Friday, November 30, 2007


Here's the article from the Chronicle Herald. My access to any Proceedings of the Royal Society of London seems to be blocked just now.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Free Cape Breton

from The Daily News

To the editor:

Government delivered from on high and afar to an unsuspecting and compliant population on Cape Breton Island must end. The question of our island's development should be for Cape Bretoners alone to decide.

The CBI provincehood campaign is an inclusive, imaginative and direct effort to engage with every Cape Bretoner who has a view on CBI's future. We ask every Cape Bretoner to reflect not on the kind of island we are, but on the kind of island we could be - or should be.

We have found that CBI voters want development on the way we are governed. To do so, the constitutional position of our island must move forward. The election of a voluntary assembly in 2008 will be a step toward self-governance. A strong mandate for our Assembly will legitimize demands for negotiations with Halifax for choosing CBI's future.

There are five choices: maintain the present setup; some decentralized self-governance; broad self-governance powers as an autonomous region within Nova Scotia; independence as a Canadian territory; and independence as Canada's 11th province.

Mark Macneill


[I posted the following comment on The Daily News's web site:]

I agree with the comment regarding natural resources. (The island is being emptied of people and grabbed up by shoddy natural resource operations.) Cape Breton Island must be able to defend its ecosystems and communities from destruction, which is largely due to the activities of mainland companies, or it will have no future at all. The fulcrum point - at which this downward spiral can be reversed - is the collusion between Cape Breton political decision makers and natural resource profiteers. The decision makers must begin to recognize their responsibilities to the island, and such a leap may require provincehood, with new rules for more localized governance.

Friday, November 02, 2007

A couple of letters with neat links

Field Marshal Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir
Office of the President
People's Palace, PO Box 281

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Your Excellency,

On September 27th, fifteen Ethiopian refugees, including alleged members of the Oromo Liberation Front, were forcibly returned to Ethiopia, in clear breach of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

Sudan is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, and the Organization of African Unity Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, all of which oblige you not to forcibly return any person to a country where they risk torture or other serious human rights violations. So, please do not return the Ethiopian refugees and asylum-seekers now in custody to Ethiopia.

Please ensure that all Ethiopian refugees detained in Sudan are treated humanely, provided with adequate medical treatment, allowed to challenge the lawfulness of their detention before a judicial authority, and given immediate access to the UNHCR.

Sincerely and Respectfully,


Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed
Chief Adviser
Office of the Chief Adviser

Friday, November 2, 2007

Dear Chief Adviser,

On October 24th, a group of 10-12 plainclothes Rapid Action Battalion agents arrested Jahangir Alam Akash, head of the Rajshahi office of the independent TV station CBS News. Mr. Akash is the local head of both the Task Force against Torture and the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights.

Please release Mr. Akash immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for broadcasting reports critical of the Rapid Action Battalion. Please ensure that Jahangir Alam Akash is protected from any further torture, and given any medical attention he may require. The reports of the torture of Mr. Akash ought to be investigated by an independent, impartial, and competent body, to bring those responsible to justice.

Sincerely and Respectfully,