Daily Archives: 10 November 2006

Riding to Hounds with Eagles: A Reinvented Tradition

Ardent fox-hunters in Merry Old Anglistan are reinventing their traditions in the face of new laws that restrict riding to hounds, the Guardian reports:

Without the bird of prey, it would not be legal to flush out a fox using a pack of hounds. All that would be permissible would be the use of a pair of hounds to flush out a fox to be shot. Some hunts are using the latter exemption, but it is the presence of a bird of prey that permits the hounds to work as a pack of 30 or 40–the essence of hunting, in the view of connoisseurs….

Hunting a fox with a bird of prey is bloody hard, especially in the presence of a pack of 40 hounds, 70 people on horseback and large numbers of car and foot followers. If the hounds and the bird get to the fox simultaneously, mayhem is likely to ensue; or the bird might mistake a small dog for the fox and carry off Miss Ponsonby-Smythe’s Jack Russell; or a bird of prey of lesser stature than a golden eagle might get mauled by a fox.

Colby Cosh, whence came this gem, explains the “Anglistan” angle.

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Sectarian Violence Continues Apace in Sulawesi, Indonesia

From the Jakarta Post, 9 November:

One of three militants charged with beheading three Christian schoolgirls last year in Poso carried out the attack as an “Idul Fitri gift” for Muslims, a Jakarta court heard Wednesday.

Reading out the indictment, prosecutors at the Central Jakarta District Court accused Hasanuddin alias Hasan of instigating the attack to avenge the slaying of Muslims during the sectarian conflict in the Central Sulawesi province between 1998 and 2002.

Hasan was charged under the antiterrorism law and could be sentenced to death if found guilty….

He along with fellow suspects Lilik Purnomo and Irwanto Irano and another six militants currently on the run, allegedly beheaded the three girls as they walked to school along an isolated jungle track leading to Poso. Another girl was also slashed in the cheek, but managed to escape….

Three Catholic militants were executed in September for instigating a deadly attack on a Muslim village in Palu in 2000, killing from between 60 and 190 people.

Tensions in the two regions have risen recently with the shooting of a Christian minister and the killing of a Muslim man by an angry mob.

The police are hunting 29 suspected Muslim militants believed to be responsible for a series of murders and bomb attacks on Christians in Poso and Palu since 2002.

via Colby Cosh

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Nepal’s Maoists and Monarchists Give Peace a Chance

After exhausting themselves, their nation, and all other possibilities, Nepal’s murderous Maoists and monarchists have finally pledged to give peace and democracy a chance, reports Christian Science Monitor correspondent Bikash Sangraula:

The two sides have also agreed to sign a comprehensive peace accord by Nov. 16, which will include provisions to compensate the families of those killed or maimed during the conflict, rehabilitate displaced civilians, and form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to deal with cases of serious human rights violations.

Ordinary Nepalese appeared upbeat on Wednesday morning as news of the agreement screamed from the front pages of Nepal’s daily newspapers. “Congratulations to all for the success of peace talks,” wrote Raju Chhettri, general manager of Kawasaki motorcycle outlet in Kathmandu, in a text message forwarded to friends….

“The agreements have cleared all obstacles till constituent-assembly elections,” he says, referring to the body that will write Nepal’s new constitution. “After the elections are held, the rest of the steps for peace will be taken automatically.”

In fact, the violent insurgency first changed course in November 2005, when rebel leaders admitted, after nearly a decade of fighting state forces, that they could not secure political legitimacy through violence alone. The Maoists entered into a loose alliance with seven political parties to end the king’s rule. It was only after this alliance that the popular perception of Nepal’s Maoists shifted from a rebel group with a single-minded focus on violent revolution to a serious democratic political party.

Despite the long-overdue success, Nepal’s civil society leaders remained skeptical of Wednesday’s agreement. While acknowledging that the accord is likely to steer the country toward peace, human rights officials and observers were disappointed at the lack of specific legal protections for ordinary Nepalese.

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Filed under Nepal, war