Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Monday, December 29, 2003

First show

Good morning, Olindo and good morning to anyone out there who may be awake and listening or even asleep and listening this Monday December 29 as the year 2003 comes to an end.

Since this is my first time on your show Olindo, I think it’s appropriate to clarify as much as I can just what I will be doing and what I won’t be doing. At KCR we aren’t mainstream broadcasters and we don’t have a fully staffed news and research department either, so right off the bat I want to make it clear that I don’t intend to masquerade as commercial world news feed. In general, I won’t be trying to cover the mainstream stories like the earthquake in Iran or the most recent assassination attempt against Pervez Musharraf or Muamar Qaddafi’s pledge to disarm or American mad cow – unless, of course, I think I’m looking at important information that isn’t already coming across on mainstream media. Then I’ll talk about just about anything. Most of my information comes from non-governmental organizations and non-profit organizations with international presence, like Medcins sans frontier, or Amnesty International, or CUSO.

Children’s Videos Win Awards in Kyrgyz Republic

(December 16, 2003) Schoolchildren were the big winners in a competition co-sponsored by Internews for the best videos for and about children held in the Kyrgyz Republic. The competition is dedicated to the International Children's Day of Broadcasting celebrated every year in December.

[Kyrgyzstan is one of those highland Central Asian countries north of Afghanistan in the northern Himilayan foothills. It’s a little larger than the state of Washington and consists mostly of mountains over 20,000 feet. The CIA factbook is the last place you would expect to see a country described as a “land of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions.” But that’s what they say. You would expect them to concentrate more on ]

Sixty videos were submitted and judged on creativity, innovation, theme coverage, participation of children, gender equality, and technical and visual quality. Because the quality and creativity of the videos submitted by children surpassed that of adults, two main awards were conferred in the category "Students about Children" and none in the category "Professionals about Children."

The two "Students about Children" awards went to Antares Creative Group for a film about homeless children, and Children's Media Centre in Bishkek for a film about ineffective public service campaigns on prevention of HIV/AIDS among youth.

Tynchtyk Belekov, an amateur from Naryn, won in the "Amateurs about Children" category. His film was about a little boy who lives with his grandmother and has to work to provide living expenses. A special prize from Internews for the "best qualitative work" went to the Mass Media Center at the Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University for a news story about how to raise children.

The competition, which was organized by Kyrgyz National Broadcasting Corporation, UNICEF in the Kyrgyz Republic, the Soros Foundation and Internews Kyrgyzstan, held its awards ceremony on December 9th in the Concert Hall of the Kyrgyz National Broadcasting Corporation (KNBC).

Internews Kyrgyzstan is supported by grants from the United States Agency for International Development.


Nicolas Ebnother, Internews Kyrgyz Republic Country Director

Internews Kyrgyz

I intend to profile my sources from time to time:

Some of these non-profits, or NGOs as some call them, can be quite large and well-connected like Internews, the source of my first story. In their own words, “Internews is an international non-profit organization that … fosters independent media in emerging democracies, trains journalists and station managers in the standards and practices of professional journalism, produces innovative television and radio programming and Internet content, and uses the media to reduce conflict within and between countries.” In 2002, they had a budget of $19.8 million. Most of their money comes in the form of grants from places like the Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, the European Commission, the United Nations Development Fund, the US Department of State, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. They work with indpendent broadcasters, local producers, and station managers to create original radio and tv programming and to support the development of non-governmental broadcast networks in places like the former Soviet Union, the former Yugoslavia, Indonesia, the West Bank, and Gaza. I notice that although they call themselves international, and they are, their registration is in the US. Although they are a non-profit organization, in their literature, they refer to themselves as a company.

Indonesian elections

Indonesia faces at least two and probably three national elections in 2004, including a presidential vote, but they are unlikely to bring fundamental change according to the International Crisis Group. Citizens are increasingly disillusioned with the half-decade of democracy and “money politics” they have experienced since the collapse of Soeharto’s authoritarian New Order.

The first election, on 5 April 2004, will fill almost 16,000 seats in legislatures at the national, provincial and district levels. The second, on 5 July 2004, will be its first direct presidential vote ever. If, as is almost certain, no candidate meets the criteria for election in the first round, a run-off between the top two vote-getters will take place on 20 September. The process needs to be completed before President Megawati Soekarnoputri's term expires on 20 October.

So we'll be keeping an eye on those dates.

On December 26, two activists were shot by Israeli troops at a demonstration against the controversial security fence near the Palestinian village of Mas’ha. It looks now as if the Knesset will be convening a special committee to investigate the details. This is the sort of story that Israeli newpapers eventually do publish although the first reports to reach me arrived on Boxing Day from the International Women’s Peace Service and the International Solidarity Movement. It is likely to be a long time, however, before the New York Times considers it news fit to print even though one of the injured protestors was an American.

Here is the first part of the report from Dorothy Naor at IWPS:


Today the Israeli army responded with brutal force to a non-violent demonstration against the Apartheid Wall in Mas'ha village, West Bank, Occupied Palestine, shooting live bullets into a crowd and seriously injuring an Israeli activist.

The activist, Gil Na'amati (22), was shot with three live bullets in both legs and is badly injured. An American member of the International Solidarity Movement was also injured by a rubber bullet shot directly at her. Both were taken to the Biddya medical centre for treatment and Na'amati has since been transferred to Belinson hospital in Petah Tikva, Israel.

The demonstration was convened by Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals against the Apartheid Wall as part of the programme of activities of the Deir Ballut village Camp against the Apartheid Wall. People from countries including Iceland, Norway, America, Sweden, and Japan participated. Earlier this year, the villagers of Mas'ha lost 97% of their land and olive trees
when a fence and wall was built between the village houses and their lands.

Today, about 300 non-violent protestors arrived at the gates of the Apartheid Wall and started shaking them. Over three jeeps full of Israeli soldiers immediately arrived and fired several rounds of live bullets into the air for a period of seven minutes. Activists then began to dismantle the gates. At this point, Israeli soldiers fired directly at Na'amati's legs. After this, the soldiers invaded Mas'ha village, hunting down demonstrators, and declaring curfew. Another Israeli activist, Jonathan Pollack (21) has been arrested and is being detained in Ariel police station.

The ISM report adds that participants in the action included Israeli Anarchists, independent peace activists, the International Womens Peace Service, the International Solidarity Movement, local

Palestinian activists, and community representatives.

At one PM in the afternoon the group of approximately two-hundred non-violent protestors marched through the streets of Mas-Ha and approached the gate in the security fence which borders the village. Upon arrival, Israeli and International activists began physically dismantling the locking mechanism in order to open the gate in a symbolic act of defiance against Israeli apartheid policies.

According to an article on the incident in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz several days later, quote

Contrary to the demonstrators' description of events, the IDF Spokesman said that the soldiers called out warnings. … The soldiers involved in the incident said they did not know the demonstrators were Israeli until after they had started shooting.

The army has appointed “a [unnamed] colonel to investigate the shooting incident.”

ISM: "This response by Israeli forces marks a dramatic escalation of violence against non-violent peaceful protesters. The army displayed a marked lack of restraint and consideration for human life: at no point were the peaceful protestors endangering the safety of the soldiers."

A world away from the scene, just like us, the Washington Times reported that “”

Let me wrap it up with one more bit from the Sunday Morning Herald in Scotland. Their website poll yesterday asked this question:

In the final analysis, will the turbulent events of the past year make the world a safer place in 2004? They don’t tell us how many people responded but







Creative Commons License

This article is published by James Terral under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it free of charge, wholly or in part, with attribution and for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. Commercial media must contact World Report worldreport (at) cjly dot net for permission and fees. Some postings on this site are published under different terms.

For example, this site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. World Report makes this material available in order to advance understanding of the issues by reporting, reviewing, and criticizing relevant public statements.

Canada's Copyright Act specifies in sections 29.1-29.3 that “fair dealing for the purpose of criticism, review, or news reporting does not infringe copyright if the following are mentioned:
(a) the source; and
(b) if given in the source, the name of the
(i) author, in the case of a work,
(ii) performer, in the case of a performer's performance,
(iii) maker, in the case of a sound recording, or
(iv)broadcaster, in the case of a communication signal.
Recommend this Post

Sphere: Related Content