Tuesday, 1 January 2008

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION: Get ready for residential school probe, Mounties told

Filed under: Human Rights,Indigenous Peoples — Catherine Morris @ 11:27 PDT

OTTAWA — Former students plan to allege criminal deaths took place at Indian residential schools when they appear before a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the RCMP has been told to be ready to investigate…

Once the names of the commission chair and two co-chairs are announced early this year, the commission will have a five-year mandate to tour the country gathering testimony and documents to compile the official history of Canada’s residential schools.

An RCMP spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that police are “working very closely” with Mr. Watts but declined further comment until the commissioners are in place.

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When you can’t choose your neighbors

Filed under: Middle East — Catherine Morris @ 11:11 PDT

The latest research by The Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem shows that nine new settlement outposts were established since the November 2007 Annapolis conference kick-started negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis on reaching a final settlement. At the end of 2006, the total number of settlements on occupied territory numbered 144…

But all settlements in occupied territory are illegal according to international law (and this includes occupied East Jerusalem). And although the Palestinian side has agreed to discuss settlements in negotiations, the fact that Israel is unwilling to freeze all settlement construction (natural growth, inward growth or whatever other pseudonym for expansion Israeli officials use) is a signal to most Palestinians that this issue is preordained and Israel has no intention of negotiating the fate of settlements.

The settlement issue should be fairly straightforward to resolve, compared to other issues such as water, borders and refugees. Yet, the establishment of settlements ended the hope of Oslo and could well end hopes for this round of negotiations.

I still believe that peace can be reached one day. I believe there are hundreds of possible solutions not only for the settlements but for all the issues…

B’Tselem: the number of Israelis and Palestinians killed in West Bank and Gaza dropped in 2007

Filed under: Human Rights,Middle East — Catherine Morris @ 11:10 PDT

B’Tselem today released its year-end report. According to B’Tselem data, the number of Israelis and Palestinians killed in clashes in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has dropped.

However, there has been deterioration in many other measures of the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian areas.

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NEPAL: Challenges of reintegrating former child soldiers

Filed under: Human Rights,News Watch Blog — Catherine Morris @ 11:09 PDT

GULERIYA – Thousands of former child soldiers have returned to their communities in Nepal over the past year, but there are huge challenges facing their successful reintegration, local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) say.

“We still have to work a lot at the community level to ensure that the former children associated with armed forces and groups (CAAFAGs) are treated like children, encouraged to rejoin school and not looked upon as a burden on society,” said Iswari Prasad Biswokarma of the Dalit Welfare Organisation (DWO).

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Nepal Maoists rejoin cabinet after monarchy deal

Filed under: News Watch Blog — Catherine Morris @ 11:07 PDT

KATHMANDU – Nepal’s former Maoist rebels rejoined the interim government on Sunday, two days after parliament voted to abolish the monarchy, ending three months of deadlock that had threatened to derail the peace process.

The Maoists, who ended their insurgency under a 2006 peace deal, quit the government in September demanding the monarchy be immediately abolished and a system of proportional representation introduced for upcoming elections.

The cabinet they have rejoined is now supposed to hold the twice-postponed elections for an assembly meant to draw up a new constitution to cap the peace process.

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India stop arms sales to Myanmar: Report

Filed under: Human Rights,Myanmar — Catherine Morris @ 11:02 PDT

WASHINGTON — India has reportedly halted all arms sales and transfers to Myanmar, a move that may increase international pressure on military junta, which is facing heat for its crackdown on pro-democracy activists.

The Indian government’s decision not to sell arms to Myanmar has not been officially announced, but diplomatic sources have said that it has been privately confirmed by New Delhi to top US officials in recent weeks, The Washington Post reported.

Recently, the First Lady Laura Bush during a video teleconference in recognition of International Human Rights Day said: ”India, one of Burma’s (Myanmar) closest trading partners, has stopped selling arms to the junta.”

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10 Actions for Peace in 2008

Filed under: News Watch Blog — Catherine Morris @ 11:00 PDT

I wanted to put together a list of 10 possible recommendations to help make the world more peaceful and encourage others to contribute their own lists…

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