People Displaced by Conflict Remain Largely Invisible Next to Tsunami Survivors

An estimated 120,000 Acehnese were forced from their homes by counter-insurgency operations prior to the tsunami and the subsequent peace agreement. Compared with those displaced by the tsunami, they have remained largely invisible, and their right to return remains unfulfilled in many cases.

A Vicious Sectarian War is Taking Place among Tamils in Eastern Sri Lanka

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the breakaway faction known as the Tamil People’s Liberation Party (TMVP) are involved in rising violence.

The European Union Lists Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a Banned Terrorist Organization

The EU had in September 2005 already imposed a travel ban on LTTE members. Its new decision followed earlier similar moves by the United States, Canada, Britain, and India. A freeze on Tamil assets could hurt the LTTE’s ability to raise funds from Tamil expatriates.

Why Aceh Peace Efforts Have Been Successful

The head of the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM), Pieter Feith, summarizes why AMM has been successful and distills key lessons learned:

A Fundamentally Different Approach Is Needed to Bring Peace to Sri Lanka

Since the 2002 ceasefire agreement, the Tigers have ruthlessly imposed their complete political domination on the north and east. These acts, along with the assassination of foreign minister Kadirgamar in August 2005 and attacks on government troops, strengthened Sinhalese hardliners. Provoking the military and Sinhala supremacist groups to lash out at Tamil civilians, has lent credence to Tiger claims that Tamils can only be safe with their own state.

International Aid NGO Concludes Aceh Fraud Investigation

Oxfam International’s investigation into procurement fraud at its Aceh office revealed discrepancies of more than $20,000 between amounts paid to suppliers for goods and the quantity of goods received.

GE Unveils New "Carbon-Reducing" Recycled Plastics

caterpillar At a July 27 event in Tokyo, GE Plastics unveiled two new plastic resins that it claims will significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, post-consumer waste, and petroleum use. The company aims to use the resins, derived from used water bottles and other plastic waste streams, to produce new virgin-quality plastic materials.

Tens of Thousands of Acehnese Tsunami and War Orphans Abandoned

About 40,000 children who became orphans due to either the tsunami or the armed conflict have been abandoned, forcing many of them to become beggars and vagrants.

Israeli Air Strikes Cause Major Oil Spill in the Mediterranean

The International Maritime Organization reported on August 2 that a massive combat-related oil spill in Lebanon has affected about one-third of that country’s coastline.

A Dying Planet

Weather-related disasters like Hurricane Katrina—or the intense heat wave now hitting the United States—are on the rise. The toll of these catastrophes is exacerbated by growing ecological stresses, and the future health of the global economy and the stability of nations will be shaped by our ability to address the huge imbalances in natural systems that now exist. While governments and businesses around the world are beginning to take action to stem the damage, our future demands more aggressive responses.
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