Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Hutton Shmutton

Today the much anticipated Hutton Report was released in the UK. Surprise, surprise the Blair government was cleared on any under-handed dealings in the release of Dr Kelly's name to the media...an activity which ultimately applied sufficient public pressure upon Kelly that he took his own life. In addition, the government was cleared of falsifying evidence that WMD existed in Iraq when they produced their so-called dodgy dossier. Blair declared grinning like a cherub that “The allegation that I or anyone else lied to this House or deliberately misled the country by falsifying intelligence on WMD is itself the real lie". Ho-hum...so despite no WMD and several thousand Iraqi civilian deaths...Blair's hands are clean...all we know now is that he apparently did not deliberately mislead the British public. All I can conclude is that Britain must have accidentally gone to war then? Now there is a first...

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

A Short Guide to Truth Commissions

There is now an updated and enlarged version of 'Truth Commissions and
Transitional Justice: A Short Guide for Users' (17,000 words), written by Dan Bronkhorst from Amnesty International in the Netherlands available for download. More information here.

Monday, January 26, 2004

World Report 2004: Human Rights and Armed Conflict

The 407-page World Report 2004: Human Rights and Armed Conflict includes 15 essays on a variety of subjects related to war and human rights, from Africa to Afghanistan, from sexual violence as a method to warfare to the new trends in post-conflict international justice. “Waging war is no excuse for ignoring human rights,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “In 2003, we saw too many governments invoke the demands of warfare to excuse their own misdeeds.” More...

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Post-War Reconstruction and Development Unit

Meant to put this up on Tuesday but did not get to it. I taught on the Post-War Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU) Master's Programme ay York University on the 20th of January. It was the third year I have done it now, a day course on 'Reconciliation and Dealing with the Past'. Anyway, thought I throw up the link because I think that the PRDU at York University is a very interesting initiative and useful programme as a whole. It attracts a wide range of students from the four corners of the globe. I get a lot of requests about recommending programmes, so here is one...

Monday, January 19, 2004

Slugger O'Toole

Just added a link to Slugger O'Toole, a site on Northern Ireland, best place for news and views. Visit Slugger O'Toole.

Business and HIV/AIDS

While many firms are concerned about the current and future impact of HIV/AIDS on their businesses and the communities in which they are based, few have implemented measures to counter the threat, says a new report from the Global Health Initiative written in collaboration with Professor David Bloom of Harvard University and UNAIDS. Click here, for the full report.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

'Ethnic cleansing' in Belfast

Reported at News24: "Racist thugs" have been trying to drive blacks and Asians out of Belfast, and they have frightened at least one South African family away. London - Thandi, a black South African woman who lived in Soweto through the apartheid years, thought life would be different in Northern Ireland. But one day, she told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, she opened her door to a group of men who swore at her, telling her to leave. The woman, who asked for her surname not to be published, ran out of the back door leaving behind her children, aged 13 and two, who remained silent upstairs as the family's television, kitchen, fireplace and new electronic games console were smashed.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Germany regrets Namibia 'genocide'

Interested to read today about the German Ambassador to Nambia making a statement of regret concerning the killing of between 35,000 and 105,000 Namibians in the early 1900s when they rebelled against German rule in 1904, see BBC. The obvious link was to the new and brutal book by Andre Brink on the subject, still chewing over that one...or perhaps just simply disturbed by its violent content as I noted early in my blog. Anyway, I wonder what will happen next now as a compensation claim is on the cards...

Thursday, January 8, 2004

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Daily Summit

Daily Summit is an interesting live commentary site that has in that past reported on the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. I think I'll go back to this one.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

9th anniversary of the death of Joe Slovo

Today is the 9th Anniversary of the death of Joe Slovo who at the time of his death was the South African Communist Party (SACP) chairperson and Minister of Housing in President Mandela’s cabinet. He made a very significant contribution to transformation of South Africa over the years. Nothwithstanding his personal contribution which is outlined briefly in the SACP's press statement on the anniversary of his death, I was interested to read the SACP's clear condemnation of Mugabe's Zimbabwe that sneaks through in the statement. Seems as if the SACP are calling Mugabe's recent activities an example of a once-heroic struggle "stagnating post-independence under the domination of emergent, supposedly nationalist, rent-seeking bourgeoisies, abusing newly acquired state power for personal accumulation". Interesting to compare this to the ANC's more benign responses thus far....

Monday, January 5, 2004

Managing Spam

Been trying to monitor my number of emails I get over the last while. On average seem to get about 1250 emails a month, about 50% are spam! I am now using Mailwasher Pro, or have been for the last few months, helps a lot...but wish someone could stop the spam merchants.