Sunday, 30 May 2010

Do You Make These 10 Common Mistakes When You Think?

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 04:26 PDT

Your thoughts are incredibly powerful. This can be an awesome thing.

It can also be a thing that cripples you, paralyses you, causes much suffering and gets you stuck instead of getting you to move forward towards a better and more positive life.

In this article I’ll explore 10 common mistakes I have made many times – and still do from time to time – and what I have done about them to improve the way I use my mind…

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Friday, 28 May 2010

Thailand: Dealing with ‘the devil’, the reds and looking within

Filed under: Thailand — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 03:21 PDT

There is no question that Thaksin is culpable for using his wealth and influence to support the red shirts not only for peaceful demonstrations but also for the use of violence.

However, if the Abhisit government and others involved in promoting reconciliation continue to focus solely on Thaksin as the only cause of the conflict, they will be making a strategic mistake. The path to reconciliation will soon lead to a dead end, and further conflict will ensue.

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Thursday, 27 May 2010

Winning the Invisible Conflict: Is Sri Lanka headed for sustainable peace?

Filed under: Human Rights,Media and Conflict,Restorative justice,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:26 PDT

On Tuesday 19th May 2009 – the day after the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka, declared victory over the Tamil Tigers, bringing to a close 26 years of conflict. With the routing of the LTTE, and the reclamation of all occupied territory, it was announced that the conflict in Sri Lanka had come to an end.

The cost of this declared victory was immense…

Though the conflict with the LTTE is over, the root causes which in part were responsible for giving that entity its birth have yet to be addressed…

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15 years accompanying human rights defenders in Colombia

Filed under: Human Rights,Nonviolence,Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:06 PDT

English: 15 years accompanying human rights defenders in Colombia from Peace Brigades International on Vimeo.

15 years accompanying human rights defenders: A documentary by Peace Brigades International. October 2009.

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Thailand: Activists want body to look into clashes

Filed under: Human Rights,Peaceworkers in the news,Thailand,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:16 PDT

Local and international human rights activists are calling for the urgent establishment of an independent panel to investigate the deadly clashes between security forces and red shirt anti-government protesters…

Nimit Tienudom, from the No Civil War Group, said… people on all sides of the political divide – including red shirts, military officers and peace advocates – should contribute to the investigation to ensure impartiality…

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Tuesday, 25 May 2010

A new idea in conflict prevention?

Filed under: Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 03:16 PDT

I had a fascinating meeting at Google in London this morning. Attended by some very senior journalists, former top-level government officials, and representatives of NGOs, universities, and think tanks, the three- or four-hour session looked at a proposal for a new way to approach conflict prevention.

Called “PAX”, the idea is to gather SMS, images and video from the general public in areas of conflict (in the style of FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi), and combine that with satellite imagery to form a massive open database that could be accessed to help pressure key governments and others into preventative action.

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Friday, 21 May 2010

Sacrifices in Bangkok: The time has come for statesmanship from Abhisit and Thaksin.

Filed under: Thailand — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:53 PDT

Wednesday’s events threw two key facts about Thailand into sharp relief. First, because the Thai economy is so integrated with the world, the country’s internal conflicts are played out in the full glare of international publicity, and the economy will be badly burned too. Second, a lot of ordinary, reasonable people are very angry about what has happened to the political system. If they are not soothed by real changes, then the frustrations will keep spilling into violence of one sort or another. Thailand needs to bring its politics into line with its economy….

Several recent opinion surveys have shown that the overwhelming majority of Thais believe a fair judicial system, open press and electoral democracy are the best tools for resolving social conflict. …

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To Publish or Not to Publish

Filed under: Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:50 PDT

The earthquake in Haiti… somehow made publishing the photographs more important than protecting the dignity of the dead. Both The Washington Post and The New York Times chose to publish graphic images of the carnage in Haiti, to which The Post’s Ombudsman Andrew Alexander defended the decision by saying: “Journalism is about truth, and the horrific images convey reality.”

Yet Susan Sontag in her New Yorker essay, “Looking at War: Photography’s view of devastation and death,” didn’t seem to agree.

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International journalists in Thailand spread word in the face of violence

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Thailand — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:47 PDT

First-hand accounts and Twitter updates from journalists on the ground in Thailand this week have given an insight into the level of violence faced by citizens and journalists reporting ongoing clashes between the red-shirt anti-government protestors and the Thai military.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), at least eight journalists have been shot, two fatally, while covering the unrest in Bangkok. Freelance Italian photojournalist Fabio Polenghi was killed on Wednesday – another casualty following the death of Reuters cameraman Hiro Muramoto on 10 April.

Those journalists reported to have been injured include Dutch freelancer Michael Maas; the Independent’s Andrew Buncombe, and freelance Canadian writer and photographer, Chandler Vandergrift.

“Covering civil unrest in Thailand is always dangerous, but for months, neither side in the political turmoil has been willing to address ways of allowing journalists to do their jobs without fear of being killed or injured,” says Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia programme coordinator, on the group’s website.

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Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Thai protests: military crackdown only widens divide

Filed under: Human Rights,Thailand — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:32 PDT

Clearing demonstrators from the streets using military force is messy enough, but in a major political conflict like Thailand’s, the sweeping-out operation is really the easy part.

Despite almost reaching a negotiated settlement with the protesters last week, the Thai authorities have ordered security forces to overrun the main redshirt encampments in central Bangkok, arresting major leaders and apparently shooting dead at least four people, including an Italian journalist, in a continuation of ham-fisted military tactics already condemned by Amnesty International.

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Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Thai archbishop asks religious leaders to help avert civil war

Filed under: Peaceworkers in the news,Religion and peacebuilding,Thailand — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:58 PDT

BaNGKOK – An intervention of religious leaders could help provide a peaceful solution in Thailand before the possible “catastrophe” of a civil war, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand has said.

Archbishop Louis Chamniern of Thare and Nonseng told Fides news agency that the leaders of different religious communities in the country, Buddhists, Christians and Muslims, have “the confidence, credibility, and esteem of the population that today could be very useful in resolving the deadlock and avoiding more violence.”

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Birmingham, UK | Peacebuilding: Strengthening Organisational Policy and Practice

Filed under: Conferences, Events,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:13 PDT

Monday, 22 November 2010 to Friday, 26 November 2010

Peacebuilding: Strengthening Organisational Policy and Practice
Dates: 22 – 26 November 2010
Location: Birmingham, UK
Course fee: £970

Peacebuilding: Strengthening Organisational Policy and Practice is designed to draw on the experience and practice of participants, working in development, humanitarian aid or peacebuilding to influence internal policies and programmatic approaches. The course will identify how organisations can strive to balance their organisational mandate with the demands of working in complex and rapidly changing political emergencies.

Course aims
The course will enable participants to contribute to developing constructive organisational and programmatic policies that will guide practical responses in the development, humanitarian and peacebuilding fields. It will draw on the experience of participants and tutors to examine the key issues that are emerging from field-based work.

Course objectives
Participants will:
-deepen their understanding of peacebuilding, from a conflict transformation perspective, as it applies to their work
-apply appropriate conflict analysis to their own organisational situations
-explore the relationship between organisational policy and practice in situations of instability, conflict or violence
-examine issues relating to aid and conflict in order to develop conflict sensitive policies for their organisations
-consider the key policy and practice issues relating to conflict prevention and peacebuilding

Suitable for
This course is for staff of international and national agencies and those with advisory and management responsibility for relief, development, and peacebuilding programmes. It is particularly relevant for those engaged in the planning and implementation of field-based programmes, and those concerned with developing policies for appropriate responses in complex, political emergencies.

2009 participant feedback
“I learned a lot, and I can say now that through this training I feel better prepared for my work in Kenya.”

“This was a well organised course in which participants can apply in case studies what we learned.”

“The tools and concepts were very useful and I can be of good help in policy planning. Also, the tools used can help us do similar training at local level.”

For more information about the course and to apply, please visit our website www.respond.org or contact us at courses [at] respond.org

Responding to Conflict,
1046 Bristol Road,
Birmingham, B29 6LJ,
United Kingdom.

Registered as a Charity in England and Wales, No. 1132189.

Registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee in England and Wales, No. 06979336.

Peacebuilding: Strengthening Organisational Policy and Practice

Filed under: Conferences, Events,Jobs, awards, opportunities — Responding to Conflict @ 04:51 PDT

Monday, 22 November 2010 09:00 PDT to Friday, 26 November 2010 17:00 PDT

Dates: 22 - 26 November 2010

Location: Birmingham, UK

Course fee: £970

Peacebuilding: Strengthening Organisational Policy and Practice is designed to draw on the experience and practice of participants, working in development, humanitarian aid or peacebuilding to influence internal policies and programmatic approaches. The course will identify how organisations can strive to balance their organisational mandate with the demands of working in complex and rapidly changing political emergencies.

Course aims

The course will enable participants to contribute to developing constructive organisational and programmatic policies that will guide practical responses in the development, humanitarian and peacebuilding fields. It will draw on the experience of participants and tutors to examine the key issues that are emerging from field-based work.

Course objectives

Participants will:

  • deepen their understanding of peacebuilding, from a conflict transformation perspective, as it applies to their work
  • apply appropriate conflict analysis to their own organisational situations
  • explore the relationship between organisational policy and practice in situations of instability, conflict or violence
  • examine issues relating to aid and conflict in order to develop conflict sensitive policies for their organisations
  • consider the key policy and practice issues relating to conflict prevention and peacebuilding

Suitable for

This course is for staff of international and national agencies and those with advisory and management responsibility for relief, development, and peacebuilding programmes. It is particularly relevant for those engaged in the planning and implementation of field-based programmes, and those concerned with developing policies for appropriate responses in complex, political emergencies.

2009 participant feedback

“I learned a lot, and I can say now that through this training I feel better prepared for my work in Kenya.”

“This was a well organised course in which participants can apply in case studies what we learned.”

“The tools and concepts were very useful and I can be of good help in policy planning. Also, the tools used can help us do similar training at local level.”

For more information about the course and to apply, please visit our website www.respond.org or contact us at courses@respond.org

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Thailand: Revoke ‘Live Fire Zones’ in Bangkok: Abide by UN Principles on Use of Force and Firearms

Filed under: Human Rights,Media and Conflict,Thailand — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 23:28 PDT

NEW YORK – The Thai government should immediately revoke the designation of neighborhood areas as “live fire zones” that might be used to justify the unnecessary and unlawful use of lethal force, Human Rights Watch said today….

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Wednesday, 12 May 2010

A Violent nature behind the veneer of smiles

Filed under: Thailand — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 23:09 PDT

For those of us and foreigners who still cling to the myth that Thais are non-violent – cling no further.

The gruesome killing of 25 people on April 10 as a result of a night-time military crackdown on the red-shirt protesters says a lot about how we value life and how peaceful we are…

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Peace exhibit good idea for war museum

Filed under: Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 05:58 PDT

War and peace do not need to be mutually exclusive concepts in Canada’s war museum.

Shining a spotlight on the peace movement and those who have historically championed it doesn’t in any way imply disrespect for those who fought and died in war, which is why officials at the Canadian War Museum should be applauded for mounting an exhibit about the movement to mark the museum’s fifth anniversary.

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Israeli and Jordanian women, in business, for peace

Filed under: Business, Human Rights, Environment,gender,Humanitarian work,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 05:56 PDT

An Israeli-American academic has initiated a program that may both advance disadvantaged women from Israel and Jordan and build peace among nations.

Media Needs to Be Trained in Conflict Reporting: Singh

Filed under: Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 05:53 PDT

Pacific Islands media should undergo regular training on peace and conflict prevention, says an academic attending a Pacific regional workshop on peace building in Nadi, Fiji.

Shailendra Singh, the Divisional Head of Journalism at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, said that because reporting conflicts was an integral and important part of journalism, journalists needed training in this area in order to do their jobs professionally and ethically.

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Liberians Still Debating Reconciliation Commission Recommendations

Filed under: Africa files,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 05:50 PDT

Five months after the release of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report, the International Center for Transitional Justice has published an assessment addressing transitional justice options in Liberia.

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Sri Lanka: New Commission For Restorative Justice

Filed under: Restorative justice,South Asia,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 05:47 PDT

The communiqué from the Presidential Media Unit announcing a probe into the violations of internationally accepted norms of conduct has incorporated several new words and phrases which are not yet familiar terms in the political discourse in Sri Lanka. A few such words and phrases are: the need for restorative justice; a probe of violations of internationally accepted norms of conduct; no recurrence of such tragic conflict in the future; institutional, administrative and welfare measures already taken in the post conflict phase and which should be further taken in order to effect reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation; legislative and administrative measures that may be necessary to prevent such situations in the future; assessing the lessons learned from the recent conflict phase; identification of any persons or groups responsible for such acts, (and) payment of compensation for victims.

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