wounds was only part of the journey: building elephant-sized prostheses was another. The now 7-time award-winning film is directed/produced by Windy Borman, produced by Tim VandeSteeg and narrated by Ashley Judd.

The Green Planet Award was extra special for “The Eyes of Thailand” because it was announced on World Elephant Day.

To learn more about the film’s social and environmental goals, visit “The Eyes of Thailand” website.