What have you heard about Burma, Tibet, Northern Cyprus? Even less than Syria, North Korea, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. Don't look. Pretend it's not happening-or pretend that efforts at peace will work-if we just give it enough time. Rwanda took more than 100 days. The Jewish people waited five years. Syria has been in conflagration for three years. Talk. Talk. Talk. Well maybe there will be talk. But then who's listening. The media? There is a certain presence of an absence in far too many hot spots.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Canada will rule on the Etobicoke Centre vote dispute. A landmark 1995 by-election in Harare South, Zimbabwe, suggests that, in the interests of true democracy, Canada's highest court should uphold the decision by Justice Thomas Lederer of the Ontario Superior Court, who nullified the election result of the Toronto-area riding. In other words, voters must be the final arbiter in the dispute.
In a country devastated by the AIDS crisis, The Salvation Army Howard Hospital in Zimbabwe is a shining example of community based cooperation and resilience. Under the leadership of Canadian trained physician Dr. Paul Thistle, this small Zimbabwean hospital has achieved an international reputation. But Thistle's abrupt dismissal from the Howard Hospital has led to a rapid decrease in medical services and has dealt devastating blow to the community. Thistle is the only surgeon in the region, and in his absence most elective and emergency surgery has ceased.
The upcoming 7th annual Ottawa Sisters in Spirit (SIS) vigil is a special event for me as a recent immigrant to Canada. It offers me the opportunity to reflect on what it means for my adopted country to embrace and heal me, while neglecting the perennial issue of the missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. Canada restored that which Zimbabwe denied me for the first 32 years of my life: human dignity. But Canada cares for me, an immigrant, more than it cares for Aboriginal people. If there is another western country that has so many people from one racialized group missing or murdered and still has neither the political will nor strategy to find lasting a solution, please let me know.
The opening of the UN General Assembly is taking place before us. Unfortunately, with one particular group of world leaders, in an area where they desperately need a makeover, one will probably not be forthcoming. Paul Biya, the President of Cameroon will not have the courage to stand up before his fellow African heads of state and proclaim that state-sanctioned bigotry and persecution of gays throughout Africa must become a relic of the past. Nor will Yoweri Museveni, the President of Uganda. But this is a time to give a voice to the voiceless.
By reducing foreign aid to Zimbabwe, Canada is said to be threatening chances for democracy in that country after the next election, expected in 2013. The concern seems misguided. Canada has always maintained close and cordial relations with Zimbabwe, but this relationship hasn't advanced democracy in that country.
UPDATE: Authorities in Zimbabwe have dropped espionage charges it brought against three Zimbawean businessmen and Juch-Tech Inc. OTTAWA - The head ...