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Index March 2007

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Shadow Sovereigns

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Linked with Carolyn Nordstrom – USA, and with Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies.

Shadow Sovereigns, by Carolyn Nordstrom, Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies, the 28 pdf-pages study is not dated:

Excerpts: page 3: … it is not rebel groups seeking sovereignty that comprises the shadow powers I am speaking of here, but the vast international extra-state politico-economic networks that, among other things, supplies such movements. I have come to this study through years of research at the frontlines of wars (citations removed for review), where extra-state transactions are perhaps most developed and visible. But, as this study will show, the vast extra-state networks expand across war and peace, and across all the world’s countries. This trade—from armaments to everyday supplies, from precious mineral resources to international ‘advisors’—often crosses various divides between legal, quasi-legal, gray markets, and downright illegal blackmarkets. Following these threads of supply and demand, I have charted a multi-billion-trillion dollar a year series of (often interlinked) economic exchanges and the power politics that keep them afloat. Some of these networks wield more influence than a number of the formal nation-states of the world. This article will be devoted to exploring and defining these grids of economic and political power that circulate apart from formal state systems …

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Berlin Declaration

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Picked up on Weitzenegger’s Website for International Development Cooperation, and its Newsletter.

Berlin Declaration on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the EU: European success means commitments worldwide.

Press release, Berlin/Bonn, 23rd March 2007 – On the occasion of the signing of the Berlin Declaration on the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome on the 25th March, the Association of German Development Non-Governmental Organisations (VENRO) calls for increased European engagement in achieving world-wide social justice. “The EU must not rest on its laurels but has to campaign for world-wide solidarity and fair globalisation. This is the only way to ensure that it can cope with future challenges,” said VENRO Chair Claudia Warning.

“With the Berlin Declaration, the European Union is going to show what role it wishes to play in the world,” Warning added. The EU had to recognise that eliminating poverty world-wide was among its political priorities. “It is committed to this by its own fundamental principles of democracy, equality, solidarity, tolerance, social justice and respect for the human rights,” Warning said. The 50-year process of European integration was a peace history success story and, at the same time, a commitment. The Berlin Declaration had to contain a clear pledge to prevent violent conflicts and underline the EU’s responsibility for civil conflict resolution. Security must not be defined merely as the security of the EU borders, the VENRO Chair explained.

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European strategy for gender equality

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Picked up on Weitzenegger’s Website for International Development Cooperation, and its Newsletter.

European Commission proposes an European strategy to promote gender equality in development cooperation

published on EUROPA.EU, March 3, 2007

Equal opportunities and equal access to resources for both men and women is key to sustainable development. With the European Strategy to promote gender equality in development cooperation adopted today, the Commission translates into practice the EU commitment to put gender equality at the heart of its development policyThe strategy suggests concrete actions in five key areas for the promotion of gender equality: governance, employment, education, health and domestic violence.It provides guidelines on how to improve gender mainstreaming in development policy and shows the potential of budget support for the promotion of gender equality.

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Fourth Session of the Human Rights Council

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12 to 30 March 2007

Special Events

* Two special events are scheduled to take place during the Fourth Session of the Human Rights Council. The aim of these events is to have an opportunity to discuss, in an interactive setting, two issues on which there has been significant evolution during the recent months, having particular relevance to the Council’s work.

* The overall purpose of both special events is to raise awareness and gain understanding about these issues and of the role that the Human Rights Council can play in their follow-up.

* The first event would focus on the issue of violence against children, bearing in mind the impact of the study recently presented by the independent expert Professor Sergio Pinheiro.

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Egypt: Arrested Activists and Bloggers Released in the Desert – Bloggers Roam the Desert

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by Amira Al Hussaini, on Global Voices, March 26, 2007.

2 Exerpts: Egypt today released bloggers and other activists arrested in an anti-Mubarak rally in Cairo held the previous day in the desert, according to bloggers. Blogger and journalist Hossam El Hamalawy, who has been closely following the developments, writes:

  • - Police released the remaining Kefaya activists in custody today in the afternoon, after they spent their night in the Qattamiya desert, locked up in two prison trucks.
  • - There were two prison trucks; one containing eight detainees: Ahmad Droubi, Adham el-Safti, Omar Mustafa, Ahmad Samir, Khaled Mustafa, Sherif Ragab, Mohamed Abdel Qader, Kareem el-Sha’er.
  • - The other car, it turned out, had two activists only: Mohamed Gamal and Omar el-Hadi.
  • - The detainees, according to a phone interview with Droubi, were not allowed to leave the car, and were given food only once at 4am. They even had to urinate inside the prison truck in empty Koshari boxes and bottles, courtsey of Mubarak’s police.
  • - The prison trucks started cruising in the afternoon again, and dropped each detainee off in a different location out in the desert, starting from 2:40pm, according to lawyer Rajia Omran.

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Authority, Autonomy, and Religious Conflict

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By Sarbeswar Sahoo, published on countercurrents.org, 20 March, 2007

Excerpts: On our way back from Fateh Sagar Lake to Seva Mandir (Rajasthan), where we worked as volunteers, we had some wonderful religious discussions with Janneke and Marjolaine – the former from the Netherlands and the later from France. Clearing their queries and curiosities about the complex cultural customs and traditions of Indian pluralism, Pankaj (from TISS) and I made some efforts as the students of social sciences. While making a point on the rising religious conflicts and intolerance in the present day society, an important point came to the discussion which forms the foundation of ‘communal/ ethnic conflict’ and ‘clash of religious identity’ through out the world.

Since 9/11, Islam has been portrayed as the evil and held responsible for the rising religious conflicts and terrorist activities everywhere. Mahmood Mamdani, a Columbia political theorist, in his book on Good Muslims and Bad Muslims, debunks the orthodox idea that the modern and secular Muslims as good and the traditional and religious Muslims as bad. However, the point here is neither about good Muslims and bad Muslims, nor about good religion and bad religion; it is about how and when religion become communal.

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Egypt – first group of Women Judges appointed

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Picked up on HREA.org: a Human Rights Watch Press release.

(My remark: In the original text it is always written about female judges. I changed the word into women judges).

Cairo, March 22, 2007 – The Egyptian government’s appointment of the country’s first group of women judges is a welcome step toward ending discrimination against women in the judiciary, Human Rights Watch said today.

Before the Supreme Judicial Council appointed the 31 women judges on March 14, the only sitting women judge in Egypt was Tahani al-Gibali, who was appointed to the High Constitutional Court in 2003 by presidential decree. The new women judges are expected to be assigned to courts by the end of the month.

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American official at Unesco …

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American official at Unesco quits amid auditing rebuke, by Alan Riding, published on International Heral Tribune Europe, March 20, 2007.

PARIS: The highest-ranking American official at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization resigned just days before an official audit reported that he had violated Unesco’s rules by granting seven contracts to an American consulting firm without an open bidding procedure.

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fraudes avec des mots de passe

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Reçu ce mail de mon website-provider:

Bonjour, En tant que webmaster, nous aimerions vous rendre très attentif sur les risques de phishing (tentative de vol de mot de passe)! La façon d’agir est toujours la même : vous recevez un message d’une personne se faisant passer pour un collaborateur de votre banque, d’un responsable d’EBay ou de Paypal, par exemple, et vous invite à vous rendre sur une page sécurisée (ou non) pour vous identifier afin de vérifier votre compte ou de confirmer certaines informations bancaires.

Une fois que la victime a indiqué son mot de passe, l’attaquant peut alors accéder à son compte et l’utiliser à des fins malveillantes, car l’adresse URL indiquée dans le message peut être affichée comme http://secure.ebay.com, mais si vous contrôlez l’adresse exacte dans votre navigateur, vous vous apercevrez que vous êtes sur un tout autre site. Ces derniers ont le plus souvent été également piratés, souvent de la même manière, pour utiliser un site à des fins détournées.

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DE-MILITANT-ISATION FIRST – Meetings

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Linked with ‘ … Conclusions‘, with Paul Beersmans – Belgium, with BASJAK, with Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir BASJAK, with JAMMU AND KASHMIR, A SMOULDERING CONFLICT … , and with … again Kashmir.

The Belgian Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir BASJAK was in Kashmir this January-February 2007. Find their Report of the study tours in Jammu and Kashmir State, January-February 2007, a pdf-text.

Here an excerpt of this 21 pages report. Page 3: … MEETING WITH THE COMMON MAN IN THE STREET IN JAMMU, UDHAMPUR, KATRA, REASI, SAMBA, AND KATHUA:

As usual I spent as much time as possible with the common people in the street in order to learn more about their perception of the situation. I spoke to shopkeepers, taxi drivers, people in the bazaar, waiters, etc. All of them were very eager to speak to me. They are happy that someone takes interest in their fate especially those living in the forgotten corners of J&K State. Here is what I learned:

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HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION IN ARMENIA

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BASELINE STUDY ON HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION IN ARMENIA, September 2005

The baseline study was conducted within the “Promoting Human Rights and Facilitating Public Awareness of the Public Defender’s Office in Armenia” joint project of the National Assembly and UNDP Armenia and financed by the Netherlands Minister for Development Cooperation. The Turpanjian Center for Policy Analysis at the American University of Armenia conducted the study and presented the findings in this 81 pages pdf-report. (© UNDP Armenia).

UN Human Rights Council divided over Darfur

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Published on jurnalo.com, Friday 16 March 2007

The United Nations Human Rights Council was split Friday and members told its credibility “was at stake” as the special report on alleged human rights abuses in Darfur was debated by the 47 member states. The report, compiled by Nobel peace prize winner Jody Williams, was condemned as “incomplete” and its legitimacy and impartiality questioned by the bloc of states led by the Organization of the Islamic Conference. They claimed the mission had failed to fulfil its mandate after one of the five-member delegation was refused a visa to Sudan last month and the team was forced to conduct its inquiry from outside the country. The report alleges human rights abuses, including killings and rape, as a result of violence orchestrated by the Sudanese government acting alongside the Khartoum-backed Janjaweed Arab militia and other armed groups. The claims are fiercely denied by Khartoum. (full text).

Arms Control Today

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Linked with Judge C. G. Weeramantry – Sri Lanka, with Weeramantry International Centre For Peace Education and Research, and with Arms Control Association.

Nuclear weapons play a dominant role in shaping today’s world. They encourage their possessors to adopt overbearing attitudes toward their neighbors. They ground international negotiations in power and terror rather than harmony and goodwill. They divide the world into two groups, the nuclear and the non-nuclears, with a huge class distinction between them.

In the sphere of international law, they override the entire system through their very existence, which is in total violation of its fundamental precepts. They undermine international law by creating the impression that there is one law for the nuclear-weapon states and another for the non-nuclear-weapon states. In effect, they enable their possessors to tell the non-nuclear-weapon states that they had better behave themselves and not seek to acquire nuclear weapons, for that is a total contravention of international law except when it is done by the nuclear weapon states. They are an open declaration to the world that possession of nuclear weapons is the prerogative of the nuclear powers, who have a legitimate right to possess them and to refine them even further. They have the right to keep them in their arsenals as a threat and a deterrent. They even have the right to proclaim openly that they can use them in a first strike against a nation that is ignoring or violating international law. (full text).

Brzezinski confirms that the United States can organise attacks in their own territory

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With the exception of Washington Note and Financial Times, the mainstream media decided not to report Zbigniew Brzezinski’s comments that shatter the United Stator ruling class. Auditioned on February 1st, 2007 by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the former National Security Adviser read a statement the terms of which had been carefully chosen … … (full text).

My comment: in these days a high placed Al-Quaida senior official confessed being guilty for the 9/11 and other terrorist attacs.

In my eyes this confession is not worth the paper it is written on.

You just tell him: if you sign, your family remains in peace and your prison (or death sentence) will be somelike human. Otherwise …

I do not know a man resisting in this situation. So, this confession is not worth its paper.

L’implication de l’ONU dans des crimes de guerre

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Entretien avec le Comte Hans Christof von Sponeck, par Silvia Cattori – Pour l’ancien secrétaire général adjoint de l’ONU, Hans Christof von Sponeck, les Nations Unies, loin de veiller au respect du droit international et à la consolidation de la paix, sont devenues factrices d’injustice. Ainsi, les sanctions mises en place contre l’Irak de Saddam Hussein ont provoquées un désastre humanitaire. Tandis que des Traités comme celui de non-prolifération nucléaire sont utilisés pour assurer la domination des uns et menacer les autres. Il est temps de changer complètement de système.

Hans-Christof von SponeckLe comte Hans-Christof von Sponeck, né à Brême en 1939, a travaillé durant 32 ans au Programme des Nations Unies pour le Développement (PNUD). Nommé en 1998 par Kofi Annan au poste de Coordinateur humanitaire des Nations Unies en Irak, avec le rang de Secrétaire général adjoint, M. von Sponeck a démissionné en mars 2000 en signe de protestation contre les sanctions qui avaient réduit le peuple irakien à la misère et à la famine. Il répond aux questions de Silvia Cattori pour le Réseau Voltaire.(Voir le reste du très long texte on Voltairenet.org).

China, Russia seek block U.N. rights report on Darfur

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By Richard Waddington, REUTERS, March 16, 2007.

GENEVA – China and Russia joined with Arab and Muslim states on Friday in urging the U.N.’s human rights watchdog to ignore a report from a mission to Darfur that blamed Sudan for continuing war crimes against civilians there.
The two permanent Security Council members argued the mission, led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams, last month failed to gain access to the vast western region of Sudan and had not fulfilled its mandate. Despite warnings from Western and some African states that failure to act would undermine the credibility of the newly formed rights Human Rights Council, Muslim and Arab states and their allies backed Sudan’s line that the report had no legal basis. ‘The so-called mission failed to make an onsite visit. The report cannot be considered objective … and has no legal basis,’ China said in a statement to the 47-state Council, which was echoed by Russia.

Comment of a french TV speaker: Darfur has natural resources, Russia and China want both access them.

Alleviating Poverty in Nigeria

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By Anthony Maduagwu, published on Africa Economic Analysis.org

Linked with Hadizatou Issa Iyayi – Niger.

The  Nigerian  government  is  once  again  embarking  on  another  attempt  to  alleviate  poverty.  This  present  one  looks  like  it  is  heading  the  same  way  the  past  ones  headed  and  subsequently  failed.  Amongst  the  reasons  why  the  past  poverty  alleviation  attempts  failed  were  – (1)  the  politics  of  personal  rule -   a  distinctive  type  of  political  system  in  which  the  rivalries  and  struggles  of  powerful  and  willful  men,  rather  than  impersonal  institutions,  ideologies,  public  policies,  or  class  interests,  are  fundamental  in  shaping  political  life.  It  is  a  monopolistic  politics  as  against  pluralistic  or  multiparty  politics.  It  is  usually  a  civilian  one – party  state  or  a  military  dictatorship  (There  is  overwhelming  believe  that  Obasanjo’  PDP  government  is  shifting  towards  a  full  blown  one – party  state).  It  is  the  politics  of  Big – Men  who  are  a  considerable  distance  from  the  ordinary  people.  Politics  of  no  accountability,  transparency  and  responsibility. (long full text).

FPIF Policy Report

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Iraqi Women, Four years after the Invasion

published first on foreign policy in focus , by Dr. Nadje Al-Ali, 14 March, 2007 – (Homepage)

The Humanitarian Crisis – Every-day survival is a priority in a context where lack of security goes side by side with incredibly difficult living conditions. The Iraqi infrastructure which was already severely debilitated as a result of economic sanctions and a series of wars has deteriorated even further since 2003. Electricity shortages, lack of access to potable water, malfunctioning sanitation systems and a deteriorating health system are part of every-day lives in post-2003 Iraq. Intisar K., who works as a doctor in a teaching hospital in Baghdad, summed up what has also been documented in several UN-related documents: “We only have electricity for three to a maximum of five hours a day. There is not enough clean drinking water. Lack of sanitation is a big problem and continues to be one of the main causes of malnutrition, dysentery and death amongst young children.”

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… again Uranium weapons

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Linked with American DUST.

Received by mail from bluesapphire48, of WorldCitizen, via WorldCitizen-yahoogroups:

Excerpt: … I am posting, below, part of the response I wrote earlier to one of these people who asked for more information about depleted uranium (DU). Perhaps other people in this group will want to read this, too. I look forward to continuing this discussion within the group and offlist with anyone who is interested. Peace and may God bless you all, Hajja Romi Elnagar, Depleted Uranium Study Team.

Dear friend, To understand this subject, you need to remember a little basic chemistry. Natural uranium ore (from mines) has several different varieties, or ISOTOPES. They are all radioactive. One isotope can be used in nuclear power plants to generate electricity. It is called U-235.

Only a small percentage of natural uranium contains U-235. After this isotope is taken out of the uranium ore, the remainder is said to be “depleted” of the uranium that is useful for power plants.

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Le Droit de l’homme à la paix

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Trouvé sur le website du Professeur Alfred de Zayas, docteur en droit:

La Société espagnole pour le développement et la mise-en-oeuvre du droit international des droits humains a adopté en octobre 2006 la «Déclaration de Luarca sur le Droit humain à la Paix», qui est l’aboutissement de nombreuses réunions, entre 2004 et 2006, d’intellectuels espagnols et de professeurs de droit international et de relations internationales. L’Association est en train d’organiser des meetings régionaux en Afrique, en Amérique du Nord et du Sud, en Asie, en Europe et dans le monde arabe. Une consultation aura lieu en mars 2007 au Palais des Nations. Elle coïncidera avec la quatrième session du Conseil des Droits de l’homme. Le but de ces meetings est de prendre en compte les différences des cultures dans l’approche du droit de l’homme à la paix et de se focaliser sur les relations entre paix et les droits de l’homme.

Déclaration de Luarca (Asturies) sur le Droit humain à la Paix

(full text pour tous les articles).

Cyd Ho Sau-lan’s letter to Hong-Kong

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Linked with Cyd Ho Sau-lan – Hong Kong, China, and with Centre for Comparative and Public Law.
by Cyd Ho – difused on RTHK Radio 3 – April 11, 2004, and published on Cyd Ho’s personal website.
Excerpt: … Before the Constitutional Development Task Force headed by the Chief Secretary finished with its consultation exercise, the NPC Standing Committee announced that it would interpret the Basic Law in the meeting held from April 2nd to 6th. A ceiling was abruptly set before the direction of reform was thoroughly debated. We all realized that it would be critical for the democratization in Hong Kong, but we don’t know what it’s all about. The details were kept from Hong Kong people, and were not made known to the public until the Standing Committee meeting was over. We didn’t have a chance to discuss the changes brought about by the interpretation. But the new meaning of the provision would be imposed on us and curb the progress in political reform. From now on, the Central Authority holds the string.

Let me reiterate. The interpretation will do more harm than good to Hong Kong. When the government, theoretically, is to be abided by law, could anytime give new meaning to the provision in the name of interpretation, people’s trust and confidence in the Basic Law will be gone.

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Seven new jobs available

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Received by mail: de: Gillian Caldwell of WITNESS, date: 09/03/2007.

Dear Heidi, WITNESS is currently hiring for seven exciting positions: four of which are new positions for our organization, and three to replace beloved employees (Hakima Abbas, Kristin MacLeod Ball and Sarah Chletsos) who are moving on to Kenya, graduate school, and new fields in the coming months!

Please consider these jobs and help us recruit fabulous new members for our team by sending this email far and wide to your personal and professional lists. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Go to view all the job descriptions. WITNESS is seeking:

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American DUST

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The yahoo group ‘American DUST, Depleted Uranium Study Team

Short description: Uranium weapons are used by the US and its allies in the Balkans and the Middle East. These weapons are outlawed under Geneva Protocols and Convestions, but this has not stopped their use. They have begun the catastrophic destruction of all life on this planet. We study and disseminate information on uranium weapons with the goal of raising public awareness in the US about depleted uranium (DU), and other uranium weapons.

We also include in our work other weapons prohibited by international law but used by the US and its allies.

We advocate non-violence as the solution to conflict. The war criminals that lead in the use of these weapons must be held accountable for their actions before the international community, and before the citizens of the nations whose trust they have abused and whose blood and treasure they have thrown away. Those who follow them must be educated and awakened to the truth about their participation in these crimes.

Their last three texts:

BUSH’S ONGOING WAR AGAINST VETERANS;

Photos , what DU makes on babies (deformed born babies, nothing for sensible persons);

Thought for the Day (a poem).

Interested to help this group to raise awarnesss about DU? Join under THIS LINK.

JAMMU AND KASHMIR: A SMOULDERING CONFLICT …

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… AND A FORGOTTEN MISSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Linked with Paul Beersmans – Belgium, with Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir BASJAK, and with … again Kashmir.

Added on March 22, 2007: linked also with DE-MILITANT-ISATION FIRST – Conclusions, with DE-MILITANT-ISATION FIRST – Meetings, and on the new created AEHRF-Pictures blog with … .

A concise study by Paul Beersmans, President of the Belgian Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir

1. INTRODUCTION

Sensational events are getting the head news, international conflicts as well. With changing intensity it stays in the head news as long as there are sensational developments. It is so, for example, for Rwanda, Ex-Yugoslavia, Somalia, Kosovo, Israel, Afghanistan, etc.

If, however, it remains quiet for a longer time a conflict is forgotten, which doesn’t mean that this conflict is solved. It becomes a ’smouldering conflict’. One of these smouldering conflicts is the unsolved problem of Jammu and Kashmir. In May 1998 this conflict surfaced again after India and Pakistan carried out nuclear tests. A year later, in spring and summer 1999, Jammu and Kashmir again came under international attention when Pakistan crossed the Line of Control in the north-eastern sector resulting in heavy fighting between India and Pakistan. After the events of 11 September 2001 in the United States and especially after the suicidal attack on the Indian Parliament in New Delhi in December 2001, India is putting pressure on Pakistan to stop all support of terrorists and fundamentalist movements. For the time being this ’smouldering conflict’ is once more flaring up.

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