Friday, 15 May 2009

Amnesty spells out the urgent action needed on Sri Lanka

Filed under: Human Rights,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:25 PDT

Amnesty International has demanded that the Sri Lankan authorities allow international monitors and humanitarian agencies access to the country’s troubled areas – including the so-called ‘Safe Zone’ – to assess the situation at first hand and help ensure that the humanitarian and human rights crisis is addressed.

The move comes after fresh reports this week of killings, destruction and the use of heavy weaponry.

In a letter to members of the UN Security Council, Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan said: “The Council must convene without any further delay to discuss the latest disturbing developments and immediately require that attacks on civilians by the Sri Lankan army or the LTTE be stopped; that the LTTE allow all civilians to leave the conflict area; and that the Sri Lankan government provide immediate access to international monitors and humanitarian agencies.”

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Useful Media Sites for News About Conflict and Peace

Filed under: Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:05 PDT

In today’s increasingly connected world there are thousands of resources available to obtain news and analysis about conflict and peace related issues. However, there are not that many sites that provide true in-depth analysis, reflection from a deep conflict or peace perspective. Within the field of conflict resolution there has also been a rapid growth in the field of peace journalism or peace media…

This short posting will highlight some of the key peace media and related sites that you may find useful in obtaining information.

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Popes Promoting Peace: Why Not? And What is the Big Fuss in Israel?

Filed under: Middle East,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:56 PDT

A curious animosity has arisen on several sides of the Pope’s visit to Israel. Israeli Members of Parliament as well as very prominent rabbis took every opportunity to snipe at every word the Pope did say, should have not said, or should have said. As I watched the media blitz unfold I was amazed at the acrimony. Roi Ben Yehuda, however, has a positive essay on the Pope’s visit and the potential role of peacemaking for religious leaders. Also, various rabbis of the United States and the world were far more generous in welcoming the Pope to Israel…

Then I started to notice something bad. The Pope was saying at every turn that the Palestinians need a homeland, that the Wall is a sad and terrible thing, that there is great suffering in the land, innocuous humanitarian observations that were coupled with beautiful speeches, from the beginning to the end of his visit, that extolled the Jewish people and expressed love for them. Really the speeches are beautiful, and should be studied as models of interfaith engagement in the 21st century. So why all the fuss?

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Lebanon: HRW calls on elections candidates to take stand on human rights

Filed under: Human Rights,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:26 PDT

In a new report presented at a press conference in Beirut on Wednesday, New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch urged candidates in the upcoming Lebanese parliamentary elections to make pledges on human rights issues in their electoral platforms. HRW also called on media workers in Lebanon to foster greater dialogue on rights issues with elections candidates.

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