Archive for September 21st, 2014


May Peace Prevail on Earth!

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*, 21 Sep 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service — What a good idea, this day! To reflect, take stock, to enjoy peace, to deplore non-peace.

21 sep day of peace

And the first reflection is this: peace is the normal condition of humanity, just like health. There is so much plain, simple, decent behavior around, so much mutual aid, a helping hand, companionship, friendship, good neighborhood when bad luck strikes at its worst. And we sense mutuality, unquestioning reciprocity; not always but mostly.

Go to an airport, stay close to where they come out, arrival, and are met by their nearest–watch the embraces, the warmth, the eyes glittering, the smiles, laughter.

There we are. Harmony, resonance–with the occasional deep, joint sadness, sorrow; something has struck.

Go to a restaurant, not too stiff, formal–more ordinary eatery. And you see it again, the pleasure, food, drinks, togetherness, the shared pleasure–the jokes, the smiles.

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Is the EU Doing Enough to Prevent Migrant Deaths at Sea?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kristy Siegfried, Johannesburg, 19 September 2014 (IRIN)* — The news that up to 850 lives were lost in the Mediterranean this past weekend as a result of five shipwrecks of boats carrying migrants has sparked a new round of calls for the European Union (EU) to take more responsibility for preventing deaths at sea.

**Photo: UNHCR/A.D'Amato | Male migrants rescued by the Italian navy sleep in a partitioned section of the San Giorgio military ship.

**Photo: UNHCR/A.D’Amato | Male migrants rescued by the Italian navy sleep in a partitioned section of the San Giorgio military ship.

This summer in the Mediterranean has seen an unprecedented number of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers boarding rickety smugglers’ boats in a desperate bid to reach European shores.

Most of the movement has been concentrated in the central Mediterranean with the majority of departures from Libya, and Italy receiving most of the arrivals – about 120,000 so far in 2014, more than double the previous record of 54,000 (during 2011 at the height of the Arab Spring).

The number of deaths in the Mediterranean this year has also reached a new high of nearly 3,000, including the death toll from last weekend’s multiple tragedies, one of which appears to have been the result of smugglers deliberating ramming and sinking a boat carrying 500 migrants who refused to switch to a less seaworthy boat.

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