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27.3.08

Celtic League Brittany speaks out on Tibet

The Breton branch of the Celtic League has launched a swingeing attack on Chinese repression in Tibet.

Branch Secretary, Gi Keltik, says that "by continuing to engage inhuman rights violations at home and abroad", China has breached a contract with the International Olympic Committee to improve its human rights record ahead of the 2008 Olympics.

In a bitter condemnation of the International Olympic Committee he has told Committee President, Jacques Rogge: "Your silence against China's continuing human rights violations not only encourages delegations who bid for future Olympic Games to make false promises, but also fails to uphold the founding principles of the Olympic movement itself"(see below).

All Celtic League National branches have been urged to add their voices to international protests against the murder of protesters and human rights violations by Chinese security forces who occupy Tibet.

D. Jacques Rogge
President of (IOC)
Château de Vidy
Case Postale 3561007
Lausanne
Switzerland

Dear Dr.Rogge,

As a member of the Celtic League, Brittany/France/ Europe, I am writing to request that you take a stand as the President of the International Olympic Committee against China's continuing human rights violations.

As you are well aware, while bidding for the 2008 Olympic Games, China repeatedly promised to improve its human rights record and it was based on that promise Beijing was granted the right to host the 2008 Games.

As you are also well aware, China has not kept that promise. In violation of the UN Convention on Refugees. Chinese reporters whose only crimes are telling the truth and in Tibet, China continues to trample on the Tibetan culture, society and people.

In 2001, the Chinese government and the International Olympic Committee signed a contract for the 2008 Olympics. By continuing to engage in human rights violations at home and abroad, China has breached that contract. As the counter party to that contract, it is your right and duty to demand that China honor the terms of that contract.

But the present situation goes beyond a contract. "The goal of Olympism", as enshrined in the Olympic Charter, "is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity."

The goal of the modern Olympic movement, isn't "sport", but the usage of sport to promote "harmonious development of man" , "peaceful society", "human dignity."

Your silence against China's continuing human rights violations not only encourages delegations who bid for future Olympic Games to make false promises, but also fails to uphold the founding principles of the Olympic movement itself.

Ultimately, if the Chinese government insists on perpetuating its human rights violations, like last week (W :11), you must move the Games into a democratic state…

Thank you in advance for your consideration, and courage.

Sincerely yours.

Breizh-Branch Sec. : Gi Keltik

Celtic League Brittany speaks out on Tibet

The Breton branch of the Celtic League has launched a swingeing attack on Chinese repression in Tibet.

Branch Secretary, Gi Keltik, says that "by continuing to engage inhuman rights violations at home and abroad", China has breached a contract with the International Olympic Committee to improve its human rights record ahead of the 2008 Olympics.

In a bitter condemnation of the International Olympic Committee he has told Committee President, Jacques Rogge: "Your silence against China's continuing human rights violations not only encourages delegations who bid for future Olympic Games to make false promises, but also fails to uphold the founding principles of the Olympic movement itself"(see below).

All Celtic League National branches have been urged to add their voices to international protests against the murder of protesters and human rights violations by Chinese security forces who occupy Tibet.

D. Jacques Rogge
President of (IOC)
Château de Vidy
Case Postale 3561007
Lausanne
Switzerland

Dear Dr.Rogge,

As a member of the Celtic League, Brittany/France/ Europe, I am writing to request that you take a stand as the President of the International Olympic Committee against China's continuing human rights violations.

As you are well aware, while bidding for the 2008 Olympic Games, China repeatedly promised to improve its human rights record and it was based on that promise Beijing was granted the right to host the 2008 Games.

As you are also well aware, China has not kept that promise. In violation of the UN Convention on Refugees. Chinese reporters whose only crimes are telling the truth and in Tibet, China continues to trample on the Tibetan culture, society and people.

In 2001, the Chinese government and the International Olympic Committee signed a contract for the 2008 Olympics. By continuing to engage in human rights violations at home and abroad, China has breached that contract. As the counter party to that contract, it is your right and duty to demand that China honor the terms of that contract.

But the present situation goes beyond a contract. "The goal of Olympism", as enshrined in the Olympic Charter, "is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity."

The goal of the modern Olympic movement, isn't "sport", but the usage of sport to promote "harmonious development of man" , "peaceful society", "human dignity."

Your silence against China's continuing human rights violations not only encourages delegations who bid for future Olympic Games to make false promises, but also fails to uphold the founding principles of the Olympic movement itself.

Ultimately, if the Chinese government insists on perpetuating its human rights violations, like last week (W :11), you must move the Games into a democratic state…

Thank you in advance for your consideration, and courage.

Sincerely yours.

Breizh-Branch Sec. : Gi Keltik

25.3.08

Networking Democracy: can the internet help Cornish democracy work better?

The government is taking a greater interest in the Internet, its potential to strengthen democracy and increase the participation of UK subjects in decision making.

can participation on the web reinforce representative democracy?


Consequently OurKingdom is running an online deliberation involving Michael Wills, the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, on how the potential of the Internet can be integrated into a national political process. OK are inviting regular readers and contributors to add comments to the article and also promote debate about the subject in various forums, so ere I iz!

A genuine effort to improve UK democracy or just another ploy to appear modern and open to change? The full OurKingdom article (link above) explains all as well as how people and groups can get involved.

The importance of the Internet to the Cornish movement, as for the wider cultural scene, is surely in no doubt now, but is there anyway to be more effective in getting our message across whilst dialoguing with government?

That's the crux of the OK idea and just to finish I have included below an extract from the OK article that I think is well written and pertinent to Cornwall.

An important lesson for me is that while the Minister’s fears are understandable they may be misconceived. The web is not just a version of ‘The general public’. Voting does indeed disaggregate everyone into private, anonymous individuals, whose ‘x’s are then counted. But the web is not just a soup of isolated individuals prone to manipulation by the wicked or the commercial and in need of benevolent guidance from the authorities. Rather, it consists of many groups, networks, communities and cyber-associations, such as regular readers of particular blogs, small and labile aggregations, some very persistent, with over-lapping interests and memberships, often very intelligent and capable of learning. The success of social networking sites like facebook is that they generally use real names and create, precisely, social networks.

13.3.08

Globalisation and nationalism: the new deal

Just to publicise this exellent article from Tom Nairn produced on the website for Open Democracy who themselves are the people behind the exellent OurKingdom blog.

Globalisation and nationalism: the new deal by Tom Nairn.


The map of world statehood is creatively fissuring, as globalisation accentuates difference and breeds self-confident ambition among its underlings and marginals. The process, says Tom Nairn's extraordinary Edinburgh Lecture, heralds the retreat of the "body-builders' club" of would-be great nations and the "emergence of new, smaller communities of will and purpose - the nations of a new and deeply different age"



For the full article click herePlenty in there to interest the Cornish.

9.3.08

Local Elections in Brittany

Taken from Nationalia: http://www.nationalia.info/en/

Out of all the autonomist parties in the historical region of Brittany, which comprises the région of Brittany and the Loire-Atlantique département, Union Démocratique Bretonne (UDB, Breton Democratic Union) tends to attract the largest share of the vote, usually in coalition with other leftist parties, especially the Green Party.

UDB currently has one regional councillor and several town councillors but no mayors.

The party advocates the reunification of Brittany and devolution of powers to the region.Parti Breton – Strollad Breizh (Breton Party) is also presenting candidates for election. Following in the footsteps of nationalist parties in other European nations, such as Scotland or Catalonia, the Breton Party’s motto is ‘An emancipated and unified Brittany’.

Other noteworthy Breton parties include the secessionist and socialist Emgann (Battle) and the Parti Fédéraliste de Bretagne (Federalist Party of Brittany).

Local Elections in Brittany

Taken from Nationalia: http://www.nationalia.info/en/

Out of all the autonomist parties in the historical region of Brittany, which comprises the région of Brittany and the Loire-Atlantique département, Union Démocratique Bretonne (UDB, Breton Democratic Union) tends to attract the largest share of the vote, usually in coalition with other leftist parties, especially the Green Party.

UDB currently has one regional councillor and several town councillors but no mayors.

The party advocates the reunification of Brittany and devolution of powers to the region.Parti Breton – Strollad Breizh (Breton Party) is also presenting candidates for election. Following in the footsteps of nationalist parties in other European nations, such as Scotland or Catalonia, the Breton Party’s motto is ‘An emancipated and unified Brittany’.

Other noteworthy Breton parties include the secessionist and socialist Emgann (Battle) and the Parti Fédéraliste de Bretagne (Federalist Party of Brittany).

7.3.08

The Complete Atlas of Cornwall

A nation must describe itself and then propagate this image via its own media and publishing outlets. 

A dedicated Cornish Atlas would be a great step forward in this direction. A book that recognised the Cornish nation/region and then through maps of various types explored our history, geography, geology, constitution, infrastructure, economics, linguistics, sociology and heritage.

We have seen these maps in a hundred and one different places and publications but never brought together in a high quality format in one Cornish Atlas. In the meantime perhaps this Breton company will give a bit of inspiration to any would be Cornish map makers; Geobreizh

5.3.08

A Song for Cornwall

Perhaps the Eurovison contest is for another day but lets not forget the Liet Lavlut , Nòs Ùr and Pan Celtic song contests.

Following the letter below from the Celtic League -A Song for Wales- I'd like to ask; do you think the Cornish could out sing the rest of Europe?


Iona Jones,
Chief Executive of S4C

Dear Iona Jones

Participation of Wales in the Eurovision Song Contest.

I am writing to you following the recent news that Scotland has been given permission to submit its own entry to the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Celtic League is aware that S4C is a member of European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organisers of the Eurovision Contest, and as such we would like to urge S4C to apply to the EBU, like Scotland, for its own Wales entry in the contest.

Apart from the obvious kudos that would be generated by an entry from Wales in the contest, there is evidence that there is a major economic impact for the countries that take part in the event. Wales already has a strong international reputation for singing and its entry in the Eurovision Song Contest would only reinforce this.

We look forward to hearing from you with your comments.Yours sincerelyRhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary

cc. Rhodri Glyn Thomas, Minister for Heritage


Related story here from the Scotsman newspaper


Dare I say we could out sing the world and his uncle in Cornish, English and Dialect.

Open Kernow

This is written in response to the OurKingdom article on the new Institute of Public Policy Research booklet entitled ‘The Power of Belonging‘ by Ben Rogers and Rick Muir.

A happy and empowered individual who is respected in his own home makes a much better host.

In his speech at the Cornwall Lecture of November last, Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts, called for a new collectivism in Cornwall and beyond, a renewed capacity to work together towards a shared idea of progress. Taylor argues for a citizen-centric, self sustaining and empowered Cornwall where decision making is brought as close to our communities as possible. He suggests that such an inclusive and participatory Cornish society would be able to meet the demands of the 21st century - one such demand being the necessity of immigration.

Wound up with the issue of national or racial diversity is the continuing scale of economic inequality. Behind the picturesque exterior Cornwall is a place of huge divides. Could Cornwall develop its own strategy, engaging not just policy makers but the wider population in asking what might the County do to become the most inclusive part of the United Kingdom?

I agree - and why not use the well defined Cornish community identity around which to create such a new collectivism? Secure, empowered and celebrated old minorities - ethno regional / national identities - would be much better at welcoming and integrating new minority groups than some hotchpotch and post-imperialist concept of Britishness. If we wish to integrate new minorities, what better way than by first ensuring a self confident, healthy and robust community identity into which they are to be welcomed.

If valued and celebrated, the Cornish, Welsh, Scottish, English and English regional identities would be very productive starting points from which to pursue intercultural dialogue with new minority groups. After all, these existent community cultures will be the day to day reality and environment for the new arrivals. But if we leave them neglected then we are asking for intolerance and xenophobia to take root. Currently we see awkward and uneasy attempts to layer a ‘British’ identity over what is essentially a multinational island. Rejected as it is by many Celts and English people, how can we expect new minorities to take it seriously? Who wants to be British, if not even the Brits do?

For many years now Mebyon Kernow has been arguing for an empowered and inclusive Cornwall set in the context of a UK with a comprehensive Equality Act. In the same spirit the pressure group the Cornish Stannary Parliament has been calling for a guarantee of legal equality to be included in UK law which would be to the benefit of all minority groups old and new. Along with many others both groups have been campaigning hard for greater decision making powers to be given to our communities.

Instead, however, we have seen Cornwall denuded of power and its identity ignored with decision making over culture and heritage given to out of Duchy English quangos. The philosopher and writer, George Santayana, wrote “A man’s feet must be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.” A confident nation is an open and welcoming one, but we are a country of countries and policy makers need to take this into consideration.

So lets take the initiative! I for one would love to see our a Cornish forum where Cornish and Celtic cultural groups could come together with other minority community groups and promote intercultural understanding and exchange.

The Council for Racial Equality in Cornwall
Rural Race Equality Project
Equality South West
European Network Against Racism
Black South West Network
The Black Networking Group