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I am a parent of a five year old child diagnosed with High Functioning Autism (HFA).
Since my son was diagnosed with his condition mid last year, I have learnt that increasing numbers of children are being diagnosed with HFA and Aspergers Syndrome and these kids struggle to survive in mainstream education as they get older. This is because their different learning style, social isolation, acute anxiety and various sensory sensitivities leads to many not being able to reach their full academic potential in the mainstream setting and this is a real shame because these kids are extremely intelligent.
I have been disturbed by the amount of parents I am meeting with HFA & Aspergers primary school kids of various ages, who are saying that mainstream high school will not be an option for their kids and that they plan to home school for high school.
I have also been shocked to hear from parents of HFA and Aspergers kids who have already finished high school, say how traumatised their kids are after finishing school, having withstood years and years of relentless bullying and now they struggle to function in the adult world. I think that we need to get small high schools set up in Australia specifically for students with HFA or Aspergers. At the moment in Australia there seems to be no other social schooling options other than mainstream for the kids at the higher end of the autism spectrum.
Now that there is hard evidence that these kids brains are wired differently and they have a different learning style to their neurotypical peers, educators need to consider this option. I also think it is unfair that these kids have to put up with high school bullying (as the statistics are that 90% of kids with ASD's get bullied at mainstream high schools). I know that many high schools have special ed units in them but other than learning difficulties, the playground is where the main problems are and these kids are being permanently mentally damaged by being made to withstand our system and ‘fit the mould’.
I am of the view that having a few small high schools with a modified curriculum tailoring to Aspergers and HFA in each state, could really benefit these kids and if large ASD friendly companies (such as banks, engineering, IT type firms) got on board with sponsoring kids for on the job work experience programs as part of the curriculum, it could lead to them having a real chance at succeeding at life and being less traumatised by not having to put up with neurotypical bullies.
Other countries such as the US and UK already have these types of high schools available as an option.
I find it incredible that this has not occurred here yet.
If you agree please sign this petition and it will be delivered to the Australian Federal Government.
UPDATE - 9/4/10 - For people in NSW, I have been informed that there is currently a Parliamentary Inquiry being held into the education of students with disabilities and special needs and they will still accept submissions from the public. I will be making a submission and encourage everyone else to do so as well as this will be another great way for people in NSW to get your concerns heard. The link to the inquiry details is -
Also - If there is anyone who has a child with Aspergers / HFA currently struggling through mainstream high school and you are prepared to talk to the media please contact me via the petition link below as there has been some interest.
UPDATE 2/8/10 - The link to this petition has been forwarded on to all state education departments and federal ministers. I have received some correspondence back, generally saying that they have taken note of our concerns and will keep it in mind when formatting future policies. The petition will be closed down shortly after the federal election. Thanks to all for taking the time to sign it and I hope that we do see change in the not too distant future for all our kids sakes.
Changing club hours would be beneficial for the youth of the LeoGoodwin Foundation Teen Center. at this moment the club is open at 3pm on schools days , but on Non-school days its open from 9am to 5pm. The teens that attend this center start arriving btween 11am to Noon. As we all know most teenagers don't wakeup early in the morning.
This brings the benefit of having the club Hours changed to either 11am to 8:30pm or 11:30 to 9pm, the teens would be able to spend more quality time at the club and interact with more activities during the summer and on non-school days.
From 1 July 2007 the Queensland Government introduced a new graduated licensing system to reduce fatalities on our roads, particularly among young motorists. Young drivers aged 17-24 are twice as likely to be involved in fatal crashes than drivers aged between 25-59. That is why the Queensland Government introduced new laws to change the licensing system for young drivers.
The new changes introduced by Queensland Transport included the introduction of a logbook system to ensure learners get a good balance of experience before they drive solo on the road. Learner drivers are required to complete 100 hours of supervised on-road driving experience.
The extension of the learner period to 12 months and the completion of 100 hours of driving experience will expose learners to driving in various road conditions. During this time, they gain valuable experience, including driving at night. The requirement to accumulate 100 hours of supervised on-road driving experience before undertaking a practical driving assessment highlights the importance of the learner licence stage and ensures the learner accumulates extensive driving experience under a range of driving conditions before applying for a provisional licence.
Since the changes in law, many young people in state care face many barriers when trying to obtain their driving licence, such as foster carers not having enough time, residentials not having insurance for young people to drive company or youth worker owned cars and the average driving lesson costing $47 an hour and the likelihood of the Department of Child Safety providing an average of $4700 for each young person wanting to access there licence isn't high either.
Kamal Begi, a Brampton Manor student, and his uncle have lost all their appeals and are under a threat of deportation despite having lived in the UK for over 6 years. They were initially granted a leave to remain for one year and then refused indefinite leave to remain.
We were shocked that a boy who has suffered so much trauma in Afghanistan, where his father was murdered and members of his family tortured, where he himself was held at a gun point as a child, a boy whose life would be in danger if he returned, is not being allowed to set up a new home here and is left worried for his well-being and future, pending the decision of the Home Office.
Kamal Begi and his uncle arrived in the UK and claimed asylum in January 2002. He joined Brampton Manor School in East Ham, London in September 2003 and has quickly become a valuable member of our school community. He is now leaving Year 11 having taken his GCSEs and is expected to achieve on or often above target in all his subjects. He is very ambitious and clear on what he wants to achieve in life. He has now been accepted to New Vic College where he plans to take his ‘A’ levels before going to University to study Business. Kamal has become a strong member of our school community and has settled in very well.
We have so far collected over a thousand signatures on paper in school that were handed over to Lyn Brown MP on 24th June 2008 in the House of Commons. We need more people to show their support for Kamal.
We the students at Scott High School feel that we should be able to use our phones during breaks and lunch to contact our parents...
at our school we have two payphones but only one works and the chance of u getting to use it is very unlikely
In family court, decisions made by judges and commissioners who are trying to get thru as many court cases as possible are not necessarily in the best interest of all parties, but most importantly is the innocent children.
Often times these children are ripped away from fit and loving parents who are capable of providing for them and having relationships with them simply because other individuals, or agencies have not taken all dynamics into consideration.
Children deserve to have a voice and be heard. It would greatly improve the likelihood of children having more normal and stable lives if they were to have an advocate from the beginning of any court proceeding that could adversely affect their lives. This is especially important in cases of drug/alcohol use, abuse/neglect, mental health issues and/or abandonment.
No Child should have to be separated from a fit and loving parent capable of providing for them, but divorce is a reality and children are not a commodity that can be "split in half". Children deserve to have as much normalcy in their lives as possible and deserve to have someone advocate for them their wants and desires. Children should not be discounted simply because of their age or any challenges they may face (special needs children are often discounted because of their challenges)
Immediate appointment of a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) or Guardian Ad Litem, who could look at the facts from the standpoint of what is in the child(ren's) best interest, as well as their wants and desires (which is often a huge part of their best interest) without the bias of either party, would greatly help each child who is affected by court decisions.
It is well documented that children who has a situation of unstable family dynamics, often turn to a life of crime,drugs, alcohol, and/or risky sexually active lifestyles to replace what they are not getting at home.
Let's invest some time and money into our children now to keep them out of those lifestyles and keep our society a better place for us all.
Let's give OUR CHILDREN A VOICE.
Justin Timberlake is a complete douche. He has recently often potrayed himself as the only reason why the Grammy's and Kid's Choice Awards for examples were hits because of him and having his name on the project.
He is always hating on Britney Spears even though they broke up so long ago he still bags her, sings about her and is a n00b to her. This petition is to get Justin dropped from Jive so this n00b can go away.
The sport of Cheerleading is being harmed by the actions of some team parents. The youth are being influenced by the words and actions they are seeing being played out right before their eyes.
If a team mom and a cheerleaders mom have a difference of opinion it should be handled in a private and direct fashion. The public is watching and the influence it has on them will fashion the opinion they have of the whole sport. The public already thinks that cheerleaders are stuck up snobs who do not care about anything but themselves.
The future of the whole sport hinges on the ability to encourge a feeling of togetherness and team spirt needed to trust the abilities of each other. When a team is in sync the whole flow is beautiful. If the kids are lead to believe they are not as good as someone else they tend to not be able to trust and the pyramid of the team is broken. People are pushed out and the old stuck up cheerleaders mith is perpetuated.
We need to be able to get along and deal with the team of cheerleaders as a whole and one body. Not as a bunch of people who do not care about each other. If the team is to be the best we all need to do the right thing and put petty differences aside and deal one on one with the parents, in a repectful and professional maner. When parent form clicks and oust other parents and newcomers the children do the same.
We need a team of parents to teach these kids not a team mom. The team as a whole should not be governed by a single mom, it should be looked over by many caring mothers, and fathers. The team should be developed into a single body, with a confident flow. The actions of one disrespectful mother are having a negitive influence on members of the board, the parent club, the squad and the public at large.
We need to as a group let her know this will not be allowed. We want our children to be in a loving, positive and caring atmosphere. Can't we all just get along. Please join us in asking the team mom/boardmember to step down and let a more caring loving and dignified person take the responcibility of our childrens welfare.
We need someone who will take the time to address the kids with respect, no matter where they come from. Someone who will lead by example. Someone who will take the time to set up fundraisers that will have an atainable outcome. Someone who will not give attitude to others who are not as well to do as she is making herself out to be. When a child and parent can not afford to just "cut a check" for the money costs it takes to be in this sport. They should not be made to feel inferior. We are not all made out of money.
UPDATE as of 7/20/2009: Sorry for the lack of updates, but I do check the petition regularly.
Thank you everyone for signing. Please continue to let others know of our petition! Our goal is to get as many signatures as possible, so please tell others about this petition! We need at least 5,000 signatures before I will submit the petition to President F. King Alexander, which I believe is absolutely possible, as there are 35,000 students on our campus.
Simply put, having a football team will not only bring unity to our school, but will also bring in money for our campus, as well as putting our campus on the map.
Reasons why there should be a football team:
1. We are sick of having to cheer for another school.
2. We are sick of seeing people wearing other schools' jerseys/shirts on our campus.
3. Our school has 35,000 students, which makes it a large campus, yet it doesn't have a football team?
4. Bringing football back will benefit the whole school, not just the football players, as people previously have thought. For instance, having a football team will bring back the marching band, and the money earned will benefit the WHOLE school. We'll be able to afford to improve our campus, which will boost our students' morale.
Sign the petition if you haven't already, and forward it to your friends and family, even if they don't go to our school!
The children should not be let out of school into an unattended alley way which flows into a very busy parking lot.
The alley way will pose problems in the winter months when snow and ice are in season and children can slip and fall injuring themselves.
The children not only have the potential of being abducted in an unsupervised alley way but also are being put into harms way having to walk through an occupied and busy parking lot.
July 15, 2006
Being married to a prisoner is hard enough without having any physical contact with your partner.
We feel that conjugal visits in Kentucky prisons would raise moral, cut down on frustration, due to lack of physical contact, and keep prisoners from having sexual relationships with other men.
Many other states allow conjugal visits and it is working out fine for those states.
Please consider this proposal and allow conjugal visits in Kentucky prisons.
Update June 24, 2006
Thank you to all that have signed the petition for Anthony Jr. The focus of Anthony's case has been changed.
Through numerous phone calls, letters, meetings, and outright begging, we have a prominent politician aiding in the case.
Unfortunately, Anthony Jr. will leave the country on July 2, 2006, however with this political connection it seems as though Anthony Jr. will not be gone as long as we originally thought. Thanks again.
June 20, 2006
The goal of this petition is to keep Anthony Harvey Jr. from having to leave the U.S. while his step-mother petitions for him to be here legally.
As an infant Anthony Jr was smuggled to the U.S. by his biological mother, who later abandoned him. He has been here ever since, he is now 18 years old.
For his primary education Anthony graduated from Pope John XXIII in Evanston, IL. More recently, he graduated high school from Loyola Academy in Wilmette,IL. He has been accepted and plans on attending Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin in the fall.
According to the law Anthony Jr has to leave the U.S. and return to his birth country, Jamaica, while his step-mother petitions for him to be here legally.
On the advice of Anthony's immigration lawyer he will have to leave the U. S. voluntarily while his I-130 is being filed through his step-mother.
If Anthony Jr does not leave the US by July 4, 2006 he will be subject to an automatic three year bar from the U.S. Allowing Anthony Jr to remain in the U.S. during the filing of the I-130 will give him the opportunity to continue his education.
If he has to leave the country at this time it will cause a huge setback in his education, since he could possibly be gone for over a year.
Anthony Jr. not returning to the U.S. is not a concern, due to having faith in the system. Also in Anthony's favor is the fact that he has a U.S. citizen step-mother who has been in his life since he was in the second grade.
We believe to send Anthony Jr back to Jamaica would put his life in danger, due to the report from the United Nations regarding Jamaica having one of the highest homicide rates. Also the fact that he has not been in Jamaica since infancy.
While in the U.S. Anthony Jr. has associated himself with peers and other individuals of good character who have been very instrumental in his life.
Again, we implore the Department of Homeland Security to allow Anthony Jr. to stay in the U.S. while his I-130 is being processed.
June 15, 2006
Many people feel that Jamie and Katie are receiving preferential treatment from Big Brother Australia, and that they have been behaving quite childishly in recent days.
a) Too much air-time is dedicated to them.
b) Too much of the web streaming is dedicated to them.
c) BB has not shown the extent of their immature reactions to being nominated.
d) Katie was given a better birthday party for her 20th than poor John was given for his 21st. Katie's birthday party is the only one so far that has featured music and the use of the Rewards Room.
e) There has been much collusion and nominations talk between the two which has gone unpunished. Jamie has received 4 fines for nominations talk but no strikes, even though it is an evictorial offence. They are believed to have written messages to each other in toothpaste under the doona.
f) Although Katie has been caught out lying by her housemates, this has not been aired by Big Brother. The lies pertain to a top given to her by Danni, and not having an expensive top of Claire's when she did.
June 13, 2006
For the second year in a row, parents at Point Clare Public School will NOT be receiving a midyear report on their child's progress.
The only written report being offered to the parent community is the end of year report.
The Department of Education's Policy entitled "Curriculum planning and programming, assessing and reporting to parents K-12" states that: Schools will provide parents/carers with a written report on their child's learning at least twice per year. The components of the written report will meet the Policy Standards. (section 1.3.3).
Written reports are valuable tools for parents to gauge how their child is performing, and to highlight any issues that their child is having within the classroom environment. For parents who work out of the home full time and who are unable to attend class interviews, a written report can be the first indication of any problem their child is having.
It is unacceptable to make this decision without informing the parent community and without asking for our input.
In accordance with this, we would like to ask you to sign this petition, if you would like to have a midyear written report for your child.
We are having many problems at 11605, 11607, 11625, and 11627 Canal Drive in the San Souci Apartments we are having constant trouble finding parking spaces and our cars are being scratched due to construction not being finished, we have no pool, we are constantly finding drug paraphanilia on the grounds, drug dealers are hanging around at all hours of the day/night, we have had a sexual offender living on the property and weren't told about it so we can protect our children, our washers and dryers never work, plus our apartmnets have numerous problems.
WE AS CITIZENS AND TAXPAYERS OF THE CITY OF VICTORVILLE ARE OPPOSED TO HAVING ANY ALCOHOL AND DRUG REHABILITATION CENTER IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
James R. Hathcock, born March 5, 1967 is a son, husband, father, family man, good provider, gainfully full time employed, and considered to be a hard working individual... that is, until being raped by a failed judicial system, wrongly convicted of incest and sentenced to spend six years in prison forcing him to become a victim for a crime that he did not, could not, would not, and is not capable of having committed.
He is accused of a crime that never happened. A crime that is physically and humanly impossible for him to have committed.
Rather than justice having been performed on behalf of the victim, Shana, a grave injustice has been done to James Hathcock, his wife, son, family, and his childhood dream career (which he had accomplished) all of which have been made to become victims by a failed judicial system.
After a jury trial lasting 5 days, three (3) of his witnesses were allowed to testify on his behalf, false testimony was given by some of the State witnesses, no DNA evidence, no physical evidence, witnesses and evidence on his behalf were withheld, one state witness has come forward.
In a letter written willingly on October 5, 2004, a state witness has admitted that she knows the victim was lying and that she (state witness) did not like getting up there (witness stand) and talking about s_ _ _ that did not happen.
We are the people who you see everyday. Yet we are looked upon diffrently because of our shirts. Now we are banned from expressing our heriatage only bacause it might "offend" someone.
Now we are tired of having to go and buy new shirts because all of ours might offend. We are signing this because this treatment is un-constitutional and we are tired of covering up our southern pride shirts.
Would like to continue having dances in the gym on Saturdays. This keeps the children off the streets and from getting in trouble.
According to a Marketing profile on the Eastern College Athletic Conference, (http://www.ecac.org/Marketing/College_Market_Demographic_Profile.pdf) Most college students live away from home, and of those who are employed, (66%) most only work part time. [There were no explicit figures available on average college student income, however I believe it is common knowledge that part-time wages are quite low.]
In her article: "College tuition rising faster than the average income", USA Today writer Mary Beth Marklein notes that college tuition rates increased 107% from 1980 to 2002. This increase makes affording food a challenge for college students.
But the real problem is not being able to afford healthy food. According to Ted W. Grace of the Journal of American College Health in his article: "Health Problems of College Students", students' eating habits get much worse in the college years, where students often turn to the convenient, cheap, fast food industry to sustain them.
One February 25, 2004 article of The Daily Orange (the school newspaper of Syracuse University) tells of the growing trend of students who desire to eat healthy but find themselves only able to afford unhealthy fast food items.
Providing food stamps to college students who meet the requirements I listed would be a step in the right direction for our nations future. The college years are the time in the lives of young Americans where they make formative habits that stick with them for the rest of their lives. If students are forced into the habit of poor eating choices due to financial constraints, then they will continue with those habits, and the health of this nation will continue to deteriorate in a very negative way. However, having a steady source of food would set many students at ease, knowing that expenses such as rent and tuition can be prioritized on their personal budgets, without having to sacrifice good eating.
Thank you for your consideration,
I started the depo-provera contraceptive injection in October 2000 after having my son and was told by the Dr that once I decide to stop in the future my cycles may take up to 6 months to regulate and for my fertility to return to normal. In Feb 2002 I decided I would not have my next injection as we wanted to try for a baby the following year.
I did not menstruate at any point whilst on depo so was surprised when a cycle in June 2002 begun a string of regular cycles. I thought that everything was back to normal and we started trying to conceive in January 2003. My cycles were regular but nothing was happening. NINETEEN cycles later and I have been referred to a Fertility Consultant at the local hospital and I am on Clomid because there is something wrong with the hormone levels affecting the quality of my eggs.
I am 25 years old, I already have a son and the only thing I have done is take Depo. I have since joined many fertility boards and found that this is a COMMON problem for women who have had depo and I want this recognised. If you are lucky some Dr's give you a 1 year warning for your cycles to regulate but mostly Dr's turn their noses up at you if you suggest your problems are related to depo.
Please sign this petition ladies and let's get something done about this!
This is a simple request to have the speed limit reduced to 30 m.p.h. on Dexter-Pinckney Road. Due to the FACT that We in this sub- division, are having a difficult time leaving and entering our sub-division.
We are asking the road commision in agreement with the county and county police to enforce this to have the speed limt reduced.
Many students who are not financially able to pay for college are forced to take out loans. Many of these loans for college are a last resort. To avoid having a balance, most students take out loans only after financial aid has covered a mere portion of their education. Because of this, many college students fall into debt. Many will owe at least $15,000 by the time they graduate. To avoid this kind of debt, some students will drop out or avoid college altogether. This dilemma that many college students face is very disheartening.
In a country where education is prioritized, debt is not the way to keep students motivated. Subsequently, there may be less college graduates in the future.
WE, THE PEOPLE WHO HOLD INTERESTS ALONG DARTMOUTH ROAD, ARE INTERESTED IN HAVING THE WATER LINES RUN NORTH FROM RINNAKER ROAD SO THAT WE MAY HAVE CITY WATER.
Our newly elected Government, the Ontario Liberal Party, is currently in crisis due to a MAJOR Deficit left upon them by the former Government, The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. One of the Policies of the former Ontario Government, (The Conservatives), was to spend BILLIONS of Taxpayer's hard earned dollars funding Medications for Homosexuals to have WILFUL UNPROTECTED sexual intercourse thereby, BLATENTLY AND PURPOSELY perpetuating the spread of AIDS, which is a disease that affects ALL Human Beings be they Straight, Gay, Male, Female, Child, Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, or anyone else. AIDS has no race hangup-it will kill ANYONE it touches-PERIOD!
Now, why should we as hard working citizens be losing our hard earned Tax Dollars to allow this kind of "Disgusting" behaviour?
Our children go to school hungry, parents now have to PAY for their children's books and school supplies, classroom overcrowding, nurse shortages, Hospital waiting lists, a health care system in crisis, transit systems barely able to operate, roads/highways/bridges in need of repair, seniors and homeless needing shelter and medicines, youth needing job training, housing costs, rent controls, and the list just goes on and on and on......>
And yet, we fund BILLIONS of dollars a year for these sick individuals to continue their disgusting lifestyles.
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Now by the way, there are "Bug Hunters" as you may have noticed.
These are Men who are PURPOSELY trying to get infected so that they can go on Permanent Disability paid for by YOUR tax dollars so they don't have to work and can spend their lives having "Pig Sex" as often as they can while collecting YOUR hard earned money.
I say we put a stop to this unacceptable behaviour NOW and we lobby the New Premier of Ontario, The Honorable Dalton McGuinty to put an end to funding for the Medication of these people AND, if they are healthy enough then they should not be entitled to Disability until they are in a position where they can no longer work.
HIV is NOT a life threatening illness. Many people work knowing they have it, and MANY work for years without even knowing they have it. It is therefore NOT a Disiability and we could save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year if we just "Declassified" HIV as a life-threatening illness UNTIL it DOES become one. Many people live very healthy lives for years with HIV, they can therefore work and pay taxes and support their own medical expenses if they want to behave they way they do.
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My Petition is Threefold - I am petitioning for the Govenor of California to appeal Proposition 184- the 3 strike law took effect first in Washington Dec, 1993 then in 1994 in California a mandatory 25- life sentence, which in My opinion is utterly ridiculous for it is exactly the old term a stiff sentence which does not prevent crime nor liberate anyone it just causes the institutions to be over populated, only way these men and women can be free from commiting crime is to have their heart and mind renewed in God, they need to be healed from the root cause of why they chose to commit such crime.
My second petition is that the Men and Womens' institution facilities would serve and prepare better food for the inmates, I've heard for over 2 decades now about the poor quality of meals served in these facilities and most of the time the inmates do not even know what you all some of the food now that's bad, they may have errored or accused of one against the law but their nature do not change, for they are still human beings who need proper nutritional meals for the body, My last petition is that something be done about the inmates having to sleep on the floors of the facilities and I came up with in Idea to implement against this problem which is addressed in another letter to our Governor of California and at this time this concludes My Petion.
I've always hated hated having to stay awake until 2:00 or 3:00 AM just to watch ATR (fl time) - it's an awesome show, and the twins are always hilarious.
We would like to boycott products made from child labour in stopping the production of these products, such as soccer balls or carpets. We would like factory owners realize how important this issue really is and the danger of having child work. We feel that by doing so, we will be one step closer to eliminating child labour around the world.
Tamils fighting for freedom are not terrorists [ Ottawa Citizen Canada ] [ 20:07 GMT, Jun. 14, 2000 ]
By: Karen Parker
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, is not a " terrorist" organization, but rather an armed force in a war against the government of Sri Lanka. Characterization of the LTTE as a "Terrorist" organization is politically motivated, having no basis in law or fact.
There is a war in Sri Lanka. The LTTE are organized militarily, with a military commander and military chain of command. The LTTE uses traditional, modern military weaponry in its combat against the military forces of the government of Sri Lanka. The LTTE uses a variety of military tactics, including open warfare, raids or guerrilla warfare. The government armed forces use similar military means against the armed forces of the LTTE. Most armies in the past 200 years have utilized essentially the same tactics. The war in Sri Lanka may be characterized as a civil war or war of national liberation in the exercise of the right to self-determination. A civil war exists if there is armed conflict inside one country between government armed forces and at least one other force having an identifiable command and having sufficient control over territory to carry out "sustained" and "concerted" military action and the practical capacity to fulfill humanitarian law obligations. The LTTE has clearly met this test for more than 10 years.
A war of national liberation exists if armed conflict exists between the armed forces of a government against the armed forces of a people that has the right to self-determination. The war in Sri Lanka is a war of national liberation because Tamil people have the right to self-determination. This is because the Tamil people, the original inhabitants of the north and east of the island of Ceylon, had their own state complete and separate from the Sinhala state prior to colonization by the British. The Tamil people, primarily Hindu, and secondarily Christian and Muslim, speak their own language and have their own traditions and customs. The Sinhala people are primarily Buddhist, and secondarily Christian and their traditions and customs reflect that heritage.
With the forced unitary rule, first as a result of colonization and then under the post-colonial Sinhala majority rule, the Tamil people were increasingly threatened. In the late 1970s, after nearly 30 years of attempted peaceful resolution to profound differences, the Tamil people began forming armed defense forces. At present, Tamil forces are consolidated in the LTTE, which continues to defend Tamil areas in a war against the Sinhala government's armed forces, "home guards" and other armed entities.
If the war in Sri Lanka is a civil war, outside states are required to be neutral- a civil war is by definition an internal affair of a state. This is known as the duty of neutrality. If the war is a war of national liberation, outside states are required to support the side with the self-determination claim- the Tamil side. This is because of the jus cogens nature of the right to self-determination. This does not mean another state must provide direct aid to the Tamil armed force. However, the other states must not engage in any activity with the Sinhala government that in any way undermines the realization of self-determination by the Tamil people.
Both parties to the armed conflict on Ceylon violate the rules of armed conflict or humanitarian law. However, the mere fact that one side or the other violates humanitarian law norms does not deny either the rights or duties of combatant forces. Accordingly, the LTTE may not be called a "terrorist" organization because in the course of the armed conflict, some of its soldiers have violated the rules of armed conflict. In the same light the government cannot be called a "terrorist " state because some of its military operations have violated armed conflict rules. Neither side, of course can be considered to violate humanitarian law for carrying out military actions.
I have noted "condemnation" of the LTTE by the government and others for carrying out military operations not prohibited in humanitarian law. For example, the LTTE shot down number of airplanes and sank a number of ships of the Sri Lankan forces. These are not violations of humanitarian law and therefore are not "terrorist".
I do note, however, the rampant disregard of humanitarian rules by government forces in military operations against hospitals, schools, market places, churches and locations with historical and cultural significance to the Tamil people. I also note the difficulty in establishing the culpable party (ies) in situations where the LTTE has been accused by the government of killing civilians. This is not to say the LTTE has not resorted to killing civilians. However, the fact that the government accuses the LTTE does not mean the LTTE actually carried out the acts in question. The government's rejection of impartial, international fact-finding makes ascertaining the truth ever more difficult.
The international Court of Justice decided that all states have an obligation under Article 1 common to the Geneva Conventions to "ensure respect" for the Geneva Conventions even when not directly or indirectly involved in a conflict. From my point of view, this requirement mandates at least that the international community insist that the government of Sri Lanka allow both humanitarian reliefs to all victims of the conflict and international, impartial fact-finding to take place
Karen Parker, a lawyer specializing in international law and humanitarian rights, has testified on the Tamil conflict before the United Nations and the U.S. Congress. She lives in San Francisco.
Pg:A19 :: Wednesday 14th, 2000
Courtesy : Ottawa Citizen
There has been a lot of discussion regarding the need for a City Manager. The cost of hiring a City Manager at a time when we are in a financial downturn is not the only consideration we have. Hiring a City Manager is just adding to our costs and removing the direct access we have to the way our city is run.
The cost of bringing a potential City Manager to Pryor can cost in the $1,000's. Then you have a contract that may have to be honored - even if the individual doesn't do the job he has been hired to do.
Did you know that Locust has had 2 City Managers this year? Did you know that Kingfisher has had 5 different City Managers?
Where is the cost savings and where is the continuity needed to run a city?
We have the option of having a full time mayor. A mayor that is accessible everyday. A mayor that is responsible for the day to day running of our city. A mayor that is elected by "we the people" and is responsible to "we the people". If we want a change in leadership all we have to do is vote! To change the city manager you have to go through a lot more AND the city (our taxes) may have to buy out the contract.