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Index August 2008

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Prosecuting Bush

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Linked with Dennis John Kucinich – USA, with Impeachment Begins, with Bruce Fein – USA,
and with The American Freedom Agenda AFA.

Published on RealNewsNetwork, 6.06 min, August 30, 2008: Vincent Bugliosi talks to Matt Palevsky: Vincent Bugliosi is an American attorney and author, best known for prosecuting Charles Manson and other defendants accused of the Tate-LaBianca murders. His most recent books are Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (2007), and The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder (2008).

The neighbor in the self

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Published on openDemocracy, by James R. Mensch, Aug 28, 2008.

(Religions and States, even when apparently open, are subject to “auto-immune” reactions which make them turn against the other within. They need to make the effort to recognise the other as a constituent of themselves).

There is a famous passage in the Gospels, where a lawyer questions Jesus with regard to the command to love God with one’s whole heart and to love ones neighbour `as oneself.’ The lawyer asks, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ (Luke 10:2). Is he someone who lives close by or a co-religionist or is he a stranger, a follower of a different faith as Jesus suggests by answering with the parable of the good Samaritan? The ‘religions of the book,’ Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, have difficulties answering this question. As their respective histories show, they all manifest a double potential. They show themselves capable of promoting acts of love and extreme self-sacrifice in their followers. But they also have histories marked by religiously motivated struggles, intolerance and acts of brutality. What is the root of this double potential? How can they promote both love and violence? …

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Bangladesh: Prolonged State of Emergency

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… threatening the judiciary and human rights defenders’ ability to work

Linked with Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury – Bangladesh;

Received by mail:

From: HREA – Human Rights Education Associates and its Newsletter
Date: 27/08/2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

From Asian Legal Resource Centre ALRC (find it also GlobalHand, and on wikipedia).

Under a 20-month-long State of Emergency, which began on January 11, 2007, Bangladesh has been plunged into a period in which human rights have been severely undermined and serious violations have increased significantly. These include widespread and massive arbitrary arrests and detentions, estimated at numbering over 500,000, as well as rampant ill-treatment and torture, and a significant increase in extra-judicial killings. Furthermore, the military-controlled government has been promulgating arbitrary laws that have lead directly to further abuses of human rights and further obstruction of all avenues available to victims seeking remedies. The authorities have been institutionalising extra-constitutional practices that undermine the institutions of the rule of law, causing damage to the fabric of the State that will remain for years. Despite the scale of this crisis, the international community has been silent thus far.

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China: Hosting Olympics, a Catalyst for Human Rights Abuses

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IOC and World Leaders Fail to Challenge Great Leap Backward for Rights in China

Published on HRW, August 22, 2008.

(New York, August 22, 2008) – The hosting of the 2008 Beijing Olympics has set back the clock for the respect of human rights in the People’s Republic of China, Human Rights Watch said ahead of the Games’ closing ceremony in Beijing on Sunday, August 24. Over the past year Human Rights Watch has monitored and documented extensive human rights violations directly linked to the preparation and the hosting of the Games.

“The 2008 Beijing Games have put an end – once and for all – to the notion that these Olympics are a ‘force for good,’” said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “The reality is that the Chinese government’s hosting of the Games has been a catalyst for abuses, leading to massive forced evictions, a surge in the arrest, detention, and harassment of critics, repeated violations of media freedom, and increased political repression.”

Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told Reuters in August 2007 that, “We believe the Games are going to move ahead the agenda of the social and human rights as far as possible, the Games are going to be a force for good.”

Human Rights Watch pointed out that, to the contrary, the Chinese government has consistently violated its Olympics-related human rights commitments … (full text).

Choudhury speach to IFLAC’s writers’ symposium

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… “The Media and a Culture of Peace” (To have been delivered by Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury to IFLAC’s writers’ symposium; Tel Aviv, Israel; December 2003)

Linked Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury – Bangladesh, with Must He Die? Meet A Muslim Dissident, and with BLiTZ (the english Internet Version).

Published on Interfaith Strength, by staff, not dated. (If the Choudhurys were in Europe during the Holocaust, they would have refused to drive the trains. Richard L. Benkin).

Shalom and Salam! …

(3 excerpts): … But let us also be clear about something else. A true Culture of Peace is not merely the cessation of hostilities. It is far more than that and includes Justice and Tolerance for all people. A true Culture of Peace is one that allows each person to have pride in one’s own faith, while respecting the pride that courses through the veins of those who follow other paths to God.

Unfortunately, too often, that goal seems far out of reach. Who can fail to be moved by the news of innocents – children – being cruelly murdered while riding a bus to school; or the thought of infants being blown to bits, along with their mothers in whose arms they lay? How recently was it that entire families were wiped out by a terrorist’s bomb in Haifa? The litany could go on and on.

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India: Censorship and violence against press in Kashmir

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Received by mail:

From: HREA – Human Rights Education Associates, and its Newsletter
Date: 25/08/2008

Press release Reporters Without Borders
25 August 2008

Reporters Without Borders calls on the Indian authorities to put an immediate stop to the censorship and violence against the media in Kashmir that has been prompted by a wave of protests against Indian rule. At least 13 journalists were beaten by police yesterday in Srinagar, local TV stations are being censored and a curfew is making it hard for newspapers to bring out their issues.

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Leadership in NGOs

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… is it all that different than the for-profit sector?
(for french, same page and scroll down: Leadership au sein des ONG: est-ce different du secteur a but lucratif?).

Published on Entrepreneur.com, by Bruce Hardy, Spring 2007.

I worked in the NGO sector for over 30 years. I worked in small organizations with annual budgets under $250,000 and I worked for large organizations with budgets in excess of $17,000,000. I have done work with large American NGO’s with annual budgets in excess of $250,000,000. I have worked in social service organizations, health organizations and international service organizations. Over my career I have observed a steady evolution in the NGO sector. NGO’s are no longer found to be exclusively in the volunteer sector and you can no longer assume that they are only locally based. You can no longer assume small and you can no longer assume well intentioned at the cost of competency.

Today in Canada there are more than 72,000 registered charities delivering services locally, provincially and nationally. These organizations provide over 350,000 full time jobs as well as over 220,000 part time jobs. Total annual salaries exceed $13 billion dollars. This is a large and growing sector.

Given federal and provincial cutbacks over the past 10-12 years, many NGO’s had to evolve or die. Boards of directors were forced to accept the notion that not every agency could be expected to survive. NGO’s began to look at the world through a filter that was well known in the for-profit sector. This was a survival of the fittest scenario. In order to survive agencies looked at new ways to do their work. Trends included:

  • More collaboration with the for-profit sector;
  • More formalized and sophisticated fund raising;
  • More focus on the fiscal bottom line;
  • More diversity in services, service delivery and staffing;
  • Boards of directors looking more closely at organizational leadership

… (full text).

Human rights civic education in Uganda

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Published on The New Vision, by staff, 21st August, 2008.

Uganda Human Rights Commission is to start a country wide civic education of masses on Human rights issues. The commission chairperson Margaret Sekagya says the civic education is aimed at creating awareness about the rampant human rights cases in the country … (full text).

More about Human rights in Uganda:

Peace, Prayer, and Protest

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Linked with Tubbs Jones – USA (1949 – 2008), and with Peace X Peace.org.

Published on Week X Week (news of the week from Peace x Peace), by Mary Liston Liepold, August 20, 2008.

Yesterday The London Times mock-seriously advised anyone who’s looking for quiet in Beijing to head to one of the areas set aside for protest. It’s peaceful there; dissension has been squelched. That same day, a member of the women’s anti-nuclear peace encampment at Aldermaston was being tried under England’s new anti-terrorism legislation. A judge’s sense of irony just might have contributed to her release today. (Or possibly even gratitude, since US nukes, at least, were recently removed from England.) Now perhaps we in the US should wait to see how protestors fare at the Democratic and Republican conventions before we judge the Chinese …

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Our Military Has No Higher Duty Than To End Fascism

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Published on Countercurrents.org, by Timothy V. Gatto, 19 August, 2008.

As with any civilization, there comes a time where that civilization must choose between right and wrong, commonsense and nonsense, and civility over barbarism. The period immediately after World War II saw the world community questioning the German people on their complicity with the fascist regime that had wrecked havoc and desolation upon the world and was guilty of mass exterminations of millions of human beings. The answer that was often time given was that the average German didn’t see it coming, and that if they knew what the future would bring, they would have never participated in Hitler’s mad schemes. The world never quite forgot the German people’s complicity in the last World War, and they will not forgive the American people for displaying their lack of concern over what our government does in the name of the “American People”.

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Are You Ready For Nuclear War?

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Linked with Paul Craig Roberts – USA.

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Paul Craig Roberts, 20 August, 2008.

Pervez Musharraf, the puppet installed by the US to rule Pakistan in the interest of US hegemony, resigned August 18 to avoid impeachment. Karl Rove and the Diebold electronic voting machines were unable to control the result of the last election in Pakistan, the result of which gave Pakistanis a bigger voice in their government than America’s …

… When the Bush Regime began its wars in the Middle East, I predicted, correctly, that Musharraf would be one victim. The American puppets in Egypt and Jordan may be the next to go.

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Conflict Resolution and Human Rights Education

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… for Enhancing Intercultural Dialogue with Young People, an Euro-Mediterranean Training Course for multipliers active in human rights education and conflict resolution in the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation context

Received by mail:

From: Viktoria Karpatska (See also: mail-address for the list, and archives of the list).
Date: 20/08/2008

Dear Friends, Please find below a call for applications for participants in the training course Conflict Resolution and Human Rights Education for Enhancing Intercultural Dialogue with Young People. This is a Euro-Mediterranean training course for multipliers active in human rights education and conflict resolution in the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation context. It will be held from 19 to 26 October 2008 at the European Youth Centre Budapest.

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The True Story Of Mao Tsetung

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… and the communist revolution in China – Part 1

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Li Onesto, 13 August, 2008.

(3 short excerpts of a long article): … In the China where Mao grew up, most people were poor peasants suffering under the system of feudalism. Big landlords owned most of the land and landless peasants were forced to work for them, getting barely enough to survive. The peasants lived in constant debt, subjected to the tyranny of the landlords and conditions of poverty, hunger and disease. Families sold their children because they couldn’t feed them …

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Must He Die? Meet A Muslim Dissident

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… who loves Jews, Christians and free speech

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Brenda West, 16 August, 2008.

His country wants to hang him, and this could happen within the next few months. Sallah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is a Bangladeshi journalist, publisher and peace activist who has left the fold of Jew hatred and Muslim supremacy that is infecting his country in recent years. For that, he is accused of ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘hurting the image of Islam’ …

Choudhury’s aborted speech needs to be read.  In passionate yet surprisingly serene tones, he confronts the irrational hatred primarily directed against Jews and Israel that is inflaming the Muslim world, including its semi-religious belief in Holocaust Denial. Choudhury commends Israel’s democracy and progress, and proposes creating what he calls a “’Culture of peace’ with justice and tolerance for all people as opposed to the ‘culture of death.’”

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7th anniversary of 9/11 and the cycle Of war

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Published on Countercurrents.org, by Vincent L. Guarisco, 16 August, 2008.

… (scroll down to): ~Will the Cycle of War Ever be Stopped?

This is the multi-zillion dollar question that should be considered a bargain when compared to the value of life itself. I ask again, will this madness ever end? Truly, will we ever stop believing pathological liars who will say anything to germinate a conflict? In the real world, war has always been a profitable ’spectator sport’ for those who embellish themselves in power and greed. Old crusty men will always send our young, innocent, and brave men and women off to fight and die in useless wars that, realistically, do not need to be fought. And by God, I mean it, this repeated cycle of madness must end once and for all. Otherwise, we will continue to be placed in harm’s way — mere pawns scurrying about as feeble toys to be manipulated by old crusty geopolitical chess masters like Dick Cheney and others who have been destroying and displacing lives for decades.

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Protest movement growing in China

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Linked with Paul Jay – Canada.

Published on RealNewsNetwork (see their homepage), August 16, 2008.

Minqi Li, on Protest movements in China: “the resistance has been growing in recent years, and even by the official statistics, what they call the mass incidents has increased from something like 30,000 a year to now maybe 50,000, 60,000 a year, and that you still have many protests from the traditional-sector workers relating to issues about privatization, corruption that happened in the process of privatization” … 6.17 min.

Links:

will come: … August 17, 2008;

- China’s top: 1% control, 70% of wealth, Professor Minqi Li on Winners and losers in new China, 6.22 min, August 15, 2008;

- Prof. Minqi Li, a former political prisoner, on Confucianism, capitalism and harmony for who, 4.47 min, August 14, 2008.

JKB Korczak Prize in Burundi: Encouraging peace

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Published on the blog Korczak.info, by Joël Hakizimana, IJKnews, May 20th 2008.

Read the call by Joël Hakizimina, to reach it scroll down and click on :

  • “JKB Korczak Prize in Burundi, encouraging peace”: [PDF 113 Ko, 3 pages]);
  • [French] “Le prix Korczak du Burundi, un encouragement à la paix”: [PDF 131 Ko, 3 pages]).

I am a Burundian political refugee that lives in Switzerland since March 1989. I am a 28 year-old companion and father of a 15 months son. I was born in Burundi, in East Africa, South of Rwanda and when I was 9, my father had gone twice in jail as a political prisoner, tortured… and my mother had gone once in prison with one of my brother that was only 5 months. My family had been persecuted because my father was a journalist that did his job well, but in a context of dictatorship … When he escaped from prison in 1988 with other journalist, they came in Europe to say what was happening there in Burundi, then came back home, took his wife and five children and our exile begun.

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Indian Muslims And The Media

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Linked with Nigar Ataulla – India, Bangalore, and with Muslim Women: The Dangerous Triangle.

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Nigar Ataulla, 05 June, 2007.

… These findings are based on a survey of the social background of 315 key decision makers from these media organizations. Its key findings reflect the sources of bias:

1. India’s ‘national’ media lacks social diversity – It does not reflect the country’s social profile

2. Hindu ‘upper’ caste men dominate the media. They are about 8 % of India’s population but among the key decision makers of the national media their share is as high as 71 %.

3. Gender bias rules: only 17 % of the key decision makers in the media are women. Their representation is better in the English Electronic media (32 %).

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Fund Helps Threatened Scholars Around the World

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EDUCATION – Driving tomorrow’s achievements

Linked with Fellowship for Threatened Scholars around the world.

Published on America.gov, 24 July 2008.

Interview with Scholar Rescue Fund’s Jim Miller – Part 1:

(short excerpt): … Question: How widespread and serious a problem is the persecution of scholars around the globe?

Miller: The problem is severe and widespread. The numbers may say it all: since 2002, IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund has received over 1,800 requests for assistance from individuals in over 100 countries. Scholars in virtually every discipline have become victim to the ravages of disease, war or economic chaos. SRF has learned that direct threats to scholars often begin on their very own university campuses. The deliberate persecution of scholars – ranging widely from censorship to death threats – generally escapes the world’s attention, but the fact is that scholars are often the first target of repressive regimes, paramilitary groups, terrorists or any individual seeking to silence dissent or opposition in their pursuit of power.

Question: What impact are you having? Can you give me an example or two?

Miller: Lives saved – We have helped scholars escape censorship, violence and, in many cases, death sentences. SRF has awarded grants to dozens of scholars who were in prison, in hiding, or under house arrest … (full interview text).

Links:

Scholar Rescue Saves the Intellectual Capital of a Country, Interview with Scholar Rescue Fund’s Jim Miller – Part 2, 24 July 2008;

Driving tomorrow’s achievements, not dated.

Invitation à la fete du 16 aout à Renens VD/Suisse

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Guinée: Journée culturelle guinéenne le 16 août 2008 à Renens/Lausanne, Suisse:

Lié avec TCHAPE.

Reçu par e-mail:

De: ONG Tchape
Date: 12/08/2008

Bonjour à tous(tes), Par la présente, notre Organisation Non Gouvernementale TCHAPE (Tchad Agir Pour l’Environnement) vous informe de l’organisation de la journée culturelle guinéenne et tchadienne à Renens VD.

L’ARGSCAV (Association de Ressortissants Guinéens et Sympathisants du Canton de Vaud) et TCHAPE organisent une journée culturelle avec l’invitation d’éminents écrivains guinéens et tchadiens pour des conférences dans l’après midi et en suite une soirée dansante dans la salle des fêtes de Renens VD.

Ainsi, nous tenons à vous inviter pour cette journée du 16 août 2008 à partir de 12h 00 dans la grande salle de fête de Renens. Pour plus d’informations cliquez ICI.

Meilleures salutations. Abdoulaye.

Visitez notre site Tchad Agir Pour l’ Environnement TCHAPE – ONG/NGO

NGO Interventions in Situations of Conflict

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Some Reflections on Possible NGO Interventions in Situations of Conflict: The Experience of the Viol

Linked with Urvashi Butalia – India.

Published on AMAN Foundation, by Urvashi Butalia, not dated.

… This essay mainly describes a project entitled the Violence Mitigation and Amelioration Project (VMAP) on violent conflict which was initiated by Oxfam (India) some years ago. Within this, my essay looks at only one aspect of this overall project, i.e. the sub-project on women and conflict. Briefly, the VMAP project is divided into several sub-projects, which look at the following: (a) mapping conflict (b) law and conflict (c) dalits and conflict (d) syncretic traditions (e) the question of Hindutva (f) the psychological impact of conflict and (g) women and conflict. Two independent projects defined geographically rather than thematically, form part of this group. One is located in Rajasthan where there has been a continuing flow of people (Hindus) coming in from Pakistan, especially at times when relations between the two countries are at a low. The other is located in West Bengal and is concerned with people who are currently living as stateless people in Bangladesh, but are in fact Indians in legal terms. These people, erstwhile inhabitants of small enclaves called chitmahals (which continue to be in Bangladesh ) have, over a period of time, migrated into different parts of West Bengal where they live in small clusters. The project is aimed at assisting these displaced people to set up their own community based organisations to fight for their rights as legitimate citizens of the Indian State …

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ActionAid – Horn of Africa Food Crisis Appeal

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Received per e-mail:

De: ActionAid
Date: 11/08/2008

We need your help: Current situation: Devastating drought, combined with soaring global food prices, has left millions of people in Ethiopia, Kenya and other Horn of Africa countries in urgent need of food.

Crops have failed and livestock are dying. Desperate parents have been forced to scavenge for poisonous berries to feed their children. It takes three long days to prepare enough berries for just one meal. Lodap, a mother in the Rift Valley of Kenya said, “The berries are bitter. [When we prepare them] children get a burning effect [in their throats], it can even disturb their stomachs and they get sick…”

Read more about how mothers like Lodap are struggling to feed their families.

ActionAid Ambassador Jan Ravens has been to see the situation in Kenya first-hand. She says, “There’s no food here. There are no crops growing… It shouldn’t need to get this bad for us to help these people.”

Watch video of Jan Ravens in Kenya.

Our response on the ground: We are already on the ground delivering water and food aid. But we urgently need to do more to stop a catastrophic loss of life.

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Attac Sommeruni 2008

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Erhalten per e-mail:

De: Infoliste von ATTAC-Schweiz
Date: August 11, 2008

Liebe attac-Leute, sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

die diesjährige Sommeruniversität von attac Schweiz wird vom 5.-7. September 2008 in Bern stattfinden. Wir freuen uns sehr, Euch/Sie hierzu einzuladen. Das genauere Programm und Möglichkeiten, sich anzumelden, sind auf unserer Homepage Sommeruni2008 online zu finden.

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Is it the state’s goal to educate or just graduate?

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Published on Press-Register, by MELINDA MANLEY, August 10, 2008.

Just over a decade ago, some of my students were struggling to pass an Alabama graduation exam that was written on an eighth-grade level. A few of them did not pass.

Meanwhile, the business community began to complain about Alabama seniors who did pass the test. Business owners said too many of their new employees did not have the skills to help them compete in the growing world economy.

The state’s answer was a new, more complex Alabama High School Gradua tion Exam, which addressed five subject areas (math, English, reading, science and social studies) and mirrored college entrance exams in its format.

Coupled with this change was a statewide focus on increased instructional rigor, higher classroom standards and detailed documentation to prove teachers were focused on aiding students to pass the new exam … (full text).