Author: Pat Walsh

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Dawn of a human rights revolution

    • Pat Walsh
    • 27 June 2013
    4 Comments

    The Cold War not only divided Berlin. It divided human rights into two politicised and hostile camps. Socialist nations championed social and economic rights over the civil and political rights prioritised by capitalist nations. Twenty years ago this month, the UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna rejected this demarcation and declared that human rights were indivisible, complementary and interdependent.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Human rights viewed from a Swiss mountaintop

    • Pat Walsh
    • 04 June 2013
    5 Comments

    The weather seemed to express the mood of this city of international public servants paid to resolve the world's problem. Over dinner we discussed health and human rights for remote rural communities in the poorest corners of the world. That's Geneva: clean, ordered, pretty, earnest, and struggling to make the world in its image.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    East Timor's lessons for our abuse Royal Commission

    • Pat Walsh
    • 28 November 2012
    7 Comments

    Two principal conclusions can be drawn from the East Timor experience. First, a victim-friendly process is desirable, achievable and productive. If East Timor after decades of war and devastation could do it, Australia certainly can. But victims should not take for granted that the high level of public and political support the Royal Commission currently enjoys will translate into action.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Before and after Bali's searing flash

    • Pat Walsh
    • 11 October 2012
    4 Comments

    The bombing in Bali ten years ago today did not target Balinese directly, but they took the collateral damage to tourism, their bread and butter, very personally. Drawing his finger across his throat in a slitting motion, a smiling Balinese says he is happy the bombers have been executed.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Life in the Ramadan fasting lane

    • Pat Walsh
    • 04 September 2012
    2 Comments

    The fasting rule is interpreted flexibly. You are free not to fast if you have to travel, are pregnant, old, little, sick, or basically have a good excuse. Ironically, Ramadan can also involve an enormous amount of cooking, late night and pre-dawn binges. Households buy up. Restaurants offer discounts. One hotel lobby was decked out like Mecca.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What Australia doesn't want East Timor to know

    • Pat Walsh
    • 04 April 2012
    10 Comments

    The famine of 1977–79 cut a swathe through East Timor's civilian population. Having failed to subdue the Timorese, the Indonesian military opted to starve them out. Details from that little-understood period are contained in cables that Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has blocked from public access.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Jose Ramos-Horta's Ian Thorpe moment

    • Pat Walsh
    • 19 March 2012
    11 Comments

    East Timor is living far too dangerously by dumping its incumbent president Jose Ramos-Horta in last weekend's election. It remains to be seen whether Ramos-Horta will continue in public life or retire, but there's no doubt the nation would do well to use his vast experience as an elder statesman.

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