Ontario passes motion to describe 1984 anti-Sikh riots as genocide

The province of Ontario is the first legislature in Canada to carry a motion describing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as genocide. Harinder Malhi, Member of Provincial Parliament, moved the motion with 34 votes in favour and five against. Malhi stated that the Legislative Assembly of Ontario should “condemn all forms of communal violence, hatred, hostility, prejudice, racism and intolerance in India and anywhere else in the world, including the 1984 Genocide perpetrated against the Sikhs throughout India, and call on all sides to embrace truth, justice and reconciliation.” In response, India’s...

UN Security Council votes to end Haiti peacekeeping mission

The UN will withdraw its peacekeeping mission in Haiti by October 2017, the Security Council decided in a vote today. Unanimously adopting a new resolution, the Council decided that, after over 13 years operating in its current form, the UN Stabilization Mission, known by its French acronym, MINUSTAH, would gradually draw down its military component during the next six months, finally withdrawing from Haiti by 15 October 2017. Acting on the recommendations of the Secretary-General, the Council also decided to establish a successor operation, the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in...

South Sudan violence now genocide says UK international development secretary

The violence in South Sudan has now escalated to genocide, the UK’s International Development Secretary has said. The Secretary, Priti Patel visited South Sudan this week and said there is a “scorched earth policy” with “massacres taking place, people’s throats are being slit”. Speaking to the Associated Press, Ms Patel said villages were being burned down, women being raped and food being used as a weapon of war. “It’s tribal, it’s absolutely tribal, so on that basis it’s genocide,” she said. Ms Patel also said there was a need for increased International pressure to bring peace and...

US launches air strike over Syrian military base

The US fired Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian military base on Friday in response to the chemical weapon attack over Idlib province earlier this week. The US Department of Defense said the air strike was "in retaliation for the Assad regime using nerve agents against its people." Four Syrian military officers had been killed in the attack, which has been condemned by Russia as "aggression against sovereign state". Australia, UK and Turkey expressed support for the air strike. China urged the avoidance of "further deterioriation" in the situation in Syria, AFP reported. The US' action came after...

Suspected sarin gas attack in Syria, US accuses Assad

The third suspected chemical attack was reported to have been carried out in Syria on Tuesday over the province of Idlib, killing at least over 50 people, including children. The US has accused the Assad government of carrying out this attack, however, the military has denied this. "We deny completely the use of any chemical or toxic material in Khan Sheikhoun town today and the army has not used nor will use in any place or time neither in past or in future," the Syrian army said in a statement. Local aid workers and human rights activists have pointed to victims foaming at the mouth, with...

Scottish parliament backs second independence referendum

The Scottish parliament on Tuesday voted in favour of holding a second referendum on independence, thereby endorsing the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. The vote, which was won by 69 to 59 votes, translates into a formal request to Westminster to grant Holyrood powers to hold a referendum under a section 30 order. It shortly after a meeting between Ms Sturgeon and the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, on Monday in Glasgow, where Ms May reiterated that "now is not the time" for such a referendum. Ms May had earlier this month rejected such a proposal, stating that it would not be...

Basque separatists announce plan to lay down arms

The Basque separatist organisation, Eta on Friday announced its plans to lay down arms and reveal stockpiles of weapons, reported Le Monde . In 2011 Eta renounced its armed struggle for independence of a Basque homeland spanning across Northern Spain and Southern France. Eta plans to complete the disarmament by April 8, ahead of the first round of the French presidential election. The Spanish government reacted to the news with caution. “Eta has to do two things: disarm and dissolve itself,” a government spokesperson was quoted by The Guardian as saying.

Sturgeon criticises May's rejection of second Scottish referendum

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon criticised the British prime minister's rejection of a second independence referendum, stating that denying Scots a chance to decide on their future post-Brexit would be contrary to May's promise to work for all the people of the UK. “If the Prime Minister refuses to engage on the terms of a referendum before Brexit takes place then she is effectively trying to block the people of Scotland having a choice over their future. That would be a democratic outrage," Ms Sturgeon said. “It is for the Scottish Parliament – not Downing Street – to...

Rohingya Muslims facing crimes against humanity in Myanmar says UN official

The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Myanmar said the Rohingya Muslims were facing "crimes against humanity" by the Burmese people, security forces and police. In an interview to BBC Newsnight this week, Yanghee Lee said "I would say crimes against humanity. Definite crimes against humanity... by the Burmese, Myanmar military, the border guards or the police or security forces." Stating that such abuse was "systemic" within the Myanmar forces, Ms Lee said that the government lef by Aung San Suu Kyi must also be held responsible. "At the end of the day it is the government, the...

No independence for Taiwan or Hong Kong reiterates Beijing

China's Premier, Li Keqiang this month reiterated that Beijing would firmly oppose any moves towards independence in Taiwan and Hong Kong. “We will resolutely oppose and contain separatist activities for Taiwan independence,” Mr Li was quoted by Today Online as saying in a speech at the annual session of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC). “We will never tolerate any activity, in any form or name, which attempts to separate Taiwan from the motherland,” he added. Asked about the issue of Hong Kong independence, Mr Li was quick to dismiss it outright, stating, “the notion of Hong Kong...

Pages