Friday, 14 March 2014

Myanmar: The systematic repression of the Rohingya minority continues | by Maung Zarni

“What can we do, brother? There are too many. We can’t kill them all.”

He said it matter-of-factly—a former brigadier and diplomat from my native country, Myanmar, about Rohingya Muslims.

We were in the spacious ambassadorial office at Myanmar Embassy in an ASEAN country when this “brotherly” conversation took place. I am familiar with Myanmar’s racist nationalist narrative. I have also worked with the country’s military intelligence services in pushing for the gradual re-engagement between the West and our country, then an international pariah. Apparently, knowledge of my background made the soldier feel so at ease that he could make such a hateful call in a friendly conversation on official premises in total candor: Islamophobia normalized in the highest ranks of the bureaucracy and military in Myanmar.

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Monday, 10 March 2014

Debunking some myths about Israel’s water politics

Filed under: Dispute resolution and negotiation,Environment,Human Rights,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 05:10 PDT

In his speech to Israel’s Parliament on February 12, Martin Schultz, President of the European Parliament, spoke of our shared responsibility to stand up for freedom and dignity at all times. He acknowledged Israel’s success at realising a dream shared by many people: To live “in freedom and dignity” in “a homeland of their own”, noting that Palestinians also have the right to “self-determination and justice”.

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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Will Cambodia see a ‘spring’?

Filed under: Cambodia,Media and Conflict,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:30 PDT

The past seven months in Cambodia can only be described as a roller-coaster ride… Cambodian citizens have repeatedly taken to the streets and public squares to demand reform…

Demands for change are now coming from all corners of society: victims of land grabs, who have been fighting a losing battle to protect their homes; garment-factory workers, who want a living wage; farmers, who remain mired in poverty; and civil society groups, which have been frustrated at a lack of real progress on the myriad of issues they work on. The increasing dissatisfaction and expressions for change since Rainsy’s return in early July have led many Cambodians to ask, will our country see a “spring” like the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East?

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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Latin American, Caribbean leaders declare region ‘zone of peace’ as summit wraps up in Havana

Filed under: Latin America & Caribbean — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:58 PDT

HAVANA – Leaders from across Latin America and the Caribbean signed a resolution declaring the region a “zone of peace” Wednesday, pledging to resolve their disputes as respectful neighbours without the use of arms.

The joint declaration came on the final day of a summit of Western Hemisphere nations minus the United States and Canada. The grouping, conceived as a vehicle for regional integration independent of Washington’s influence, was born in 2011.

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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Central African Republic: Ethnic cleansing and sectarian killings

Filed under: Africa files,children and youth,Human Rights,International Law: War,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 12:30 PDT

International peacekeepers have failed to prevent the ethnic cleansing of Muslim civilians in the western part of the Central African Republic, Amnesty International said in a report issued today.

To protect the country’s remaining Muslim communities, international peacekeeping forces must break the control of anti-balaka militias and station sufficient troops in towns where Muslims are threatened.

“Anti-balaka militias are carrying out violent attacks in an effort to ethnically cleanse Muslims in the Central African Republic,” said Joanne Mariner, senior crisis response adviser at Amnesty International.

“The result is a Muslim exodus of historic proportions.”

Amnesty International criticized the international community’s tepid response to the crisis, noting that international peacekeeping troops have been reluctant to challenge anti-balaka militias, and slow to protect the threatened Muslim minority.

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Saturday, 15 February 2014

Where is the public outrage on Syria?

Filed under: Human Rights,Humanitarian work,International Law: War,Media and Conflict,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:38 PDT

Visiting Damascus last week I saw for myself how local and international relief workers are engaged in heroic, dangerous and often life-saving work in Syria. However, the successful evacuation of civilians from some neighbourhoods of Homs will not end the continued provocation against basic human decency that is happening on our watch. Of Syria’s many besieged civilians, 99% are not in Homs. The conflict in Syria has put back the clock on humanitarian progress by decades, and if the UN security council cannot agree on a basic resolution on humanitarian access then the future is even bleaker.

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Thursday, 6 February 2014

Op-Ed: Boycotting settlements is not anti-Israel

Filed under: Human Rights,Middle East,Peace and health — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:34 PDT

NEW YORK (JTA) — On her way out the door to defend the SodaStream company, the suddenly political Scarlett Johannson threw a grenade at her erstwhile cause, the international aid organization Oxfam.

According to her spokesperson, “she and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.”

Full stop. The global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which harbors more than a few people who want to put the entire project of a Jewish homeland out of business, is not the issue between Ms. Johannson and Oxfam. SodaStream has its main factory in the occupied territories. The company is contributing to the health and prosperity of the occupation while providing income for the settlement enterprise — an enterprise that is corroding Israeli democracy, deemed “illegitimate” by the American government and considered illegal under international law.

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Monday, 3 February 2014

USA | Esta Soler: How we turned the tide on domestic violence

Filed under: gender,Human Rights,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:50 PDT

When Esta Soler lobbied for a bill outlawing domestic violence in 1984, one politician called it the “Take the Fun Out of Marriage Act.” “If only I had Twitter then,” she mused. This sweeping, optimistic talk charts 30 years of tactics and technologies — from the Polaroid camera to social media — that led to a 64% drop in domestic violence in the U.S.

In 1994, Esta Soler convinced Congress to pass a law to combat the devastating effects of violence against women.

Uganda: President’s NRA apology late, says Bigombe

President Yoweri Museveni should have long rendered his apology for the spate of abuses committed during the anti-insurgency campaign in the north and north-eastern part of the country by some reprobate elements in NRA/UPDF, state minister for water resources, Betty Bigombe has said.

Museveni made the apology at the NRA/NRM 28th Liberation Day anniversary in Mayuge district headquarters, expressing shock at the “shameful” atrocities that sullied the reputation of an army whose near impeccable disciplinary record had been integral in its successful guerrilla war…

When asked what the apology meant given her role in various peace initiatives, Bigombe said the move is a good gesture because those affected by the atrocities “always demand for justice to be done”.

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Access to Guns Increases Risk of Suicide, Homicide: UCSF Meta-Analysis Finds Women at Greater Risk of Being Killed

Filed under: Disarmament,gender,Peace and health — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:46 PDT

Someone with access to firearms is three times more likely to commit suicide and nearly twice as likely to be the victim of a homicide as someone who does not have access, according to a comprehensive review of the scientific literature conducted by researchers at UC San Francisco.

The meta-analysis, published online Jan. 20, 2013, in Annals of Internal Medicine, pools results from 15 investigations, slightly more than half of which were done after a 1996 federal law prohibited the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from funding research that could be seen as promoting gun control. The review excluded studies that relied on survey data to estimate gun ownership and focused instead on studies that included more specific information about whether victims had access to guns.

All but two of the studies were done in the United States, where gun ownership is higher than anywhere else in the world and firearms cause an estimated 31,000 deaths each year. The review included studies about deaths by suicide and homicide but not accidental deaths.

Researchers found striking gender differences in the data. When firearms were accessible, men were nearly four times more likely to commit suicide than when firearms were not accessible, while women were almost three times more likely to be victims of homicide.

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Friday, 31 January 2014

University of Victoria, Canada | John Wade. “Negotiation with Difficult People.” 5 February, noon

Filed under: Conferences, Events,Dispute resolution and negotiation — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 14:57 PDT
Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The University of Victoria Faculty of Law welcomes John Wade, Emeritus Professor of Law, Bond University, Australia; Visiting Law Foundation Chair, University of Saskatchewan (2013-14)

“Negotiation with Difficult People”
Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 12-1 pm, Fraser Building, Room 158

Professor John Wade has been a practicing lawyer and mediator in Australia for 40 years. He has also taught at Osgoode, Calgary, Manitoba, Pepperdine, SMU; Sydney University and at many law firms around the world. For the last
20 years he has been teaching at Bond University. John has chaired various law reform bodies, won multiple teaching awards and published over 100 books and articles mainly on mediation, negotiation, family law and legal education.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a hard copy of Prof. Wade’s paper in “Negotiating with Difficult People to the presentation in order to participate in the exercises.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

New video pressures Redskins to change name before Super Bowl

Filed under: Film, video, audio,Indigenous Peoples,Media and Conflict,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:54 PDT

Just days before Super Bowl XXLVII, the National Congress of American Indians in the United States has released a video? denouncing the term ‘redskin.’

It’s part of an ongoing campaign urging the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change the team’s name.

The video titled Proud To Be highlights the strengths and positive attributes of indigenous peoples, as well as features prominent aboriginal people throughout history.

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Cambodia claims progress on rights amid escalating turmoil

Filed under: Cambodia,Human Rights,Nonviolence,Southeast Asia — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:31 PDT

Late Tuesday night Cambodia wrapped up a review of its human rights record by assuring the United Nations and member states that it was taking pains to improve its rights record and maintain peace amid ongoing political turmoil.

“I promise you that we will make our efforts on human rights in Cambodia, develop progress and improve… even though we find our challenges, even though we just came from the civil war, we will do our best to be in line with your recommendations,” Mak Sambath, deputy chair of the government’s Human Rights Committee, told scores of delegates who had gathered for the Univeral Periodic Review which is held once every four and a half years.

Just hours after Sambath concluded his remarks in Geneva, dozens of riot police and district security guards in Phnom Penh stalked a small group of activists around town. Their offence was that they were going to embassies and UN offices to drop off a petition calling for the release of 23 activists and protesters believed to have been wrongfully imprisoned.

In spite of Sambath’s pledges to the contrary, Cambodia has shown little interest in aligning its rights record with international standards. The past month has seen a startling backslide on human rights and the worst government sanctioned violence in 15 years.

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Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Inside Story Of How The U.S. Acted To Prevent Another Rwanda

Filed under: Africa files — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 16:37 PDT

The Central African Republic had finally exploded. After months of signs that the country was a powder keg, with dire warnings of impending doom from the United Nations and human rights observers, outright clashes ignited the capital, Bangui, in early December. Hundreds were killed. Thousands more fled their homes, those who had not already done so in the eight months since the crisis first began. For a period, it looked as though the world was preparing to sit idly by yet again as another mass atrocity was perpetrated on the continent of Africa.

Two days later, it was like a switch had been thrown. The president of the United States asked for the people of the CAR for calm, speaking to them directly through the Internet and radio. The president shook $100 million loose from the federal budget, to purchase much-needed supplies to the African peacekeepers struggling to stem the killing and airlift in reinforcements. And on Thursday, Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, announced yet another $15 million in humanitarian aid and the pending presence of U.S. military advisers to assist the African Union’s forces in restoring peace.

Activists and U.S. officials alike say that the speed at which the United States has responded is unprecedented and part of it is due to a little heralded document and the bureaucratic tool it created.

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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Bangkok: Mapping the Southern Thailand Conflict | Colloquium 28 March 2014 | Proposals by 28 February

Filed under: Conferences, Events,Thailand — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:31 PDT
Friday, 28 February 2014 Friday, 28 March 2014

Mapping the Southern Thailand Conflict

28 March 2014
Bangkok, Thailand
Webster University Thailand

Website: http://www.webster.ac.th/blogs/international-relations/eventsactivities/

This colloquium seeks to bring together scholars and practitioners to examine the impediments to peace and offer a realistic appraisal of the conflict in southern Thailand in light of the tentative talks underway.

Deadline for abstracts/proposals: 28th February 2014

Frankfurt: International Conference on Mediation 5-8 February 2014

Filed under: Conferences, Events,Dispute resolution and negotiation — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:27 PDT

Wednesday, 5 February 2014 to Saturday, 8 February 2014

International Conference on Mediation

5th to 8th February 2014
Frankfurt a.M., Germany

The aim of the conference is to explore the variety of concepts, modes and manifestations of mediation in current as well as in historical settings regarding the interdependences and interrelations with the concepts of retaliation and punishment.

Check the event website for more details.

CINERGY CONFLICT MANAGEMENT COACHING | Courses in 2014

Filed under: Conferences, Events,Dispute resolution and negotiation — administrator @ 10:13 PDT

Friday, 11 April 2014 to Sunday, 13 April 2014

Friday, 25 April 2014 to Sunday, 27 April 2014

Monday, 28 April 2014 to Thursday, 1 May 2014

Monday, 12 May 2014 to Thursday, 15 May 2014

Monday, 27 October 2014 to Thursday, 30 October 2014

CONFLICT MANAGEMENT COACHING

 

Conflict management coaching, also known as conflict coaching, is a specialized niche in the fields of coaching and conflict management.  It is a one-on-one technique in which a trained coach assists people to effectively manage specific disputes and to enhance their conflict management skills.

 

CINERGY® offers training by telecourse or in person workshops:

·       Telecourse – Thursdays from 5:30-7:30 pm Eastern from March 27-May 29, 2014

·       Ottawa, Canada – March 3-6, 2014

·       Baltimore, MD – March 20-22, 2014

·       Ottawa, Canada (French) – March 25-28, 2014

·       Plano, TX (Southern Methodist University) – April 11-13 & 25-27, 2014

·       Toronto, Canada – April 28-May 1, 2014

·       Arlington, VA – May 12-15, 2014

·       Arlington, VA – October 27-30, 2014

 

Workshops are also conducted in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, and other parts of Europe.  For more information, go to http://tinyurl.com/CINERGYworkshops.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Stephen Harper: Warm welcome from Israeli quarters

Filed under: Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 13:21 PDT

The last time a sitting Canadian prime minister set foot in the Middle East, it merited a small item on Page 2 in The Jerusalem Post. “Jean Chrétien arrived at Ben Gurion airport last night,” the report began, before briefly describing Mr. Chrétien’s planned itinerary for the 12-day trip in the spring of 2000.

It was a tour designed to showcase Canada’s scrupulous neutrality in the Middle East – and to perhaps move peace negotiations forward a little, using Canada’s clout as a mediator on the issue of what will become of the millions of Palestinian refugees around the region.

Fourteen years later, the reception could scarcely be more different…

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In Suggestions for Victorious Bus Boycotters, MLK’s Powerful Turn Toward Nonviolence

Filed under: Nonviolence,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:17 PDT

AlabamaBusIntegrationdoc7 This document, drafted by the Montgomery Improvement Association, advised victorious bus boycotters on best practices for riding the newly integrated city bus system.

When the document was distributed on Dec. 19, 1956, the bus boycott had been going on for nearly 12 months. The MIA, headed by Martin Luther King, Jr., coordinated the boycott throughout.

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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Review: Mandela — 4 corrections for a teachable moment

Filed under: Africa files,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 15:29 PDT

Given the ongoing and important discussions this past month on how best to commemorate the legacy of Nelson Mandela, it seems necessary to separate fact from fiction in the recently-released Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. While the film contains some wonderful acting — on the part of Idris Elba, Naomie Harris and others — it also has some serious misdirection from a political point of view. Here are four vital corrections which must be clearly understood – especially if one wants to emulate Mandela and help build movements like the one he led.

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