SRI LANKA: After Decades of Bloodshed, Home Calls
PERIYAPILLUMALLAI, Sri Lanka, Jul 6 – For almost two decades, Athanayakemudiyanselage Punchibanda lived without hope of ever returning here to his native village.
Gender Meet Ends on High Note with New “U.N. Women”
UNITED NATIONS, Jul 2 – Nearly 50 government delegations spent the past week at U.N. headquarters in New York hashing over the progress that has been made and challenges that remain in pursuing gender parity worldwide, one of the crucial elements of the Millennium Development Goals.
U.N. Chief Heading for New Brawl over Sri Lanka Panel
UNITED NATIONS, Jul 2 – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is heading for a second round of political brawling with the powerful 118-member Non- Aligned Movement (NAM) over his decision to appoint a panel of experts to advise him on possible violations of humanitarian law by the Sri Lankan military during the concluding stages of its war against Tamil separatists last May.
RIGHTS: Poor Foreigners Working Like “Modern Slaves” in Mauritius
PORT LOUIS, Jul 2 – Workers from Bangladesh have helped Mauritius to achieve the economic success and world market share that the Indian Ocean island state boasts about. But many live and work in conditions described as akin to “modern slavery”, apart from facing discrimination, the denial of labour rights and even violence.
‘This Is Worse Than Guantanamo’
BRATISLAVA, Jul 2 – A former Guantanamo Bay prisoner at a refugee detention centre in Slovakia has said he is prepared to die in hunger strike after living five months in conditions he says are worse than in the infamous U.S. prison.
PERU: ‘Don’t Minimise’ Impacts of Amazon Oil Spill
LIMA , Jul 1 – Pluspetrol’s Jun. 19 petroleum spill has left the Marañón River, in the Peruvian Amazon, with oil and grease levels thousands of times greater than the maximum allowed for human consumption, affecting more than 4,000 local residents.
KENYA: Tradition an Obstacle to Maternal Health
TURKANA DISTRICT, Kenya
Jul 1 – Their kangas and heavy bead necklaces are the only colour in an arid landscape. The weary women waiting outside the Kangatotha dispensary have walked up to 50 kilometres to receive food aid; now they will walk home carrying their share.
BRAZIL: Belo Monte Dam Means Floods for Some, Drought for Others
ALTAMIRA, Brazil, Jul 1 – “There will be two years of abundance, and then famine,” says Brazilian indigenous leader José Carlos Arara, laying bare his opinion of the promises that the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam will not alter the living conditions of the people in this part of the eastern Amazon.
Talks Hit a Rock Called East Jerusalem
Analysis by Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler
SILWAN, Occupied East Jerusalem, Jun 30 – The sound of stun grenades and gunfire resounded through this embattled Palestinian neighbourhood. Amidst increased tension over plans to tighten Israel’s grip over the occupied eastern part of the city, Israeli border police and Palestinian youths confronted each other all through Sunday night. Dozens of Palestinians were wounded, mostly from tear gas inhalation; six policemen were hurt by stones.
Iranian Diaspora Struggles to Find Unified Voice
WASHINGTON, Jun 29 – Iranians should be forgiven for not coming out en masse to demonstrate on the anniversary of their disputed presidential elections.
Unmanned Drones – Targeted Killing vs. “Collateral Murder”
UNITED NATIONS, Jun 29 – When a Pakistani-U.S. national pleaded guilty last week to a failed attempt to detonate explosives packed in a vehicle in the heart of New York City, he admitted that one of the reasons he targeted the busy Times Square neighbourhood was to “injure and kill” as many people as possible.
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