Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Scotland: Lairds could be forced to sell off land

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

News from An Conradh Ceilteach:

Tá sé thar am na coireanna a rinneadh in aghaidh Muintir na hAlban de bharr fuadach na nGael a réiteach.

It’s about time the wrongs that were committed against the Scottish People with the Highlands Clearances were redressed.

Lairds and companies could be forced to sell off swathes of their land after it emerged that a Scottish Government commission is examining imposing a…
TELEGRAPH.CO.UK
 
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Leanne Wood Leader of Plaid Cymru makes clear statement condemning Spanish repression in Catalonia

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has condemned the Spanish Government repression in Catalonia, saying: “In a democratic country it is crucial that citizens are able to debate the future of their nation.

“The Catalan people are asking only for a vote on their nation’s future and for the Spanish Government to respond with threats and repression falls far short of modern democratic standards.

“Democracy and civil rights must be respected and the Catalan people must be allowed to hold a peaceful, transparent and democratic consultation on their nation’s future. I condemn any attempt to block that process.

“I call on all democrats to condemn the actions of the Spanish state and express solidarity with the Catalan people and their right to vote.”

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Spanish attempts to prevent the Catalan people’s right to a free and democratic vote on independence condemned

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

In a recent statement the Celtic League General Secretary, Rhisiart Talebot, called the actions by the Spanish government aimed at disrupting the Catalan referendum on 1st October as ‘outrageous’. In the statement issued by the General Council of the Celtic League he said:

“The Celtic League has appointed its own international observer, Iain McDermott, to monitor political developments in the run-up to the referendum. Iain is currently in Catalunya and will stay in the country until after the referendum to ensure the right of the Catalan people to a free and democratic voting process is respected and upheld.”

The link to the full Celtic League statement is here: https://www.celticleague.net/…/outrageous-behaviour-by-spa…/

As we move ever closer to the day of the referendum the Spanish state is stepping up its level of intimidation against Catalonia. This morning (20/09/17) raids on Catalan government offices saw Spanish police arrest Catalonia’s junior economy minister Josep Maria Jove. Local reports say that Spanish police entered offices of the Catalan region’s economy, interior, foreign affairs, welfare, telecommunications and tax departments with 14 high-ranking local officials being arrested. Hundreds of protesters blocked Barcelona’s Gran Via, near Jospe Maria Jové’s office, chanting: “Independence!” and “We will vote”. One Catalan MP posted a tweet: “Estem patint un Cop d’Estat. Detencions i escorcolls il.legals. Volen robar-nos la democràcia!! No ho aconseguiran!! 1 oct votarem ” (“This is a coup d’état. Illegal detentions and searches. They want to steal our democracy. They won’t be able to. We vote Oct 1″.)

Yesterday the Spanish Guardia Civil confiscated referendum papers at a private delivery company in the Catalan city of Terrassa. More than 1.5m referendum leaflets and posters have also been seized. Meanwhile the first of hundreds of Catalan mayors were also forced to appear before the state prosecutor on Tuesday after they said they would back the referendum. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has been clear in denouncing what he described as “coordinated aggression” and the “totalitarian attitude” on the part of the Spanish state. After a Catalan cabinet crisis meeting he said Madrid was not respecting the principles of democracy and had “crossed a red line” into behaviour characteristic of dictatorial states. He went on to insist that the referendum would go ahead despite the abuses of what he described as an “repressive and intimidatory regime”, and insisted Catalunya would defend democracy in a peaceful manner.

The actions of the Spanish government is extremely alarming and are a concerted attack on internationally accepted guidance on the very principle of democracy and self determination. The statement by the General Secretary of the Celtic League wished the Catalan people every success in their referendum and urges them to remain strong and determined in the face of political and legal intimidation. The present actions of the Spanish government towards the people of Catalonia is totally unacceptable. All peoples have the right to self-determination and to choose the form of government best suited to their needs, a principle which is enshrined in the UN Charter. 

Issued by Alastair Kneale, Director of Information for the Celtic League

20/09/2017

 

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Scope to reevaluate ties says academic

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Report here on Manx Radio in which a Scottish academic says that in the post Brexit scenario the Isle of Man could reevaluate ties he cites developments in other territories with EU links such as the Faroes and Greenland:

http://www.manxradio.com/…/always-scope-for-greater-self-g…/

Bernard Moffatt
pp Celtic League

13/09/17

 

Is it time to revaluate constitutional ties?
MANXRADIO.COM
 
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Uk in appeal to Trump over Belfast planemaker

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Merco Press reports on a threat to Belfast plane maker Bombardier from the United States rival Boeing. Bombardier is one of the largest manufacturing employers in N Ireland having taken over planemaker Shorts in 1989. For a time it had an operation (design facility) based in the Isle of Man but that moved back to Belfast years ago.

The Merco report says the UK PM has raised the issue with President Trump. It will be interesting to see if this is effective as UK/US links are reportedly pivotal post Brexit and could be a crucial test of UK policy to orientate Trade away from Europe towards the US:

Link to Merco story here:
http://en.mercopress.com/…/pm-may-rings-president-trump-ove…
Potted video history of Bombardier in N Ireland at this link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/…/the-history-of-bombardier-in-norther…

Bernard Moffatt
pp Celtic League

13/09/17

 

Prime Minister Theresa May has phoned US President Donald Trump over a threat to jobs at Bombardier in Belfast from a trade dispute. In 2016, Canadian firm…
EN.MERCOPRESS.COM
 
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Guardian report on Breton name row

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

The UK Guardian newspaper reports on the row over the Breton child who can not have his name registered because it the contains a tilde. The registrar in Quimper has ruled the character ñ was incompatible with French national law.

The issue had been reported in Breton media and by the Celtic League. The issue was considered at the Celtic League AGM held on the Isle of Man in July and the following resolution condemning the action of the French authorities was adopted:

‘REGISTRATION OF CHILDREN NAMES in BRETON – BRITTANY’

‘This AGM:

Believes the decision, based on a French State diktat, by the registry in Quimper to refuse the registration of a child’s name because it used Breton spelling is an affront to accepted European and International standards relating to respect for minority languages’

Guardian report at this link:
https://www.theguardian.com/…/french-baby-boy-banned-from-g…
Bernard Moffatt
pp Celtic League

15/09/17

 

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United Nations set to slam British rights record

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

News from Mannin Branch of the Celtic League:

The United Kingdom is in the dock at the United Nations for a catalogue of Human Rights omissions and by default many of the criticisms apply to its adjunct territories like the Isle of Man.

Paradoxically the UK is criticised over abortion rights because of policies pursued in its ‘Northern Ireland statelet’ although laws are equally deficient in Mann.

Recruitment of children into the armed forces is also flagged up but in fact these two examples are just part of almost 100 areas rights law lags.

A report in the UK media says:

“Britain is heading for a confrontation this week at the UN human rights council over its failure to support more than 100 recommendations on subjects ranging from the rights of children to the international law on abortion.

David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), will attend the UN’s universal periodic review (UPR) of the UK’s human rights record in Geneva, a process which takes place for every country once every five years.

Among the recommendations that the government has declined to back, a number outline the need for the UK to limit how long someone can be held in an immigration detention centre. The UK is the only European country without such a time limit.

Britain has also declined to support recommendations on the detention of children in immigration centres. Of a total of 229 recommendations by UN members, the government will confirm that it is supporting just 96 – 42% of the total. The government has chosen simply to “note” the remainder.”

Ful item at this link:

https://www.theguardian.com/…/britain-un-human-rights-brexit
Bernard Moffatt
pp Celtic League

17/09/17

 

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Outrageous Behaviour by Spanish Authorities

Monday, September 11th, 2017

Statement by the General Secretary of the Celtic League:

Outrageous Behaviour by Spanish Authorities

On the weekend before the National Day of Catalunya (11th September) it is disappointing , but not surprising that the Spanish authorities have started making overt attempts to disrupt the Catalan referendum on independence.

The seizure of ballot boxes and the arrest and charge of a newspaper editor by the Guardia Civil for ‘referendum related crimes’, is nothing short of outrageous and a hark back to the dark days of the Spanish dictator, General Franco. 

The Spanish government’s argument that it is ‘unconstitutional’ for Catalunya to hold a referendum on independence does not wash. Catalunya has its own democratically elected parliament, which is in charge of a great number of its own affairs. The parliament voted to hold a referendum, the vote is supported by the Catalan President and the Catalan government has made plans to hold a referendum on 1st October 2017, as the Catalan people want. For the Spanish authorities to make concerted attempts to block this to self-determination, is to undermine the principles of internationally accepted guidance, democracy and subsidiarity.

This weekend has seen celebrations by Catalans, their friends and supporters across the globe ahead of their national day. The Celtic League Irish Branch Secretary, Caoimhín Ó Cadhla, is attending an event in Dublin today, which he says will be linked to the independence referendum, as it will be elsewhere no doubt. However, the Scottish Branch Secretary, Iain Ramsay, has said that he is concerned that armed conflict may erupt in Catalunya, as happened previously and commented in an email to members of the Celtic League:

“There is always the unlikely possibility of a Spanish back down, but I doubt this and [it seems] the only answer when democracy fails is a long and bitter armed struggle. I also think the Anglo/Brit unionists and the English Monarchy will support the Spanish King and Government. We must be ready to counter that stance and put our whole moral support behind the Catalan patriots.”

The Celtic League has appointed its own international observer, Iain McDermott, to monitor political developments in the run-up to the referendum. Iain is currently in Catalunya and will stay in the country until after the referendum to ensure the right of the Catalan people to a free and democratic voting process is respected and upheld. 

The Celtic League wish the Catalan people every success in the coming weeks and urge them to remain strong and determined in the face of political and legal intimidation. I am sure I speak for our members generally when I say that I wish the Catalan people a happy and positive National Day on 11th September.

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot

General Secretary of the Celtic League

10/09/2017

 

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Tension grows ahead of Catalan referendum

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Just weeks before the referendum on independence scheduled for Catalonia (next month) battle lines are being drawn in what could be the most major confrontation in Europe since the upheavals in Ukraine.

Just days ago the Spanish Constitutional Court annulled a decision of the Catalan parliament to conduct the referendum. Members of the Civil Guard (effectively the Federal Police controlled by the Madrid government) have started to target print shops where materials were being prepared for the vote.

However the most serious threat to the referendum is in Barcelona where the municipal authorities are indicating they will not allow municipal buildings to be used for the ballot. This could spark major civil disobedience from pro Catalan independence supporters (see link):

https://www.bloomberg.com/…/catalonia-secessionists-fail-to…

At the Celtic League AGM in the Isle of Man in July the meeting wholeheartedly endorsed an executive decision by the Convenor and General Secretary to send an official League observer mission to Catalonia for the referendum so we will have folk on the ground as these events unfold.

So far between 40/50 % of municipalities have said they will defy the Spanish Constitutional Court edict and proceed with the referendum and pressure is growing on others. However Barcelona will be the lynch pin and it’s in the city that the Spanish State will face its most serious challenge.
At this stage it’s unclear what stance the Catalan Regional Police which is controlled by the Catalan government will take but any conflict between them and the Civil Guard is likely to escalate matters. Early indications are that the Regional Police will observe the Constitutional Court edict but how this translates at grassroots level is unclear.

With a major demonstration planned in Barcelona on Monday to mark the National Day Barcelona Mayor Adu Colau may find she has backed the wrong horse by bowing to the will of the Madrid Government.

Related links:
http://www.thenational.scot/…/15525216.Print_firms_raided_…/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41177428
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41196677

Image: Barcelona Mayor Adu Colau

Bernard Moffatt
pp Celtic League

09/09/17

 

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Scotland – Loch Fleet Tyrants and Tragedy

Friday, September 8th, 2017

I was in the far north of Scotland last weekend, visiting Loch Fleet on the eastern coast of Sutherland. Loch Fleet is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and I saw a wide range of bird species there, as well as many seals hauled out on the sand banks.

Towering over the peaceful landscape is a monument on Beinn a’ Bhragaidh (Ben Bhraggie), a hill to the north. I visited Loch Fleet with one of my brothers, who told me that the monument is to the Duke of Sutherland, one of the most notorious of the perpetrators of the Highland Clearances in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The Duke of Sutherland was one of those rich landowners who wanted to move crofters from land on which they had lived for centuries, replacing them with the more profitable sheep and deer. Many did not want to leave voluntarily. The Duke of Sutherland had his Factors burn and demolish their homes. Many of the people evicted were sent to Canada, especially Cape Breton Island where a Scottish Gaelic speaking community remains to this day.

The Duke of Sutherland Monument is seen in two ways by the local community. Some see the monument as commemorating the Duke’s cruel deeds in brutally clearing the people from the land and reckon that it should be removed, by force, if necessary. Others see the statue as a reminder of the evil which he carried out, lest people forget about the Clearances. I do wonder if the people of the many cities of Europe destroyed in World War 2 would agree with that viewpoint if a statue of Hitler was placed in their city “to remind them” about what he had done. I think not.

There is a monument which is much more sensitive to the memory of those forced to leave their homes in the Highland Clearances at Helmsdale, further north-east in Sutherland. Called “Exiles”, the bronze statue was unveiled by the then First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond in 2007.

Image: Clearances monument at Helmsdale.

Allen Moore,
Environmental Officer,
Celtic League Mannin Branch.

03/09/17

 

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