Sunday, October 31, 2004

Bush is scary...vote Kerry

I am currently in Boston and while walking the lovely autumn streets came across this. I took a picture and thought it rather an appropriate posting for Halloween...



Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Bush website blocked outside US

Apparently if you are outside the US you cannot visit the campaign site of Bush (as if I was going to!). Wonder what that is about? The BBC reported "Surfers outside the US have been unable to visit the official re-election site of President George W Bush. The blocking of browsers sited outside the US began in the early hours of Monday morning. Since then people outside the US trying to browse the site get a message saying they are not authorised to view it. The blocking does not appear to be due to an attack by vandals or malicious hackers, but as a result of a policy decision by the Bush camp". To read the full article click here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Belfast, Ottawa and Belgrade

I have been failing in my duties to keep my blog up to date with a a very hectic schedule over the last while. I attended a meeting in Ottawa and then was off to Belgrade. The Ottawa meeting, hosted by the IDRC, focused on the International Handbook on Reconciliation produced by International IDEA. The book, in which I wrote a chapter on Healing (downloadable from online version of the Handbook), has really gone well and is used in a number of countries now. A French version is now available, and summaries of the book are available in English, French, Sinhala, Spanish and Tamil. The meeting focused on updating the current book. If any of you using it have suggestions feel free to email me. After this very fruitful meeting that will lead to further developments of the handbook I am sure, I headed for Belgrade. There I attended an event focusing on truth and reconciliation options for former-Yugoslavia. As many of you know there have been various attempts at dealing with these issues in the region (including a failed truth commission). This event, organised by the Victimology Society of Serbia, attempted to bring together a range of practitioners working on truth and reconciliation related work in the region. It was fascinating, although there is a long way to go. As soon as the report is out I'll post it.

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Should business pay for apartheid?

Should business pay for apartheid?
Jon Robins wrote an interesting article in The Times recently, the article begins, "WHAT responsibility does IBM have for South Africans beaten and tortured under apartheid? A connection might not be apparent but Michael Hausfeld, an American lawyer, is arguing that there is one. The computer giant is one of 20 multinationals (including British ones such as Barclays Bank) being sued via the US courts under an arcane 18th-century statute for their role in supporting a racist regime. Last week Hausfeld, who was a leading lawyer in the legal action against the Swiss banks for Holocaust survivors, filed an amicus brief -or legal opinion -in a New York court on behalf of the Khulumani Support Group (the name means "speak out" in Zulu). "The decisions made by this court will shape the future of human rights litigation," he argues. "They will reverberate beyond the courthouse walls to the ears of officials and private (citizens) across the world." To read more of this article visit The Times Law Page, click on the link down the page and register. It is free and easy.

Should business pay for apartheid?

Jon Robins has recently written a good piece in The Times outlining the details of Apartheid reparations lawsuits and what separates out the difference cases. He also highlights the support of the Khulumani Victim Support Group case by Archbishop Tutu and a range of others. The article begins by asking "What responsibility does IBM have for South Africans beaten and tortured under apartheid? A connection might not be apparent but Michael Hausfeld, an American lawyer, is arguing that there is one. The computer giant is one of 20 multinationals (including British ones such as Barclays Bank) being sued via the US courts under an arcane 18th-century statute for their role in supporting a racist regime. Last week Hausfeld, who was a leading lawyer in the legal action against the Swiss banks for Holocaust survivors, filed an amicus brief -or legal opinion -in a New York court on behalf of the Khulumani Support Group (the name means "speak out" in Zulu). "The decisions made by this court will shape the future of human rights litigation," he argues. "They will reverberate beyond the courthouse walls to the ears of officials and private (citizens) across the world."

Job Robins goes on to note that "Certainly, the document will be hard to ignore, as much as the South African Government would like to. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, other members of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and dozens of international human rights groups are signatories. The reason for its timing is a ruling by the US Supreme Court (Sosa v Alvarez-Machain) on the Alien Tort Claims Act 1789. That controversial legislation allows companies to be sued in the American courts for human rights breaches committed anywhere in the world". If you would like to read more about this visit The Times site Law Page and link to the story on their home page. You will need to register with them to read it, but registration is free and if you are interested in this case the article is very enlightening.

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Community Dialogue Northern Ireland

From time to time I get requests to add links to my site by interested organisations. Today I posted a link to Community Dialogue on my Links Page who made such a request. I think their work may be of interest to many of you. Community Dialogue was started in October 1998 by people working in different community groups from across the divide and is committed to a cross-community solution to our political, social and economic problems in Northern Ireland. Their aim is to encourage dialogue within the community sector about our political future.

* Note links page removed from the site in 2012, all Links now on this blog

Monday, October 4, 2004

Cost of War

Check out this interesting site called the Cost of War...rather revealing.