Wednesday, May 11, 2005

This is just so funny!!!!..and really strange.........

It is a given cliche, a true one of course, that all of us are more similar than not. It is certainly true in a purely physiological or biological sense, but that is certainly not the case when it comes to our cultures and the little rituals and games we play.

I just thought of that after reading the blog of a black man teaching English to really crazy kids in Japan. I just had to post a link to his blog. It will make you laugh:)!!!!

Draft of the Interim constitution of Sudan...

Here's a link to the draft interim constitution as formulated by the SPLM and the Government of Sudan. The draft is now being discussed and updated by the newly established constitutional review commission.

There are many clauses enshrined in this document that, if formalized, will usher in real progressive changes in the protection of the rights of all citizens, and the institution of a fairer system of power and resource allocation. It is also true that some of its clauses will have to be adjusted once the other political entities voice their opinions during the review process.

What should never be tempered with are the cardinal issues resolved during the peace negotiations between the two parties. The complete implementation of the CPA is essential if any of the other demands of all the other parties can ever get realized. Any abrogation of the basic outlines of the CPA will render the whole process a sham, and spur on other forces to reignite the conflict. The sincere implementation of the CPA will give the upcoming government of National Unity the requisite popular support and moral voice to successfully and peacefully resolve the grievances of our fellow Sudanese in the West and the East.

IT has been a while!!

Well, I am back dropping a few lines after a fairly long hiatus. A lil less than a whole month to be exact; but who is counting?!!!!

I actually write this blog for me and the two people that I pay to periodically scan it and make me feel like I am adding something!!! I would get more readers, but it has been difficult to bribe and browbeat more folks at the measly rates I am offering....

Well, what did i miss pontificating about????

The biggest story playing around is the constitutional review process taking place in Khartoum. Notice that it is now a review process and not an outright constitutional writing commission. The outlines of the new Interim Constitution have been drawn by the SPLM and the Government before hand, and the process going on now is an attempt to marshall as much political support from other quarters as possible.

I am all in favor of that, because the two parties should be able to formalize the Naivasha Comprehensive Agreement into an Interim Constitution that by definition will serve to guarantee the implementation of that agreement. Having a full blown renegotiation of the basic parameters of the new constitutional arrangement in Sudan within the Commission willl result in revisiting the settlement of the war in the South. That should not be allowed, and the Northern opposition parties that have delusions of using the commission to regurgitate the whole process should be told to take a hike. A minimum requirement for participating in the political elections that will take place before the end of the 6 year period should be the explicit pledge to honor the CPA to the letter. It would be nonsensical to allow the Northern parties to contest the upcomiung elections while not abiding by the timetable set forth in the Naivasha agreement.

The traditional Northern political parties and their partisans have predictably cried foul over statements by SPLM and Government spokesmen outlining a clause correlating the explicit acceptance of the letter and spirit of the interim constitution with future participation in elections in Sudan. They are suggesting that the SPLM has sold its soul to the NIF and joined in a cynical pact to rule the country in a new dictatorial arrangement.

If there is any cynicism to be parcelled out, the Northern Political parties should have the lion's share. They have previously endorsed the CPA, but are now objecting to one of the core guarantees for that agreement. Without an Interim Consitution that enshrines the CPA as a binding obligation on any government ruling the country during the interim period, there is no definite guarantee of implementation. That is especially acute becasue the CPA also endorses nationwide polls halfway through the interim period, and those polls can bring to power any number of political groups in the country. Therefore, if those polls are fair and democratic, whats the harm in stipulating that whoever participates in them has to honor the implementation of the second half of the CPA timeframe. Only someone cynical and with ulterior designs, and additionally not sincerely committed to the agreement that ended the bloodshed in the South, would have trouble committing to such a clause.

It is important that we not get seduced by all the flowery language about democratic rule and plurality from the parties in the North that have not always practiced those principles. The war lasted for 23 years becase successive regimes in Khartoum refused to take the moral leap and resolve teh conflict fairly. Now remnants of those same groups are now saying that the CPA is not necessarily a faire resolution to the conflict, and that they would like to reserve the right to revisit its terms if they ever have the power to do so. They have not said so in as many words, but politics is about devining the intentions of others through the prism of their previous actions. It is clear that such an interpretation is reasonable, and I am glad that the parties to the CPA are taking due caution in protecting against such future shenanigans.