16 June 2005 Edition

Bolivia's resource wars

16 June 2005

Finally, after years of campaigning, the US and Britain have agreed a plan to cancel the debt of 18 of the world's poorest countries. It is good news for those who have been working on this issue for the last few years, even before the worldwide Jubilee 2000 campaign was launched. However, this announcement is only a drop of good news of a sea of desperation, as many other countries, who will not benefit from the "debt amnesty", continue to struggle to make ends meet, mostly at the expense of their populations. Free article

New Public Prosecution Service must be genuinely independent

16 June 2005

Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly has welcomed the launch of the new Public Prosecution Service as part of the Criminal Justice Review launched in Belfast this week. The ending of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the introduction of a new Public Prosecution Service is the centrepiece of a wide ranging review of the justice system in the North of Ireland. Free article

Torture in the Basque Country

16 June 2005

The UN's Committee Against Torture has given 90 days to the Spanish state to implement the necessary measures to put an end to the practice of torture by Spanish security forces. The UN decision came as a consequence of the case of Basque citizen Kepa Urra, who was humiliated and beaten by the police officers after his arrest. Urra was arrested in January 1992. Free article

ASBOs protest in Dublin

16 June 2005

• Sinn Féin members joined other groups in Dublin city centre at the weekend in a colourful and youthful demonstration of opposition to the government's plans to introduce Anti-Social Behaviour Orders. Minister McDowell was urged to invest in youth services rather than introduce a flawed system that will only serve to criminalise young people. Free article

The horrors of Mao

16 June 2005

The Beatle's 1968 song Revolution contains the lines: "But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow." Not the most profound political analysis you might come across but Lennon and McCartney were certainly talking a lot more sense than those who believed that Maoism was the path to human liberation. Certainly more so than the French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, who described the terror in China as "profoundly moral" or Henry Kissiniger, who claimed that Mao was searching for "egalitarian virtue". Free article

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Omagh residents protest Army presence

16 June 2005

Omagh residents held a protest on Thursday 9 June to coincide with a British Army event-taking place within the confines of the army camp in Omagh. Free article

Death of Jon Idígoras

16 June 2005

On 5 June 2005, Basque political leader Jon Idigoras died from complications from a respiratory illness. He was 69 and one of the most representative figures of the Basque Liberation Movement. Fulfiling his political responsibilities and dedication to the last moment, just hours before his death he called the people closest to him to his bedside: his brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews and Batasuna leaders. Jon wanted to bid farewell and offer advice for the last time. Free article

PSNI fire shots at wrong man

16 June 2005

PSNI members who opened fire during a chase near Lisburn, County Antrim, on Wednesday 8 June fired at the wrong man. Free article

Lisburn superbigots discriminate against Irish

16 June 2005

Lisburn Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Butler has told An Phoblacht he will be seeking legal advice after the DUP-dominated council rejected a motion calling on the council to implement a Department of Environment circular in relation to the Irish language being acceptable as a minority language under a European Charter. Free article

Who is 'Lord Laird' anyway?

16 June 2005

The recent outburst of an Ulster Unionist peer in the British House of Lords might have appeared to be 'extraordinary' to some commentators, but if anything the protagonist was simply acting true to form. John Laird has a long history of political extremism and has been a lifelong opponent of progressive change. Free article

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