China and the Armenian genocide

Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi paid tribute to the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims during his visit to Armenia, the Public Radio of Armenia reported. Mr. Jiechi visited Tsitsernakaberd Memorial to lay a wreath, and toured the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, accompanied by its Director, Hayk Demoyan. He also met with the head of Armenia's national church, Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, and discussed the recognition of Armenian Genocide, News-Am reported. This is the first high-level Chinese visit since Armenia's independence in 1991, the Armenian Foreign Ministry...

Future ‘bloodlands’

The 1947 legal definition by the UN incorporates several aspects of targeted oppression, such as "Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group" and "Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." The popular definition is simpler: The wholesale killing of a people because of religion, race or ethnicity ." See Richard Handler’s discussion of Yale historian Timothy Synder’s book here .

East Timorese renew call over Indonesia’s crimes against humanity

“ We are still not yet free of the shadow of serious crimes committed during the 24 years of Indonesian occupation. We have suffered a lot during that period; physically and psychologically, because of torture from various types of violations, including sexual violence against women, and the loss of 180,000 human lives because of the brutal, illegal Indonesian military occupation.” - Timor-Leste National Alliance for an International Tribunal (ANTI). A coalition of groups in East Timor has urged the United Nations Security Council to take “concrete, effective actions to end impunity for those...

West considers reprieve for Sudan leader over genocide charges

Sudan’s president could enjoy a year’s reprieve from war crimes charges as Western governments seek to encourage his regime to consolidate peace after the people of South Sudan voted last month for independence. Senior western and African officials said France and the US had agreed at an African Union summit to consider backing a deferral of the International Criminal Court’s indictment of Omar al-Bashir on war crimes and genocide charges. See the Financial Times’ report here . See earlier posts on South Sudan's referendum here .

Bush not at risk of arrest in Europe - experts

European law enforcement officials and other experts say the chances of George W. Bush being arrested on war crimes charges in Switzerland--or any place else on the continent--are almost nil. " From a legal point of view, I believe it could be possible. But I'm convinced that the political reality is that there are no chances for such a step." - Dick Marty, a Swiss prosecutor who led Council of Europe’s investigation into CIA secret prisons. See the Washington Post’s report here See also reports on President Bush cancelling his visit last week to Switzerland here and here .

To punish dictators, protect their informers

“[Cindor Reeves] risked his life to help international prosecutors build a war crimes case against Mr. Taylor, the former president of Liberia. … [He] should not be deported to Liberia. He played a key role in bringing charges against a reviled figure, and deserves a safe haven. ” - Globe and Mail editorial, Feb 7, 2011 See the full text here .

China: no fear for global grain supplies

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao sought Thursday to calm global concerns about the impact of severe droughts on China's grain output and inflation, the Wall Street Journal reported. The country's supply of grain is basically in balance with demand and reiterating the government's confidence that it can keep prices under control, he said, adding: "We are confident that we have the ability to promote the stable development of agricultural products, to ensure the effective supply of agricultural products, especially grain, and to maintain the overall basic stability of goods prices" See the Wall...

The mantra of repression …

The tidal wave of public anger against the Egyptian regime that engulfed the country in recent days has transfixed governments and people the world over. Egypt’s staunchest ally, the United States, has called on President Mubarak to go, and to go ‘now’ (see AFP's report ). But amid the sustained mass protests by Egypt’s people and their defiance of its terror tactics, what seems to bother the regime most is international criticism. Unsurprisingly, its logic is … ‘internal affairs’. This is what Vice President Omar Suleiman had to say Thursday: "There are some abnormal ways by which foreign...

US urges India-China ties

The United States says it is willing to help India and China improve their relations and welcomes a greater involvement by New Delhi in East Asia, AFP reports . "We support an improvement in dialogue between India and China, and we would seek to take steps to facilitate that as we move forward," Kurt Campbell, the US assistant secretary of state for East Asia said. "Ultimately, we think that India's role in the Asian-Pacific region stands to be one of the most important new developments over the course of the next decade." The Obama administration focused attention from the start of its term...

Political dignity and self-determination

“What young people want is political dignity. Democracy may enhance that. But political dignity also encompasses ethnic or national self-determination, religious self-definition, and human and social rights. All of this now takes place in a wired world where the youth are acutely aware of economic, racial, and social inequities.” - Zbigniew Brzezinski, US national security advisor in President Jimmy Carter’s administration. See Newsweek's interview here about the ongoing crisis in Egypt.