Monday, June 21, 2004

Repairing the Past: Reparations and Transition to Democracy

In March I attended a symposium entitled Repairing the Past: Reparations and Transition to Democracy that was jointly held by the IDRC and the ICTJ in Ottawa. The summary report on the event is now available.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Is commercialism killing Irish culture?

The Guardian this week began an article entitled "Bangers and machinations" with the words "From Riverdance to the Famine - the Disneyfication of Ireland's heritage continues apace. Now it's James Joyce's turn as the centenary of Bloomsday is marked by a mass fry-up in Dublin". The article then goes on to discuss the fact that the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, the fictional date when Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus embarked on their intertwining journeys through Dublin in Joyce's Ulysses, will be celebrated by Denny's (the sausage makers!) hosting a Joycean big breakfast on O'Connell Street, Dublin's main thoroughfare for 10,000 people. The article, in essence asks, "Is commercialism killing Irish culture?" All very interesting, read the article, although I doubt you will get a seat at this stage, and would you want one anyway?

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Today at 10:30am the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) will be seated and its new commissioners sworn in during a public ceremony in Greensboro, North Carolina. The TRC was established to examine the events of November 3, 1979, when members of the Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party opened fire on a racially mixed gathering of political activists and labor organizers, killing five and wounding 10 others. Modeled in part on truth-seeking efforts in South Africa, Peru, and other countries, the Greensboro Commission hopes to become a model that other American communities can use to examine their own histories of human rights abuse. On May 27, 2004, an independent panel named the seven individuals chosen to serve as commissioners. Once seated, the commissioners will begin reviewing documents and hearing testimony to determine the causes and consequences of the November 3 events, produce a report, and suggest possible paths toward reconciliation and healing. The website is here.

Monday, June 7, 2004


For those interested I would strongly suggest reading Kim Sengupta article on Afghanistan that provides a snapshots of a continuing conflict in Afghanistan. As Kim Sengupta puts it "a war of attrition taking place largely in the shadows with the focus of the world's media firmly fixed on Iraq". Also questioning: "George Bush and Tony Blair made grand promises when they took on the Taliban. They sound hollow now. What does it all mean for Iraq?". Also includes some UNICEF figures like the fact that 1 million girls still need to get into education in the country! Have a read, more...