Burma Action Ireland Burma Action Ireland (BAI) was set up over twelve years ago with the aim of raising public awareness in Ireland about the situation in Burma. Since then, the group has been active in many ways, including public events and exhibitions, international conferences on Burma, hosting members of Burma’s government in exile, refugee leaders and leaders of Burmese women’s organizations, and supporting Burmese refugees here in Ireland. BAI also produces a quarterly Newsletter covering events in Burma and related topics, which is circulated to members of the organisation and also to politicians, unions, councillors and other interested bodies. The photographic exhibition, ‘Burma: Forgotten People, Forgotten Nation’, has been shown in many towns in Ireland and will soon be on show in a venue in the North East to accompany a week of Burma focused events. For more information about this and other forthcoming BAI events, please visit the website: http://www.burmaactionireland.org
Recently BAI has actively supported a wonderful production of a new play, ‘Myanmar’, which was devised and performed by students from Liberties College, Dublin, and directed by Una Kavanagh at the Civic Theatre in Tallaght, where BAI set up an information stall about Burma for all performances. The play was extremely moving and a worthy successor to a professional performance in Dublin last year of ‘The Lady of Burma’, also supported by BAI.
Other activities of BAI include school visits and talks, and it is hoped to launch a schools’ competition for an essay about Burma when BAI’s new information pamphlet is available. This will be sent to schools, libraries, youth groups, community centres, etc. BAI also contributes to third level courses on development, and is developing an educational resource pack for use in primary schools.
BAI regularly holds public demonstrations and meetings to mark important dates in the year, such as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday (19th June), Human Rights Day (10th December) and most vitally, the anniversary of the Uprising on 8th August 1988. More information about the activities of BAI and membership forms are available: http://www.burmaactionireland.org e-mail: email@example.com and ph 087 - 126 1857. Address: Burma Action Ireland, PO Box 6786, Dublin 1. [See a related article in this month's editorials]
Why Violence? The Why Violence? group has issued a leaflet which includes who they are, what they believe and the goals of their campaign. They are taking a broad definition of violence, as used by the WHO, “However the focus of the campaign is on the ‘everyday’ experiences of violence – people to people violence, whether in the home, the school, the community, the workplace, the sports field or on the streets.” The goal of the campaign is defined as to reduce the social acceptance of violence in Irish Society. Using the period from International Day of Peace on 21st September to International day of Non-violence on 2nd October, they want to build a wide variety of co-ordinated, visible and vibrant activities across the island of Ireland in this period. Activities would be run, and funded, by each individual, organisation or group, with overall co-ordination by the Why Violence? Committee. While several of the group came together as Quakers, it is not a Quaker campaign “rather we want to build a truly broad-based alliance of individuals and organisations across Ireland who will work under a neutral ‘Why Violence?’ identity to build a movement to change attitudes, beliefs and behaviours about violence, across Irish society.” Contact by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Why Violence? The Campaign for Violence Reduction, c/o Quaker House, Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16.
The world is your volunteer oyster / World development workshop
VSI/Voluntary Service International has just launched its 2009 Book of International Volunteering Projects. It contains over 700 short term projects in 75 countries worldwide. There are projects in Ireland, north and south; projects throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America, Japan, Australia and North America. Many of the projects are concerned with issues of peace, solidarity and non violence. More details from http://www.vsi.ie Voluntary Service International, 30 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1, ph 01 8551011.
Please note that VSI are the appropriate people to contact anywhere in Ireland for SCI/Service Civil International projects.
World Development Workshop 28th -29th March 2009 in Greystones, Co. Wicklow
This weekend workshop 'Exploring Development Issues' (Saturday morning to Sunday after lunch) is part of the Preparation Programme for the VSI Africa / Asia / Latin America Programme. The workshop will combine several inputs on current development issues using speakers, videos, simulation games etc., along with details of the 2009 projects and inputs on health and safety aspects. Application forms for the 2009 Programme can be completed over the weekend. The workshop will be run by the VSI Development Education Group all of whom have volunteered on the programme in previous years.
Corrymeela: Dealing with the Past The Eames Bradley Report and The Consultative Group on the Past; a public forum will be held to discuss the recommendations made by the Report and to discuss how we can move forward from here. The meeting will include guest speakers and will be held at the Corrymeela Community in Ballycastle on the 31st March at 7.30 pm. It promises to be an evening of discussion and community input. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Justin Martin at 028 2076 2626 or check out our website at http://www.corrymeela.org
Shannon Peace Forum / PANA and Lisbon Treaty Facilitated by the Peace And Neutrality Alliance (PANA), this will take place in the Park Inn Hotel, Shannon Airport on 21st March 2009, 1pm – 5.30 pm. Forum themes and objectives: Peace, Justice and Accountability. It kicks off at 12.00 noon with a Press Conference – Neutrality and the Lisbon Treaty rerun. 13.00 to 13.30 Forum Registration (Admission waged €15, unwaged free – Lunch available at Park Inn at about €10). 13.30: Opening address: The human rights of one million Iraqi dead, guest speaker - Dr Sawsan Assaf, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway.
14.00: Irish Neutrality - the Lisbon Treaty - Role of Shannon Airport in Iraq and Afghan wars. Panel: Roger Cole, PANA, Michael Youlton, IAWM, Prof John Maguire, AWI. 15.00: Extraordinary Rendition and abuses of international law – From Bush to Obama – from Guantanamo Back to Bagram? Noeleen Hartigan, Amnesty International, John Lannon, Shannonwatch.org, Professor Gernot Biehler, TCD. 16.00: Plenary Session – Accountability and the Way Forward – Panel to include political party representatives – Objective – a frank and open exchange of views. Peace activists attending the Forum are invited to make written submissions, both before and after the Forum on various aspects of the two main topics, Neutrality and Torture Rendition, and on the additional topic of the way forward for the Irish peace movement. 17:30 Close of Forum - Accountability is the Way Forward .
For more information contact Ed Horgan Tel: 086-3539911 email@example.com It is also hoped to organise a return bus trip from Dublin for €35 a head; if interested please contact Roger Cole asap at: 087-2611597.
PANA says: The fact that recent public opinion polls have shown an increase in support for the Lisbon Treaty is because the government has said that it would address the concerns of the people by ensuring that legally binding changes (only Protocols are legally binding) would be made to the treaty to address their concerns: Article 6.1 of the Irish Constitution makes it clear that since the people have already rejected the treaty for the government to ask the people to vote on exactly the same treaty would be illegal and any effort to do so would be to subvert the Constitution. The National Executive of the Peace & Neutrality Alliance has therefore decided to establish a Defend the Irish Constitution Fund to raise the necessary finance to take a legal action against the government in the event of them seeking to do so.
Donations should be sent to Defend the Irish Constitution, PANA, Dalkey Business Centre, 17 Castle Street, Dalkey, Co. Dublin.
Chernobyl children can come from Belarus Adi Roche, Founder & Executive Director, Chernobyl Children’s Project International welcomed the news that Mr Justin Harman, Irish Ambassador to Belarus signed an official Inter-governmental Agreement in Minsk on 23rd February to allow children the freedom to travel to Ireland for Rest & Recuperation. Chernobyl Children’s Project International, Ballycurreen Industrial Estate, Kinsale Road, Cork, ph 021 - 431 2999. Website http://www.chernobyl-international.com
Irish Centre for Human Rights, Galway The Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR) was established in 2000 for the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law. It has six permanent full-time faculty members, comprised of a director and five lecturers, four additional lecturers who serve in an adjunct or visiting capacity, three doctoral fellows, two post-doctoral fellows and three administrative assistants. Whilst the Centre is autonomous in its physical location and day-to-day operations, its academic staff are members of the Faculty of Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway. It now offers an undergraduate BA with Human Rights as well as masters and doctoral programmes. ICHR is co-hosting with the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, University of Dundee, a conference on Human Rights and Forensic Science which will take place at NUI Galway on 24th and 25th April. In June, the ICHR summer schools will run consecutively, commencing with the Minority Rights, Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights Law summer school from 14th - 19th June, followed by the International Criminal Court summer school from 21st -26th June. Further information on the website. Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway, ph 091 - 750464, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and web http://www.nuigalway.ie/human_rights
Shut down NATO! WRI
War Resisters International (WRI) is calling for actions on 4th April as the heads of state and governments of NATO will meet in Baden-Baden and Strasbourg to celebrate NATO's 60th birthday. WRI thinks 60 years of NATO is not a reason to celebrate, but a reason to resist nonviolently! Since its foundation in 1949 NATO pretended to defend the so-called free West against the allegedly aggressive communism. Would this have been the real reason for NATO's existence, NATO would have had to dissolve following the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991. But this did not happen. Already during the Cold War NATO contributed significantly to the arms race between East and West, and participated with its secret operation Gladio in the repression against left movements in the West and the military coups in Greece in 1967 and Turkey in 1980. After 1990 NATO quickly developed itself from an alleged defence alliance into an intervention alliance for the military enforcement of Western interests. More at http://wri-irg.org/pubs/br81-en.htm
Cultivate As usual, the Cultivate Centre in Dublin has a variety of fascinating and useful events coming up including green energy, ecological renovations, domestic energy auditing etc; see http://www.cultivate.ie/table/cultivate/ for details.
ARAN interview A thirteen minute interview with John Carmody, founder of ARAN/Animal Rights Action Network is available on You Tube See also Animal Rights Action Network website http://www.aran.ie for details of current work and actions
Your news and comments welcome. Deadline for March issue: Tuesday 31st March.
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INNATE networking group meets next at 7pm on Wednesday 18th March in Corrymeela House, 8 Upper Crescent, Belfast.
New on Flickr
New photo sets on the INNATE photo site at flickr:
WRI Triennial 2002
Over thirty photos from the War Resisters International Triennial conference which took place in Dublin in 2002. The associated report on the conference appears here.
Peace People Experience (1986)
Dawn Train published the pamphlet ‘The Peace People Experience’ in 1987 and this is a set of 15 photos taken in 1986 for the pamphlet (some of which appeared in the pamphlet which can be found here.
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