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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Amanda Back in Canada This Week

The canadian goverment will send a plane to get Amanda and her family back to Canada early this week.
At last she will be back on canadian grounds.

Welcome back , enjoy being back woth your family.


  1. Is this information confirmed, and by whom?

  2. I'm getting a bit confused here - was she working as a professional paid journalist or not?

    You say both here: "Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan: was kidnapped for 458 days while on assignment in Somalia"
    And: "Amanda Lindhout, a freelance journalist and native of Red Deer, Alta."

    If Amanda were "on assignment in Somalia", then who was she working for and why did they not have/use their ransom insurance to free Amanda, as their journalist staffer, and why didn't they work/negotiate to get her out much earlier in 2008 but apparently left it 11 months until the families engaged AKE in London? That seems very irresponsible of her employer agency.

    Nowhere on the Inet, apart from a mention of Canal TV3 in France, can I find any reference to Amanda possibly working for anyone while (?on assignment?) in Somalia (or Ethiopia before)"?

    Its a critical important point, given the merging squabbles over who caused the negotiation/release delays, who has paid what, for what and to whom? Moreso as new battles emerge over who will pay the new counselling/rehabilitation bills once they return to their home countries, eg. the Canada trust monies withheld vs the Australian pledges by Dick Smith, already made good and paid for their safe release last month.

    Its a simple question: was Amanda freelance in Somalia (as Nigel Brennan has admitted he was) or was she on assignment in Somalia, if so for whom was she working for over those 458 terrible days and nights?

  3. I hope any money made off this blog is given to Amanda?

    Will you also be giving Amanda her domain name?
    This blog was very misleading, making people think it was run by Amanda's friends or Family!

  4. V.Fire Money!!!

    How much money did you make off this site Terry?

  5. Your not helping anything if you announce any information about Amanda's return!!!! Seriously??? If her family wants the public to know when she is coming home, they would tell the media, that is not your job to post information like that. By doing so you are not supporting her at all!!!

  6. Say WHUT? Send a friggin' Government aircraft to fly her home? How about sending her a taxi chit to get her to the airport where she can buy her own ticket. It is not like she was working for the government or anyone other than herself. More tax dollars wasted on some gadfly. What's next - she gets named the new GG?

  7. Hopefully the money Amanda makes from selling the exclusive first interview, magazine, book, TV, CD/DVD and film rights will come back to our Government as reimbursement for the $ms it has spent on rescuing her from her own stupidity and naive craving for 15 minutes of fame, which she then overdid by some 457 days!

    There's so many good reasons why real journalists DONT GO to Somalia, as Amanda well knows now. Now you are back look up the Canadian, US, UK and Australian foreign ministry travel advices on Somalia or Allah forbid it where you decide to go for some freelance excitement next trip. So pretend journalists should stay even further away, try making it Alberta first then get a real journalist job where your employer insures you if you are sent into danger working on assignment. Freelance may be fun but it does not allow you to act free of forethought and its not free at all for the taxpayer. If the wise old hacks wont go there, neither should you, it's a no brainer!

    There's plenty of poverty, violence and abuse in Canada - do your good works there where you can safely and it really matters. Hand in your passport, meantime, until you get some common sense and comprehensive travel/medical/ransom insurance (which for obvious reasons doubtless you will be refused any future cover)!!

  8. Consul
    You are so full of yourself..
    Amanda and Nigel don't need a lecture from you or anyone else. They know better than anyone,
    how upsetting their ordeal became. I hope they don't live the rest of their lives with coulda' shoulda' done it differently. We all deserve Government assistance in our hour of need.
    We all pay taxes.. Jerk
    Why did the government trade prisoners to save
    another Cdn hostage? Do they flip a coin deciding what Canadian to give help to..

  9. Pat

    No I'm not a jerk nor full of myself - its just we do too many of these totally avoidable clean-ups abroad each year, wasting by our taxes. And many of those we service don't pay taxes, its not a critieria but incapacity and need are.

    No, they don't need a lecture, just read the official travel advices then exercise common sense and follow that advice. If we're not there and senior journalists don't go, its for very good obvious reasons.

    Yes, I too hope they don't live the rest of their lives with "coulda' shoulda' done it differently" cloud. The fact is they did, they got it wrong and they can't undo it. The take home lesson is they were very lucky to get back alive and by following official advice it is unlikely to happen again, inshallah.

    Yes, we deserve Government assistance in our hour of need, except where we have ignored all reasonable facts and warnings, when we have irresponsibly gone where no one should go to do something we are not trained nor paid to do. The fact is there are too many sensible but unlucky Canadians abroad in need and too few funds and staff available to also provide rescue services to the stupid ones.

    Yes if we do 'trade' prisoners for canadians in need, its because its a certain win-win deal. We get rid of convicted criminal non-canadians and save millions on keeping them here in jail for years in exchange for getting back alive canadians who have usually done nothing wrong except be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Surely you don't have any problem with that as a taxpayer and parent.

    No, Pat, we don't 'flip a coin' and once we are on your case we don't count them either until we get you back. Reflect on that before you next travel abroad.

  10. Consul: Our Government does pick and choose.
    I personally want them to assist aid workers and any other brave Canadian who put their neck on the line to help the starving Somalians. Amanda & Nigel don't need anyone lecturing them. They know first hand the attempt they were making to help millions resulted in them becoming victims also.
    In hindsight they would not have gone.
    So go scream and rant and rave at someone else.
    How about getting a cause that will help people.
    However they have achieved world awarenes for Somalians and as a result maybe there will be some compassionate powerful people/Countries to step-up now and assist the refugees.
    Of course you don't care about helping people so I am just lecturing a selfish guy who enjoys telling off people who hve been abused for 15 months. Does it make you feel better about yourself? Don't bother answering..

  11. FYI: Apples, oranges -- and lemons - Canada bent over backwards for a convicted fraudster but did nothing for kidnapped broadcaster

  12. Media blackout given to Journalist Melissa Wong.
    No media blackout given to Journalist Amanda Lindhout..

  13. Sorry - Correction: Melissa Fung

  14. On apples - lemons: swapping good but unlucky canadian 'apples' for 'bad' non-canadian convicted criminal 'lemons', costing C$200k a year in jail is the only rational decision. Clearly the alternative is absurd: we keep their prisoners and they keep our canadian hostages!!??

    Fortunately, our Government chooses to spend that $200k getting good but unlucky canadians back home rather than keeping non-canadian criminals here. Clearly its the only correct decision: morally, as both families agree and financially since our Government can spend that $200k only once in its budget. It chooses to spend canadian taxes on rescuing Canadians abroad. No problem with that surely.

    Far better to spend it on a safe release hostage-prisoner swap, in fact, the more criminals we send home, the more $200k's our Government saves from its Jails budget for transfer to our Consular Services budget. Its a win-win every time surely. Free Oranges all round for the good Apples, good riddance to the bad lemons!

    On Canada "did nothing for kidnapped broadcaster". Wrong, as it clearly did a lot with Melissa Fung who was released alive quickly. Why? Because she went there on assignment for CBC, who provided her armed personal protection and responsibly had full kidnap-ransom insurance to lessen the risk.

    Amanada was not a journalist or broadcaster on assignment, thus chose no armed personal protection and no kidnap-ransom insurance, so carried all the risk personally. Thus after her 'guaranteed' kidnapping there was no ready ransom money, no direct negotiation, no means of officially doing it, so she spent 14 months longer as a hostage than Melissa did.

    The lesson is clear, our Government can only really help those who help themselves before going abroad.

    (Note alex's comments (#2), is still unanswered on this blog - though Nigel in australia yest. said they weren't there as journalists and clearly they shouldn't have gone there at all.)

  15. To know what Melissa Fung thought try her reported contributions to a media kidnapping panel in Toronto in April: "Kidnapped, Threatened, Under Fire: Three journalists confront the realities of reporting in conflict zones"

    *Fung - When she was released from captivity she was surprised about the media embargo and that there was no reporting of her kidnapping. When she was in captivity she was thinking 'man this a helluva story for my colleagues.' She doesn't know if the embargo was the right thing or not, it was the CBC's call."

    At least its a lot calmer and more cogent than Pat's increasingly angry contributions here.

    Accept that "Our Government does pick and choose" and know that you are much more likely to be chosen for help if you follow official advice, heed warnings and take out appropriate medical/travel insurance. Our government first helps those who best help themselves.

    Otherwise its anarchy like in Somalia, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan - all being official Don't go countries for obvious reasons. It's simple just don't go!

  16. This women was clearly not journalist and is very fortunate to still be alive. Significantly, after a CBC newscast warned not to go to Somalia, she said she was taking responsibility for her own actions. If she were on assignment for a French media agency, then why did they and the French Government not help her?
    While our government fails many of its citizens, it is also very clear that they had warned her 'Not to Go' but she ignored their sound advice. She alone must accept responsibility for her plight and its consequences and we should not pay for it either now.

  17. I came to a site called Free Amanda Lindhout.
    It is a blog filled with so much hate & abuse.
    Welcome back to freedom Amanda and Nigel.
    I am one Canadian who wishes Amanda and her loved ones a wonderful peaceful reunion and all the best with their journey of healing.
    May the dark days be truly left behind them.

    I am glad her dream will now be granted to run around Stanley Parks Sea wall.
    The fresh air will be good for her..
    Best wishes to Amanda for good health & peace..
    May we all live to see a solution to the refugee crisis. Sincerely, Barbara

  18. Pat, we're agreed and accept that "Our Government does pick and choose". Just as we all do every day, that's life - the trick is to make the right choice more often than not.

    If you "personally want (us) to assist aid workers and any other brave Canadian who put their neck on the line to help the starving Somalians" then come and join our Consular service in Ottawa, as I did.

    No, I'm not one to scream and rant and rave at someone else as I'm too busy helping needy canadians abroad, so I've already got "a cause that will help people" - as one of your dedicated hard-working Consuls both here and abroad.

  19. MFAIT's Travel Advice kinda says it all really:


    Avoid all travel.

    OFFICIAL WARNING: Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against all travel in Somalia. Canadians in this country should leave. There is no resident Canadian government office in Somalia, and the Government of Canada cannot provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens in distress in Somalia.

    Canadians who are in Somalia despite this warning and who are confronted with an emergency will have to make their way to the nearest embassy or consulate of Canada (see section 5) or rely on their own resources.

    The security situation in Somalia is very volatile, particularly in South-Central Somalia. The security situation remains highly unstable and could represent a very serious threat to travellers.

    The security situation is dangerous and unpredictable across the country. Travellers are at risk of kidnapping, murder, or arrest without notice or apparent cause.

    Canadians who choose to travel despite the advisory may have difficulty in departing the country.

    The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller.

  20. Great idea Consul leave your real name and all contact details,
    for the few Canadians (that bother reading this blog) that need a job office in Ottawa?
    If you are telling the truth you will leave your email address.
    I can forward it to my Grandson, He needs a job.

    You preach that you have a busy schedule helping needy Canadians abroad, I assume you lecture all of them also, that they should never have left Canada. LOL
    You take time out from your busy schedule and important position of employment, to keep posting on a blog to berate Amanda and her supporters.
    Not very ethical or professional of you.
    A blog that was dedicated to freeing her? Or was this blog set-up to insult her and harass her Family during the 15 months of brutal negotiations?

  21. When will people get bored of posting & reading
    redundant comments. Talk about repeating yourselves over & over again for 15 months.
    You guys are not writing anything new or helpful.
    The Governments travel warning has been posted many times already.. Too bad we can't go back in time and erase all the bad choices we have made. Verbally abusing the Lindhouts after they have survived human rights abuses that most of us can not relate too. Does not make any of you stronger people.

    Leave them alone now.
    Direct your energy to a good cause that you can make an impact with and help others less fortunate than yourselves. Or just go on & live your lives selfishly but stop being bullies.
    Karen Evans

  22. Hours before Ms. Lindhout set foot in Calgary, Mr. Brennan landed in Sydney where, reading from a prepared statement, he apologized for the “stress and hurt” he caused his family.

    He said he and Ms. Lindhout wanted to highlight the plight of Somali refugees. “In hindsight, it was maybe a risk I maybe shouldn’t have taken.” must be kidding!

  23. Ellen,

    Your grandson who needs a job should us contact here:

    As I currently work in the consular 'helping canadians abroad' area, and not the 'finding canadians employment in mfait' area, there's little point in him or you contacting me direct.

    But as with Amanda and Nigel, I wish your grandson good luck and well in his future. Its a tough but very rewarding career in the service of you country and citizens both overseas and back here.

    best alex

  24. CBC has just put up this very useful link:

    "Ask a Foreign Correspondent"

    This is your chance to ask your favourite international journalists a question, about the unique challenges and rewards of their work.

    Unfortunately, Melissa Fung is not one of them.

  25. Here's a useful website for Amanda, Nigel & their families:

    "Hostage UK" was established to help to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of people who fall victim to kidnapping or hostage taking situations or are members of a family that has had a family member kidnapped.

  26. Calagry Sun reports today 12Dec that:

    "Amanda Lindhout likely won't be breaking her silence about her 15-month ordeal in Somalia until next week", said a family spokeswoman Sarah Geddes noting that Lindhout, of Sylvan Lake, "is still not ready to tell the story of her gruelling captivity and reportedly harrowing nighttime escape from the country after she was finally freed."

    ...presumably while they sow up all the media, publishing, tv and movie deals?!

    Hopefully they'll reimburse all those who put up the big money and donate the rest to serious groups like JSF and the UK Hostage group above.

    Surely they wouldn't want to personally profit from such a crime,just go away and recover in peace away from the media glare and all that serious questioning by real professional journalists?

    As Nur Aden Nur, the MP who acted as a mediator in the negotiations, observed "Amanda, she needs another one year [to recover]," he said. "She faced a lot of hard days."

  27. But if Amanda recovers quickly and does a TV interview,I hope that its Melissa Fung interviewing from her well informed own personal viewpoint as an experienced journalist who wasalso kidnapped but whose employer had all the right protections and insurances in place beforehand,so she was only held for 1 month and not for 15.

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  36. Did Ms. Lindhout have a son during her capture as reported?

    You'd think a white Liberal woman would brag about not giving birth to another white oppressor, but having a Black super man instead.