Archive for the ‘peace’ Category

The Road to Global Peace

October 12, 2014

images

http://peacepursuit.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/the-road-to-global-peace-2/
and http://peacepursuit.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/the-road-to-global-peace-3/

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Jesus Meets Muhammad (Appendix II)

June 19, 2011

APPENDIX II
“MY CONVERSATIONS WITH JESUS”
SOME PERSONAL QUESTIONS FROM “THE WRITER” TO JESUS CHRIST

Jesus, Jesus Christ, “My Conversations with God”, questions
Today 25th December in the year 2010
Gisborne , New Zealand
The first city in the world to see the sun

JESUS MEETS MUHAMMAD (APPENDIX TWO)
“Äsk and it shall be given.
Seek and ye shall find.”
“Whatever ye ask in my name….”

Who was your favourite disciple:
I didn’t have favourites as you call it. They were all very special people in their own ways with their unique qualities. And they really took a giant leap of faith in giving yup their everyday lives to follow me.

Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute?
No, though that what is what some church leaders implied and that hurts me. But we must forgive slights, both real and imagined. I learnt much from Mary, a very very special and wonderful lady, who
had her faults, weaknesses, but most of all strengths, just like all of us?

Did you go to India to learn about Buddhism, because many of your teachings were similar to those of the Buddha?

Of course I didn’t go to India and Kashmir, as some people speculate. I never travelled far in my life, unlike you living in these easier times. Then I did meet some Buddhist traders in my travels around Palestine, but I got those teachings directly from the Father. Many of these teachings are similar to those from other ancient teachings, like those of the Buddha. Ones like charity, equality of all, human rights for all, pursuit of peace, forgiving, the healing power of forgiveness, loving one’s enemies, the great power of love, and so on.

What did you do in the “lost years” between ages 12 or 13 to 30?

I was doing my usual carpentry/stone making work with my father, Joseph? Also studying the Torah, meditating and praying, but also living a normal life as a young man. Even if YOU tried to write about your own life, you couldn’t write everything down. So much happens in a single day, you even soon forget “run-of-the mill things” quickly. As John said at the end of his Gospel: There are many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one. I suppose
that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.”
(John 21:25)

So you did many more miracles?

Of course, but only as a channel through God, the Father. I couldn’’t do them alone!

What about the Gnostic Gospels?

You mean the books by Phillip, Thomas, James, Judas, Andres and so on?
Yes, its unfortunate that they have been omitted from the New Testament as they add another perspective to me and my teachings. I don’t think that they would erode people’s faith in me, but add to it. Especially, “non-religious” people in these day would understand my teachings far easier than a lot of the “heavy stuff” written in the Bible. A lot of the writings in those Gospels is in line with modern psychological principles.

You mean studies of the human mind.

Yes. As Thomas, you know the doubting one, who wanted to first see my wounds, wrote down my words: “What you have within you will save you”…but I’ll add this “and it all comes through belief and God’s Infinite Spirit working in and through us.”

You sure are the greatest psychiatrist, who ever lived, Jesus
Did you marry as some religious scholars claim?

Of course not! Some are just trying to gather attention, publicity for their wild claims, but most are simply sincere, yet misguided.

So you never married Mary Magdalene?

That’s crazy, Ha ha. Yet she was a very special young lady and I was extremely fond of her… as a disciple…as a person.

Ask me anything and I’ll answer you

Thank you for this very special time together, Jesus. It’s been really enlightening and you have clarified
my questions so beautifully.

Well, it is all so really simple, the mystery of the Kingdom of God. Yet we are NOT meant to try to understand this world of Spirit. Till next time. I look forward to it too

I love you. And Happy birthday today.

About the submitter:
In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul at a time, Craig strives to break down and economic, social, cultural and religious barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.
He is currently “writing” ‘Jesus Meets Muhammad’. http://jesusmeetsmuhammad.wordpress.com/ and http://www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com
The submitter’s blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at http://www.wordpress.com
Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future.
These writings may be freely published
PPS
From the depth of the valleys, in the deserts of despair, there is hope… as there is the unquenchable oasis, the immense breadth and depth of the human spirit… always.”

“Lord
Give us forgiveness for the past, strength for today and hope for the future.”

Wang Keqin and China’s revolution in investigative journalism

June 3, 2010

Wang Keqin and China’s revolution in investigative journalism

Sourced from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/23/wang-keqin-china-investigative-journalism

Tags: Wang Keqin, China, heroes, journalists, brave journalists, Guardian, Tania Branigan

Print and be damned: reporters fame danger
Death threats from criminals and official wrath fail to silence zealous watchdog

http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/taniabraniganhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/taniabranigan
 Tania Branigan in Beijing
 guardian.co.uk, Sunday 23 May 2010 22.12 BST
 Article history
 Investigative reporter Wang Keqin at his office in Beijing. Photograph: Tania Branigan for the Guardian

To the usual journalistic armoury (famously, ratlike cunning, a plausible manner and a little literary ability), Wang Keqin has added an extra element: the small, red-smudged, battered metal tin that he carries to each interview.
Inside is a sponge soaked in scarlet ink. Like a detective, the 45-year-old reporter compiles witness statements. Then he secures fingerprints at the bottom to confirm agreement.
It is a mark of the thoroughness that has made him China’s best-known investigative journalist, breaking a string of stories that have earned him renown, but also death threats from criminals and wrath from officials.
“The other side is usually much stronger. You have to make the evidence iron-cast,” he said, tapping the tin.
That is not always enough. Last week his boss was removed as the editor of China Economic Times following Wang’s report linking mishandled vaccines to the deaths and serious illnesses of children in Shaanxi province. Bao Yuehang has been shunted to a minor sister company. Shaanxi officials have claimed the report was wrong; Wang has reportedly said they did not investigate properly, although he declined to comment when contacted by the Guardian.
It is the latest case to highlight the zeal of China’s watchdog journalists – and the challenges facing them.
Wang’s CV echoes the development China’s mainstream media: from life as a propagandist to a role as a watchdog – albeit one on a sturdy chain. He started his career as an official in western Gansu province in the mid-80s – “a very easy shortcut to wealth and status”, he observed, in an interview conducted before the vaccines controversy.
He recalled the propaganda stories he used to churn out – “like accountants working under the leadership of the Communist party with a red heart” – and how he cobbled together articles for local media for a bit of extra cash. But as residents sought him out with their problems, he found his conscience stirring. “They enthusiastically welcomed me into their homes, told me their stories and looked at me with high expectations. As a 20-year-old it was the first time I was paid so much attention and I felt a great responsibility. I had to tell their story.”
By 2001 he was “China’s most expensive reporter”: not a reference to his salary or lifestyle – he still works from a small, dingy room in his paper’s nondescript offices in outer Beijing – but to the mammoth price put on his head for exposing illegal dealings in local financial markets. Soon afterwards another report enraged local officials and cost him his job.
“I had problems with black society [gangs], and problems with red society [officials],” Wang said. “I heard there was a special investigation team, [with the target of] sending me to prison.”
Shunned by friends and former colleagues, he was saved by an extraordinary intervention. An internal report on his travails, written by an acquaintance at state news agency Xinhua, reached Zhu Rongji, then China’s premier, who stepped in to protect the journalist.
That was in what many Chinese journalists see as a golden age, when an increasingly gutsy press began to root out scandals and abuses. But in 2004, the authorities responded with tough restrictions on media organisations reporting from areas where they are not based. Though the restrictions are widely ignored, journalists say they have allowed officials to impede investigations and stamp down on the burgeoning of watchdog reporting.
Add Beijing’s drive to promote a “harmonious” image of China, and the increasing closeness of economic and political influence, and many are pessimistic. “Today, investigative reporting has become a ‘rare metal’; not only power but capital is oppressing it,” said Qian Gang, formerly managing editor of the progressive newspaper Southern Weekend and now at the University of Hong Kong’s China Media Project. Some argue that in recent years even state media have offered swifter, fuller coverage of breaking news and touched on more sensitive topics. But to David Bandurski, also of the project, that merely reflects the government’s strategy of actively guiding public thinking. “Control is moving behind the scenes,” he said. “In fact, there is less journalists can do than two or three years ago … On the face of it you can do these things, but practically you cannot.”
When the scandal of tainted baby milk broke in 2008, one frustrated editor blogged that his paper had known of the danger but been unable to expose it.
While Beijing sometimes encourages watchdog reporting, it still approved the cross-region rule, said Bandurski: “You can talk all you want about how local officials are the problem and central government wants to fight local corruption and be the good guy. Well, then send a very strong message.”
Yet within these constraints, determined journalists fight for – and find – the space to work. “What decides whether you can do something is not what the law or policy says, but a whole set of other circumstances – who are you connected to; what someone says at a certain time that gives you cover to go after a certain story,” said Bandurski.
Younger reporters have grown up with role models such as Wang. And in a commercialised media sphere, competitive pressures create a real incentive to break edgy stories.
Li Datong, ousted as editor of Freezing Point magazine in 2006, said the media are able to do more, “not because the government loosened its control, but because the society as a whole is becoming more mature.” When earthquakes rocked Sichuan two years ago, and Qinghai last month, many editors ignored orders not to send reporters.
The internet has also amplified the voice of the mainstream media. Many journalists use personal blogs to publish material censored from their reports.
But journalists know that misjudging the opaque and shifting boundaries can damage or end careers, or their publications. And there are new challenges. Zhou Ze, a journalist-turned-lawyer who is tallying physical attacks and other pressure on the media, said a major concern was officials’ changing tactics to tackle critics.
“In recent years bribery and blackmail accusations have increased,” he said. “When you say it’s defamation, people [ask] what was written in the story and whether it was true. If you say it’s bribery or blackmail, it paints the journalist in a very negative light – people assume they have lost their ethics and they won’t get public support.”
Readers have good cause for suspicion. Corruption is rife; salaries are low and payment to attend press conferences the norm. Bungs to ensure favourable coverage or bury negative stories are common and have produced “fake journalists”, who threaten to report industrial accidents unless paid off.
Wang condemns the blackmailers but fears the bigger problem is “fake news”: propaganda, political or commercial, in the guise of journalism.
In a country where citizens have few ways of holding those with power to account, tough and reliable reporting is all the more essential. Wang has covered topics from land seizures to dangerous mines and the spread of HIV through blood transfusions. Zhou fears fewer reporters will dare to tackle such issues, and that the public will pay the price. “If reporters’ rights cannot be protected, the rights of ordinary citizens cannot be,” he said.
Press under pressure
November 2009 Hu Shuli, the editor of influential business magazine Caijing, resigns over issues reportedly including its coverage of sensitive current affairs stories. She has since founded another publication, Caixin.
December 2009 The editor of Southern Weekend, one of China’s most influential newspapers, is demoted weeks after an exclusive interview with Barack Obama. The decision was said to be due to the anger of censors.
March 2010 Thirteen Chinese newspapers publish a rare joint editorial calling for reform and the eventual abolition of the household registration system. It was removed from websites and authorities reportedly issued stern warnings to the paper which initiated the project.
May 2010 Bao Yueyang, chief editor and publisher of China Economic Times, is demoted to a smaller sister company after defending reporter Wang Keqin’s report linking wrongly stored vaccines to child deaths and sickness. The article caused a stir when it appeared but was quickly played down by other media outlets on censors’ instructions.

Guardian News and Media

Sourced from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/23/wang-keqin-china-investigative-journalism

Shared by craig

“We are moving from an era of resistance, division, opression, turmoil and conflict… and starting a new era of hope, reconcilation and nation-building. I sincerely hope that the mere casting of a vote… will give hope to all South Africans.”
– the words of Nelson Mandela at South Africa’s first Democratic election on 27th April 1994 at Ohlange High School in Natal Province, where John Dube,  the founder of the African National Congress in 1912 was buried)

Former Archbishop of South Africa, Desmond Tutu once said: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.”
– Jahrulal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India (1947)

A POP STAR, A CITIZEN… AND AN ADVOCATE WITH PASSION Singer, Shakira speaks out at the Oxford Union on the benefits of education for ALL!

January 26, 2010

A POP STAR, A CITIZEN… AND AN ADVOCATE WITH PASSION

Singer, Shakira speaks out at the Oxford Union on the benefits  of education for ALL!

IT ALL STARTS WITH EDUCATION

Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll
Tags: Singer, Shakira, Education, Telegraph Group, NZ Herald

Adressing Oxford’s students with a pasionate speech in which she envisaged a future in which 30,000 teachers, instead of 30,000 soldiers might be sent to Afghanistan.

“It’s not about charity. Its about human investment. The best strategy to fight poverty, to prevent illness, to improve agriculture and decrease malnutrition, decrease child labour and decrease sex trafficking, is access to education.

“There are 75 million kids who don’t receive an education, 226 million who don’t have access to secondary school. The children are the foundation in a house, and if you don’t build strong foundations, you will spend your lives trying to fix problems that will arise.”

“I used to write political and social songs, because I was trying to find a vehicle to express all these thoughts and ideas. When I write, my subconscious finds its way to the surface. It’s not an intelectual process, it’s more organic.”

Telegraph Group Ltd (as published in the New Zealand Herald, Jan 2010)

Bitter enemies learn to live again in harmony

January 22, 2010

Bitter enemies learn to live again in harmony
By Andrew Buncombe
9:33 AM Thursday Dec 31, 2009
1.
SRI LANKA: Workshops teach new generation to trust again after decades of civil war
Learning to trust people from other communities is a challenge for many Sri Lankans who have lived through decades of conflict. Photo / AP
It was the simplest of scenes and yet it was utterly remarkable. In the swimming pool of a Sri Lankan hotel, a dozen or so young men were playing and splashing and generally horsing around.
To the casual observer their antics may not have warranted a second glance. Yet the young men laughing together in the pool represented the different religious and ethnic elements that constitute Sri Lankan society, a society that has for decades been torn apart by war, anger and discrimination.
“Before, we never had the chance to mix,” said 23-year-old Amila, a Sinhalese Buddhist from Sri Lanka’s central province.
“I think most of my community will be happy to learn about this and to know we are breaking down barriers.”
The young student was one of several dozen young men and women brought to this hotel, set deep in the jungle close to Polonnaruwa, as part of a series of inter-faith and inter-community workshops organised by activists looking to bring about reconciliation and understanding.
The workshops have involved religious leaders from the different communities, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian, and are designed to suggest ways of working together to solve common problems.
It is the most challenging of tasks. For more than three decades, Sri Lanka has been ravaged by a bitter civil war between Tamil separatists and the Government, dominated by the Sinhala Buddhist majority. In addition to taking upwards of 90,000 lives, the conflict has created considerable barriers between the different communities, isolating some and rewarding others. For many Tamils, the sense of discrimination and suffering is unending.
Many people – including all the young people invited to Polonnaruwa – have grown up knowing nothing but war. They were born in conflict, raised in conflict and their outlooks and opportunities have been shaped by the daily realities of war – of suicide bombers, the deaths of relatives, roadblocks and security checks.
Susantharan, 22, a Hindu Tamil from south of Batticaloa on the east coast, told how the rebels, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which once controlled a large swath of the north and east of the country, demanded that Tamil families provide sons and daughters to fight.
“Some of my cousins were killed during the conflict,” he said.
Amila told how, in turn, the government forces regularly recruited in his district. While there was no conscription, young men were encouraged to sign up. Eight of his friends did so and one was killed. Some of his relatives who became soldiers lost their limbs.
“If a soldier was killed, most of the time the body would be brought back to the relatives,” he said. “But sometimes the family might just be told he had become a martyr.”
The struggle to create trust is being undertaken by the Centre for Peace Building and Reconciliation, a Colombo-based organisation that is supported by the charity Peace Direct.
Over two years, the organisation has worked individually with the various groups, trying to encourage an awareness of other communities and a realisation that most of the inter-community problems are systemic rather than the result of individuals.
In this last part of the process, the different religious and ethnic groups have been brought together, to develop trust and dialogue and finally to work towards solutions. The process has been carried out independently of the Government.
The organisation’s co-founder, Dishani Jayaweera, said it had stressed two themes – peace and co-existence. Realising its effort can only be a grass-roots process, the group has targeted religious leaders and the youth.
She hopes that once the participants return home to their communities, they will retain the insights they have gathered.
And it is not just young men who are taking part in the workshop. A group of 10 women from across Sri Lanka, Buddhist, Hindu and Christian, reveal how the workshops have given them a rare chance to meet and mingle with other communities.
Shanti, a young Sinhalese Buddhist from Anuradhapura, told how the war had created distrust between neighbours.
“In our area there are some villages that have separate communities. There was always suspicion and fear that they [the Tamil community] would be supporting the rebels. But now I think there is a chance to reduce suspicion,” she said.
VK Sivapalan Iyer is a Hindu priest from Batticaloa. He said the Hindu Tamil population had suffered as a result of unequal development and educational opportunities. Slowly, however, things have been improving and he said he was impressed by the commitment made by many of the Buddhist monks he had met.
“There has been a long link between Buddhism and Hinduism,” he said. “We had always hoped they would help us. Now they are doing so.”
The position of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist monks during the conflict differed from area to area. A tiny number, represented by the high-profile “war monk” Athurliye Rathana, actively encouraged the destruction of the rebels. The Reverend Dupali is a 51-year-old monk from Matara in the south of the country. He said he hoped the workshop would help build trust between communities to enable a long-lasting peace.
“I have always said that war is not a solution to the problem. If we are true Buddhists we cannot accept that,” he said. “Anyone who knows the truth about Buddhism cannot accept violence.”

– INDEPENDENT

Also as published on http://srilankatoday.com/content/view/4493/52/

Ahmed Zewail: The West and Islam need not be in conflict

January 12, 2010

Sourced from: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/ahmed-zewail-the-west-and-islam-need-not-be-in-conflict-421354.html Ahmed Zewail:

The West and Islam need not be in conflict We must not create barriers through concepts such as ‘clash of civilisations’

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Five years after September 11, we must ask, can western wars solve the so-called global conflict with the Islamic world? The answer, in my opinion, is no. A far better state of world peace would be achieved if the West would make a serious commitment to the just resolution of conflicts, and be genuinely involved, using a fraction of war costs, in building bridges to progress and peace with an understanding of the profound role of pride and faith in the lives of Muslims. The vast majority of Muslims are moderates working for a better future and seeking a peaceful life. As evidenced by past achievements, Islam in its pristine state is not a source of backwardness and violence. As recently as the September 11 event, the majority of Muslims were, as the rest of the world was, against its violence. However, if despair and humiliation continue in the population of more than one billion Muslims, the world will face increasing risks of conflicts and wars. Related articles Sir Menzies Campbell: New strategy must come through UN Iraq: the people have their say. And it’s bad news for Tony Blair The Big Question: How much faith should we have in political opinion polls? Pilot who lost her legs in Iraq takes on Republicans Leading article: An unpopular war, by any measure Steve Richards: We made a mistake going into Iraq, and we would make a mistake getting out now Search the news archive for more stories As a cultural product of both “East” and “West”, I do not believe there is a fundamental basis for a clash of civilisations, or that the West is the cause of all problems. Muslims are ultimately responsible for their plight. But the West has been more reactive than proactive toward the Muslim and Arab world, and has yet to implement a sustainable and equitable policy. For at least half a century Arabs have witnessed inconsistency in foreign policy, support of undemocratic regimes for the sake of securing resources and influence, and insensitivity to their culture and faith. Here, I would identify four guiding principles for a new perspective. The first, and essential, point is political. The West in general and the US in particular should chart a vastly different foreign policy with the aim of gaining the confidence and cooperation of Muslims for solving complex conflicts. In the Middle East, it is clear that peace will never be reached without solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A two-state solution must be found and enforced. The unsettled conflicts in Lebanon and Iraq and with Syria and Iran call for solutions at the roots of the problems: occupation and borders; prisoners, refugees, and their right of return; and skewed international policy. Force and isolation will not solve these problems. Instead we need a comprehensive policy of fairness and firmness, perhaps established in an international conference and enforced by the United Nations. Second, support for democracy in governance should be genuine. The West cannot and should not attempt to impose “Western democracy” and “Western values” by force on a culture proud of its heritage and faith. Many in the Muslim world admire the accomplishments and democratic values of the West, but people are mistrustful of “conditional democracy” and frightened of a culture now regrettably perceived to be of one of violence, sex, and other obscenities. Double standards and inconsistencies confuse people about Western intentions, and are used by totalitarian regimes to achieve their goals. Third, foreign aid should be redirected toward economic development. Traditionally, an aid package is distributed to many projects, the major portion of which is for military support. The number of projects involved and the lack of an effective monitoring system, not to mention the influence of bureaucracy and corruption, results in few successes. Directing aid toward the building of human capacity can be achieved through funding of innovative pilot programmes for enterprising individuals/groups in the free market, and invoking the expertise, and even the in-field labour, for the know-how. The use of aid programmes to support undemocratic regimes or groups is a grievous error. Finally, education and research should be modernised through partnership. I see great opportunities for the people of the Muslim and Arab world, not less than those realised by China or South Korea. The West can help in the modernisation of education and research and development. I believe it is possible with the available talent and funding from rich Arab countries, and the know-how from the West and other world powers, to transform higher education. Throughout history, people develop an interest in cultures and dialogues for the sake of mutual benefit. Even in one organ, the brain, 100 billion neurons work together to make a living human, and in our homes, cities, and countries we do the same. In an interdependent world, it is in the best interests of both the West and Muslim world to communicate through dialogues and to achieve global stability and mutual benefits from technology, commerce, energy, and cultures. We must not permit the creation of barriers through rhetorical concepts such as “clash of civilisations” or “conflict of religions”, which are of no value to the future of our world.

The author is the only Arab Muslim to receive the Nobel Prize in science, 1999 The ‘Independent, UK)

“The Economy of Peace”

December 19, 2009

Article Title: “The Economy of Peace”
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Key words: South Africa, economy, peace
Web site: http://www.myspace.com/writercraig
Publishing Guidelines: All my articles and extracts from my various writings may be freely published, electronically or in print.

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”

*

“THE ECONOMY OF PEACE”:

The ECONOMIST, THE MEDIATOR

Submitter’s Note:

The following are some short extracts from two novels, ‘Endless Possibilities’ and ‘Peace Lives WITHIN’ on which Craig is currently “working” (or rather they seem to be ‘writing themselves. Hope they are not too “heavy heavy”. Enjoy.

The West should do more to help local people with new investments in roads and other infrastructure, education and crop assistance.”

Corporal (General) Mullen: “We cannot kill our way to victory (in Afghanistan).”

For now at least, Syria is following a model resembling China’s: Crack down on dissent, liberate the economy and try to manage the growing gap between rich and poor.

In summary, there needs to be an open approach and a willingness to interact with a wide variety of sectors in the economy. The leaders must make decisions (brave) that liberate the economy and try to manage the growing gap between rich and poor. They should liberalise and diversify parts of the economy.

There needs to be a multi-pronged approach to peace initiaves

Strategic:

D iplomacy

E conomic

P olitical

S cientific

Cultural contacts (alignments)

and finally (and as a last resort),

M ilitary efforts.

*

ECONOMICS AND GROWTH (the ideas of a complete layman”)

Here are a few central ideas in marketing South Africa as an investment destination.

I have seen first-hand how successfully New Zealand has attracted foreign investment; so hope that the following information might be of use in your difficult task.

Some of the conditions which made New Zealand successful were as follows:

* a “stable democratic” country

* a stable currency

* stable interest rates offering a real return to investors, ie. in excess of inflation.

* relatively cheap labour?

* liberal labour laws, however with a sufficiently strong trade union movement to protect workers.

* most importantly, various investment incentives, such as tax abatements and a lower company tax rate.

* very low import and export tariffs – making it a competitive environment in which to do business.

* removal of government subsidies on virtually all industries.

*

New Zealand has been particularly successful in attracting investment from the “tiger” economies of South-east Asia, eg. Malasia, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia.

Though tiny, it is a productive efficient economy with increased exports; though deregulation and privatisation has meant some loss of jobs (especially in the civil service).

I hope that these thoughts may be of interest for what it is worth, although I realise that South Africa has it’s unique problems.

So said Mr Ishmail Pahad, Foreign Minister of South Africa to the delegation of foreign visitors and businessmen.

* *

“The Zimbabwean people deserve a lasting democratic settlement, that will bring reform, economic recovery and stability. We look forward to seeing the full details of the agreement. announced yesterday by President Mbeki.”

About the Author:

Craig is currently “working” on ‘Endless Possibilities’ – true inspiring stories of the human condition in overcoming seemingly impossible odds. http://www.myspace.com/writercraig http://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html http://www.craiglockbooks.com

The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at: http://www.webng.com/writernz/books.html http://www.lulu.com/craiglock and http://www.webng.com/leftfieldnz/overtherainbow.html

“Together, one mind, one soul at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, empower, encourage and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials. Change YOUR world and you help change THE world.”

“It’s in OUR Hands to Give Peace a Chance”

December 18, 2009

rainbow picture from billArticle Title: It’s in OUR Hands to Give Peace a Chance”
Author: Phwaye Aye
Shared (with permission) by: Craig Lock
Category/Key Words: Peace, Possibilities for Peace, Inspiration, Phwaye Aye, Hope, Dream, Believe
Other Articles are available at: http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981 + http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles.html
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig!).

Publishing Guidelines:
All my articles may be freely published, electronically or in print.
(If this article is published, please acknowledge the source, Phwaye Aye and the New Zealand Herald (College Herald), thanks)

Submitter’s Note:

I came across these most uplifting words by a young New Zealand student… and they fitted perfectly into the book I’m working on and the central themes of the manuscript Though you may perhaps see these writings through the eyes of words inspired by the “idealism of youth”, far removed from the “realpolitik” of todays world, I think they have real merit and are beautifully written with much feeling and passion. So here is an extract from Phwaye’s powerful and inspiring article, that I’m sharing (with Phway’s permission). Enjoy…

“IT’S IN OUR HANDS TO GIVE PEACE A CHANCE”

The world is full of horror, because we do nothing to end it writes PHWAY AYE…

For generations, it has been the aching dream of humanity. Marked on the face of every man and every woman, it has been a search so powerful, it defined humanity’s very existence. Driven by our moral and spiritual obligations, it has been a search towards which millions have turned their hearts and souls. This has been our search for world peace.

From the beginning, the human race has always questioned the possibility of a peaceful world, rid of war, violence and poverty. We dreamed of a world, so composed, it embraced its diversities, settled on its differences and sought, day in and day out, to help all those in need.

Will this dream of a global peace ever be achievable? Will a time ever come when peace was not just a dream, but a way of life? Or is the human race condemned by nature to live in this constant throbbing search for something we were never, essentially meant to find?

A better world will not be achieved unless we take it in OUR hands to do something about it.
We can’t expect a world of peace to come about, if we are not willing to put in the effort.

We can’t deny the mistakes of the past. Neither can we fix them. But what we can do is try to understand.
Like each and every one of us, the world had to make its own mistakes. But mistakes are made to be learned from, and this is our time to learn. A better world will not be achieved, unless we take it into our hands to do something about it. We can’t expect a world of peace to come about, if we are not willing to put in the effort.

The future of humanity sits on our shoulders. Do we want our children and grandchildren
to look back on us and ask why we were so stupid? Why we didn’t realise the enormity of our mistakes? Why we sat back and watched it all pass by? The world is full of horrors; not because of those who do harm, but because of those who do nothing about it.

We cannot keep ignoring these cries. Our job isn’t to step back and keep applying new bandage after bandage to old wounds. Our job is to strip the world of its old bandages and find a way to heal those wounds.

We cannot stop the war in Iraq, feed all the children in Africa, or put an end to poverty. We cannot bring about peace and change to the world in one go. But we can work to rebuild it little by little in the small things we do in our lives. Change will only come when each of us takes responsibility for finding peace within ourselves and with the people around us.

World peace will not happen overnight. It will not happen in our lifetime, or in 20. But what we do know is that it must. In fact it is inevitable. It is only our job to CHOOSE so.

Phway Aye, Year 12. Palmerston North Girls’ High School
(extracted from an article as published in the College Herald (as part of the New Zealand Herald May 12, 2009}

“Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
– Albert Schweizer

About the submitter:

Craig’s mission is to help promote peace by helping others to find inner peace.
He is presently “working” on his latest work ‘Peace Lives’ – inspiring stories of endless possibilities of the indomitable human spirit, that lies within each one of us.

The various books that “Craig felt inspired to write” are available at: http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html http://www.lulu.com/craiglock http://www.webng.com/writernz/ and http://www.myspace/writercraig.

“Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now,
With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow,
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me!”
– C. Bailey-Lloyd (“beaut words”, thanks Caroline!)

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed.”
– J. Krishnamurti Thanks, dearest mom, your spirit will live forever

“Be the change you wish to see in others. Then in changing YOUR world you help change THE world…
for the better. Peace is an idea whose time has come. ”

“Blessed are the peace-makers… because they will accumulate plenty of Frequent Flyer points.”

A Model, A Possible Template for Peace Negotiations Around the World

August 8, 2009

sarainbow (fromflick.com)
South African rainbow (from http://www.flick.com)

Article Title: A Model, A Possible Template for Peace Negotiations Around the World
Author Name: Craig Lock
Category (key words): “Inspiration”, peace, pursuit of peace, possibilities for peace, negotiation, peace negotiations, peace strategy, South Africa, inspirational writings.
Web Sites: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lock
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and and http://goo.gl/vTpjk
The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://peacepursuit.wordpress.com/

http://breakdownwalls.wordpress.com/

http://www.breakdownbarriers.wordpress.com

http://drmartinlutherking.wordpress.com/

http://www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com

http://www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

http://www.religiousunity.wordpress.com

and his various other blogs are at http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com. Obsessive or WHAT!

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

~ Franz Kafka

Other Articles are available at: http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981+ http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles.html
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)
Publishing Guidelines:

This piece may be freely reproduced electronically or in print. All my articles (and quotations) may be freely published. If they help at all, or make any difference in people’s lives by bringing some joy, then I’m very happy.

*

A MODEL, A STRATEGY, A POSSIBLE TEMPLATE FOR PEACE NEGOTIATIONS AROUND THE GLOBE

Out of a violent and bloody past, South Africa’s extraordinary relatively peaceful transition to democracy was a minor “miracle”… “South Africa’s ability to overcome deep divisions, to negotiate a common future and to commit itself to reconciliation and reconstruction offers new hope – not only to South Africa, but across the globe.”

*

A MODEL, A STRATEGY FOR PEACE

Some thoughts and reflections…

Contemplating the road that my country, South Africa took, here are a few personal thoughts on A MODEL, A STRATEGY FOR PEACE (or at least a more peaceful world) … and a possible road map ahead in the “trouble spots” around the globe.

There HAS to be another, a better way than the past in other conflict-riddled countries! Diplomatic, economic and international pressure (as long as it is united), I truly believe, IS the way to resolve nearly all conflicts and can work wonders. The path to peace, I believe starts with the moral WILL to effect change towards working towards a more peaceful and prosperous future…no matter the country. And (can I begin a sentence with an ‘and’?) this PROCESS comes about little by little through coaxing at times, encouragement at other times through economic rewards, effective and consistent pressure (it can be threats – the “carrot and stick” approach), “bargaining” and most importantly, negotiation. Yes, even talking with “perceived enemies”.

So WHAT to DO?

* An initial contact and approach between adversaries (usually in secret)

* This then slowly opens channels (lines) of communication, leading to gradual acceptance by ‘ordinary’ people in “opressed, occupied and war-torn” countries.

* Use a multi-pronged approach (diverse) with many pressure points. “The “carrot and stick” approach, emphasising benefits, especially economic aid as positive reinforcement, rather than sanctions (largely ineffective as despots just “dig in” in the face of threats)… which leads to more stability. In time, the “scatter-gun” approach of ‘constructive engagement’ will naturally become way more FOCUSED.

* Leaders should see the peace process as an ongoing work in progress. Move negotiations forward in little steps through finding areas of consensus and developing these. TRY really hard!

* Even though there will inevitably be serious differences in position, work hard on narrowing these differences. In doing so a momentum to negotiations will be created. Then slowly, day by day, diligently working on the process of getting to see former adversaries and political rivals as human beings and not as terrorists on one side and “gangsters and brutal opressors” (and perhaps even the “devil”) on the other side. In so doing negotiators affirm another person’s shared HUMANITY.

* Make a commitment to your adversary to not go back in dealings. Make firm resolutions to move forward.

* Absolute COMMITMENT by ALL parties to the process of NEGOTIATION… which in due course will lead to a successful outcome… a “win-win” solution.

* Negotiating and resolving conflict takes HARD work. What is required is great effort, creativity and most importantly, IMAGINATION in solving seemingly impossible problems. Was it Einstein who once said that “imagination is more important than knowledge”? Also big doses of FLEXIBILITY and BOLDNESS. Risks have to be considered and taken…. so be brave in the face of uncertainty.

NB: Have hope, great and high, that the process WILL ultimately bear positive results and be successful to ALL parties. And so benefit ordinary citizens, as peace inevitably brings prosperity.

To end off, back to South Africa for a few concluding thoughts…

Those negotiations birthed in the distant past leading relatively peacefully to a New Democratic South Africa are more than history; they are really relevant today. Because those early contacts between former enemies in the ‘beloved country’ have perhaps formed a ‘trailblazing and imaginative template’: for these kind of talks and negotiations to provide SOLUTIONS to endemic conflicts around the globe. With fortititude, resolve and especially the political and moral WILL by our leaders, the world WILL slowly become a more peaceful and better place for ALL of us.

Craig Lock

Authors Note:

The above extract is from a new manuscript on which Craig Lock is currently “working” (or rather it’s “writing itself”). It is based on some true and inspiring tales of the indomitable human spirit, that lies within each one of us – stories of ‘Endless Possibilities’. The central theme of this new manuscript is the “ever-present great thought”… that somewhere “out there”, somehow in the future there exist endless possibilities. The ideal, the vision, the dream, is to usher in a new age to bring some more peace to a world “hell-bent” on destruction. This “story” can be read at different levels from the personal, to a national, international or “spiritual” perspective (“go as deep as you want”). And there are NO limitations to what we human beings can achieve, if we truly know WHERE we want to be. There IS a “spiritual solution” to every problem on earth.

“The greatness of a nation consists not so much in the number of it’s people or the extent of it’s territory as in the extent and justice of it’s compassion.”

– Inscription at the Horse Memorial in Port Elizabeth, for horses killed in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902).

P.S: I am reminded of something Mahatma Gandhi’s said not long before he was assassinated: “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible; but in the end, they always fall. Think of it, ALWAYS.”


“Love suffers long and is kind. Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. And now abide faith, hope, love; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13)

“There is only one thing that has power completely, and that is love. Because when a man loves, he seeks no power, and therefore he has power. Only strive for power, if it is not at the cost of other people. Power corrupts. You first have to be pure and righteous, before one can attain power. I believe that love is a greater force than power.

– Alan Paton, great South African humanitarian and author of the classic ‘Cry the Beloved Country”

“The measure of love is to love without measure.” ~ Saint Augustine

“When the world is filled with love, people’s hearts are overflowing with hope.” – craig

Craig Lock’s books and the novels on South Africa that he “felt inspired to write” , including ‘Over the Rainbow’ * are available at: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lock
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and http://goo.gl/vTpjk

* A look at the many colourful peoples, who make up this diverse and vibrant society, as seen through the eyes of a newspaper reporter.

Over the Rainbow

from http://www.amazon.com/Over-The-Rainbow-craig-lock/dp/1490392971

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://peacepursuit.wordpress.com/

http://breakdownwalls.wordpress.com/

http://www.breakdownbarriers.wordpress.com

http://drmartinlutherking.wordpress.com/

http://www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com

http://www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

http://www.religiousunity.wordpress.com

and his various other blogs are at http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com. Obsessive or WHAT!

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

~ Franz Kafka

“YOU be the change you wish to see in others. Then in changing YOUR world you help change THE world.”

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED