Peacemakers Trust posts news, reports or announcements of interest to people studying or working in the field of dispute resolution, conflict transformation and peacebuilding. Inclusion of an item on the media watch blog does not imply endorsement or agreement of Peacemakers Trust with views expressed by authors of posted items.
By * News * World news * Bolivia Bolivia's 'little Indians' find voice President Morales is giving sweeping rights to indigenous groups who use modern pop to refresh their traditions * Rory Carroll in La Paz and Andres Schipani in Achacachi
For centuries they were shadow people, a defeated underclass banished to the margins of society and forced to work, and obey, in silence.
But a largely peaceful revolution has empowered Bolivia’s indigenous majority this year and transformed the country into a 21st-century standard-bearer for South America’s native populations.
Filed under: Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 22:13 PDT
23-29 April 2009 edition
Common Ground News Service
By Darya Shaikh
NEW YORK â€“ In the midst of a stalled peace process in the Middle East, a new poll released today by the OneVoice Movement, an international grassroots peace movement equally represented both in Israel and in Palestine, provides a snapshot of Israeli and Palestinian public opinion and insights into how peace negotiations should move forward from now on.
Attention is a pivotal force in any conflict. More than that, it is the key to success in any arena because your attention defines you. Laurence Freeman said, “You are a disciple of that to which you give your attention.” Gangaji said, “”Wherever your attention is, this is what you love.” William James said that what we pay attention to is what we believe. They echo what philosophers have been saying for centuries and what neuroscience is now showing. From “Attention Density: New Big Thing?” (Consulting Today) [pdf]:
Where we choose to put our attention changes our brain, which in time can change how we see and interact with the world.
A mediator can facilitate where parties to a conflict put their attention and thus can orchestrate the brain circuits in their brains.
Fifteen years after Rwandan Hutu massacred hundreds of thousands of their Tutsi countrymen, one survivor and the man who cut off her hand tell the horrible truth about the genocide and explain how, even with so much suffering between them, they eventually made peace.
Among those at the demonstration was Vice President of the European Parliament, Luisa Morgantini.
BIL’IN – Palestinian medical sources and witnesses report that 30 people were wounded Friday when Israeli soldiers opened fire on demonstrators who were protesting the Wall that the Israelis continue to build in the West Bank.
Hundreds were protesting yesterday as part of the weekly demonstrations and as a wrap-up to the conference on popular resistance held in the western Ramallah town.
Israeli soldiers opened fire with rubber-coated steel bullets and gas…
Yesterdayâ€™s Federal Court decision of Mr. Justice Oâ€™Reilly, Omar Ahmed Khadr v. The Prime Minister Of Canada, The Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and The Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police 2009 FC 405 [pdf], is available in PDF.
 I am satisfied, in the special circumstances of this case, that Mr. Khadrâ€™s rights under s. 7 of the Charter have been infringed. I will grant his request for an order requiring the respondents to seek his repatriation from the United States.
On April 10, Amnesty International (AI) launched an appeal and a short video calling upon the Nepalese government to protect women human rights activists…
In Nepal and elsewhere, civil society groups have called for greater attention to women in transitional justice processes. In February 2009, the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) published a report on gender-specific violations in Afghanistan. The three authors â€“ Fatima Ayub, Sari Kouvo and Yasmin Sooka â€“ argue that the deprivations and violations suffered by women are rarely specific to outbreaks of war. Rather, the authors conclude that the conflict merely accentuates discrimination and violations that women suffered during peace.
The Institute has launched a Web site that pulls together multimedia resources to help with international conflict management. The online collection — jointly developed with Georgetown University — features links to videos, radio clips, computer games, teaching guides and other media products to assist those involved in conflict resolution.
NEW YORK â€” To better respond to natural disasters, governments should invest more in risk reduction for vulnerable communities and make sure to reflect gender concerns in the recovery processes, says a report presented today at the United Nations. Involving local communities in the recovery process, according to â€œThe Tsunami Legacy: Innovation, Breakthroughs and Changeâ€ report, is as instrumental as installing high-tech early warning systems. The report also highlights the need for governments to incorporate disaster risk reduction measures in national development plans….
â€œThe tsunami recovery effort has showed that by working together â€”and by collaborating with local communities at every step along the wayâ€” we can indeed build back better,â€ said Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and Chair of the UN Development Group.
On the April 20 edition of NBC’s Nightly News, reporting on the awarding of the 2009 Pulitzer Prizes earlier that day, anchor Brian Williams stated that “The New York Times led the way with five, including awards for breaking news and international reporting.” But Williams did not note that the Times’ David Barstow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting that day “for his tenacious reporting that revealed how some retired generals, working as radio and television analysts, had been co-opted by the Pentagon to make its case for the war in Iraq, and how many of them also had undisclosed ties to companies that benefited from policies they defended.” Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented the unwillingness of the major broadcast networks, including NBC, to report on Barstow’s April 20, 2008, Times article. Moreover, NBC joined ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC in reportedly declining to participate in a segment based on Barstow’s article that aired on the April 24, 2008, edition of PBS’ NewsHour.
NAIROBI – When heads of districts describe efforts to fight sexual violence as a waste of resources, it raises questions about the leadershipâ€™s commitment to deal with the matter.
Such is the situation in northern Uganda where district commissioners, have dismissed sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as non-existent, asking that donor funds for psychosocial support for survivors of SGBV be directed to other sectors…
A regional programme seeking to chart ways of jointly addressing gender violence in conflict and post-conflict situations in five countries has been launched by the Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD).
The Regional Gender Programme targets five countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
THE United Nations has appointed a Barnet resident to the prestigious position of human rights rapporteur for Cambodia.
One of only eight UN special rapporteurs in the world, 51-year-old Surya Subedi, from Manorside, will be expected to identify human rights problems in the country and give constructive recommendations to help tackle them.
Dr Subedi was given the post because of his contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights over the past two decades, both nationally and internationally.
He said: â€œThe job will be a huge challenge because it will involve speaking on behalf of marginalised and oppressed groups â€“ the people who canâ€™t speak up for themselves.
â€œBut I feel confident I can do a good job. My approach will be not to criticise people, but to offer constructive advice…
A dirt road leaves the city of Apartado, in the region of UrabÃ¡, in the Northwestern Colombian province of Antioquia, making its way up into the mountains…
UrabÃ¡ has been major theater in Colombiaâ€™s forty years long and ongoing armed conflict. All armed actors are present in the region: the Colombian army, left-wing guerillas and, since the mid 1990s, ultra-right wing paramilitaries. The arm carriers are not only fighting for these fertile lands, but also for the control of this strategic corridor to Panama and the Pacific region of ChocÃ³, indispensable to international drug traffic. Stuck in the middle, thousands of civilians have been killed, disappeared and displaced, stripped of their lands, accused of or forced into collaboration with one or another group. In this sea of violence however, there is an attempt to create an island of calm.
CHANDIGARH – After spreading the message of peace in several parts of the globe, an exhibition called â€˜Building a culture of peace for children of the worldâ€™ was inaugurated in the city on Saturday. The international exhibition has been brought to India by Bharat Soka Gakkai (BSG), the Indian arm of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), with active support from the United Nation peace initiatives.
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – Defending his brand of world politics, President Barack Obama said Sunday that he is “strengthening our hand” by reaching out to enemies of the United States and making sure that the nation is a leader, not a lecturer, of democracy.
Obama’s foreign doctrine emerged across his four-day trip to Latin America, his first extended venture to a region of the world where resentment of U.S. power still lingers. He got a smile, handshakes and even a gift from incendiary leftist leader Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, and embraced overtures of new relations from isolated Cuban President Raul Castro.
“The whole notion was that if we showed courtesy or opened up dialogue with governments that had previously been hostile to us, that that somehow would be a sign of weakness,” Obama said, recalling his race for the White House and challenging his critics today.
TEHRAN – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called on the judiciary to ensure that an Iranian-American journalist jailed for espionage enjoys her legal right to defend herself, the official news agency IRNA said on Sunday.
Roxana Saberi’s lawyer welcomed Ahmadinejad’s intervention in a letter to Tehran’s prosecutor, published a day after the U.S.-born freelance reporter was sentenced to eight years in jail on charges of spying for the United States.
Lawyer Abdolsamad Khorramshahi has said he will appeal the verdict, which comes at a time when the new U.S. administration of President Barack Obama is trying to engage the Islamic state diplomatically, after three decades of mutual mistrust.
The forecast for next Friday is umbrella weather, and the WillMar Center for Bereaved Children couldnâ€™t be happier. Rain or shine, some 600 volunteer artists â€“ bearing their own umbrella hand-painted with a personal message of peace and unity â€“ will be out for a 4 p.m. stroll on Sonoma Plaza.
â€œThis is a time for unification and collaboration,â€ said WillMarâ€™s Barbara Cullin, coordinator of the centerâ€™s â€œUmbrellas for Peaceâ€ project. As a symbol of safety and strength, she explained, the umbrella is a wonderful medium to convey the hopes, dreams and wishes of each artist.
WASHINGTON, DC â€“ In June 2006, I led a series of workshops for Palestinian journalists in Ramallah, West Bank. I was shocked to discover how party bias influenced their reporting. Five months earlier, the Hamas movement had won the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in the West Bank and Gaza, and the divide between the Hamas and Fatah parties deepened existent social cleavages to the point where it continues to fuel an intra-Palestinian conflict alongside the protracted Palestinian-Israeli one. But the journalists I worked with came to appreciate the role they can play in preventing and resolving conflicts.
SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA – Ten years after the massacre at Columbine High School a study by the non-profit organization Community Matters shows that despite the outlay of billions of dollars and passage of “zero tolerance” laws, our schools are not significantly safer.
“There has been an overemphasis by schools on an ‘outside-in’ approach that focuses heavily on security, crisis management and punitive measures,” says Community Matters Founder and Executive Director Rick Phillips. “What is needed is an ‘inside-out’ approach that focuses on strengthening relationships and actively empowering young people to improve the school climate and change social norms.”