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Sri Lanka: Why the Search for Reconciliation Remains a Must

Sri Lanka: Why the Search for Reconciliation Remains a Must Sri Lankan Army Victory Parade, May 2009 Here’s the first edition of my new monthly column for The Indian Economist In a brief glance away from the political obsession with Brexit, The Guardian ran an interesting report on the 20th of June. It detailed fresh allegations, photographic evidence included, of the Sri Lankan military’s use of cluster bombs during the final stages of the country’s 26 year long civil war. Unsurprisingly, the allegations were rapidly picked up by the Sri Lankan media, although, not as widely as might have been… More

Churchill puts the case for a United Europe

Churchill puts the case for a United Europe Listen to the voice of Winston Churchill, one of the European Union’s spiritual founding fathers speaking in support of a ‘United States of Europe’ at the May 1948 Hague Congress that established the European Movement. Also in attendance at the Congress was a young British student called Noel Salter, who happens to have been my father.

The Brexit fantasy is about to come crashing down

The Brexit fantasy is about to come crashing down Boris Johnson: outwards and upwards. Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters Here from Fintan O’Toole of The Irish Times comes perhaps the best dissection I’ve seen so far of what’s been smashed up – and what’s potentially been unleashed – by the result of the UK’s EU membership referendum vote. The fact that the analysis comes from beyond the UK’s borders – Dublin to be precise – somehow feels both appropriate and not entirely coincidental. Brexit vote reveals rancour and distrust at the heart of the English body politic  Fintan O’Toole, The Irish Times, 25 June 2016 Did… More

Brexit or Bremain? Keep connected and inclusive, not angry and isolated

Brexit or Bremain? Keep connected and inclusive, not angry and isolated There’s a rousing editorial arguing passionately in favour of the UK remaining in the EU in this week’s critical referendum on the issue. ‘We need’, it argues, ‘to remember our history. Britain was formed and shaped by Europe. And we are – in historical as well as cultural, geographical and trading terms – a European nation. In almost every generation of European history until the past 70 years, people from these islands have fought and died in European wars. But within the borders of the European Union, there has… More

EU referendum: the paradox of true sovereignty points to Remain

EU referendum: the paradox of true sovereignty points to Remain My brother Tom’s feisty UK EU referendum thinkpiece just published by openDemocracy: Retaining European economic sovereignty, he argues, demands continuing to pool it – within the European Union. The paradox of true sovereignty points to Remain Tom Salter The EU provides a means to exercise more control of international capitalism no individual European nation has the power to exercise. It’s paradoxical but critical: sovereignty is dependent on an economy and order over which no nation is sovereign There is a fundamental mis-match between the increasingly globalised nature of the economy and… More

When Nelson Met Ali

When Nelson Met Ali A great image from when Muhammed Ali and Nelson Mandela met in 2005, included in a recent BBC feature titled ‘Ali’s love affair with Africa’. Nelson, of course, had been something of a boxer in his day. And as he had said on a previous occasion, “Ali was not just my hero, but the hero of millions of young, black South Africans because he brought dignity to boxing.” And to a whole lot of other people too, he might have added. Ali  in Nigeria on his first African tour in 1964, where crowds welcomed him with… More

One-on-one with Donald Trump

One-on-one with Donald Trump Ready to be terrified? Then watch this segment from a recent CNN interview with US Presidential hopeful, Mr Donald Trump. Deeply, truly, scary. http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/06/03/donald_trump_s_cnn_interview_is_incoherent_racist_and_terrifying.html    

Basic Income: landmark vote looms in Switzerland

The ‘basic income’ proposal Switzerland is voting on this weekend will probably fall at the polls this time. But it’s an approach to regulating the work – life balance that we’re definitely going to be hearing more about in future – and not just in Switzerland either! Supporters of a basic income last month crowdfunded a giant poster asking: “What would you do if your income were taken care of?” Switzerland basic income: Landmark vote looms Imogen Foulkes BBC News, Geneva, 4 June 2016 Switzerland will become the first country in the world to hold a nationwide referendum on the… More

The Muslim nation that saved Jews

The Muslim nation that saved Jews Lime Basha’s family hid three Jewish brothers in their home during WWII (Norman Gershman)   This is an account of an extraordinary and – to me at least – unknown corner of modern history. It concrns the determined efforts of Albania’s most Muslim population to protect both the country’s own Jewish communities and that of neighbouring countries during the Holocaust. ‘To look after your guests, your neighbours, is a matter of national honour’, says Dashmir Balla, whose family hid three Jewish brothers in their home during World War II, explaining the background to this… More