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Old 02-01-2014   #141
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Default Countering the "dissidents"

A rare article on the success of the security forces, it is from The Belfast Telegraph, unlikely to appear on the "mainland" and a "taster":
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The charging of republican Colin Duffy with conspiracy to murder and IRA membership. Two other men were separately charged in connection with a murder bid on a police patrol in north Belfast, when shots were fired at officers at a sectarian interface.

The discovery of materials allegedly designed for homemade explosives. A couple were arrested following the cross-border operation which resulted on the raid on a property in Forkhill, south Armagh.

The sentencing of Gavin Coyle to 10 years in jail after he admitted having guns and explosives with intent to endanger life. It followed the discovery in 2011 of a major haul which included assault rifles and Semtex high explosives.
Link:http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/ne...-29966725.html
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Old 07-13-2014   #142
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Default Comforting terrorists, sorry partners in peacemaking

I thought the issue of the 'comfort letters' had been raised here, apparently not on a quick scan. The 'letters' were issued by the Northern Ireland government without public knowledge, after a secret agreement with PIRA / Sinn Fein:
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...almost 200 IRA terrorism suspects were told they were not wanted by police
Some may argue this was part of the "price for peace", the whole issue is to say the least murky and now Tony Blair comes into focus, as the British Prime Minister who agreed to them:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...s-say-MPs.html
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Old 09-01-2014   #143
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Default It was beginning and not an end.

Blimey it is twenty years since the PIRA ceasefire:
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Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of the IRA calling a "complete cessation of military operations".
It was the beginning, violence continued in Northern Ireland on the 'mainland' with the February 1996 Canary Wharf or London Docklands bombing.

Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-28948900

Note the cited documentary is only being shown in Northern Ireland and is not yet on BBC I-Player.
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Old 09-03-2014   #144
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Default Comforting terrorists, sorry partners in peacemaking

An update on this strange part of the peace process, the so called 'comfort letters' issued by the Northern Ireland government without public knowledge, after a secret agreement with PIRA / Sinn Fein.

Quote:
The Northern Ireland Secretary confirmed the Government was effectively annulling the assurances given to the so-called IRA “on-the-runs” that they no longer faced prosecution.

The Daily Telegraph disclosed on Wednesday that recipients of the letters, sent out in the years after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, are to be told they are not worth the paper they are written on and they will still be pursued by police.

Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...-annulled.html
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Old 09-22-2014   #145
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Default Still the "jam in the middle" - the police

A short reflective article on policing, on a website dedicated to security sector reform (SSR) which was found today:http://www.ssrresourcecentre.org/201...thern-ireland/

Quote:
Northern Ireland’s police reform is often held up as a model for other post-conflict countries. Indeed, the transformation of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has been mostly successful. Following the reforms, the PSNI emerged as more accountable, professional, and legitimate police service than its predecessor. However, despite the significant gains made in transforming the police, the events of the past continue to resurface.

(Ends) As Chief Constable Hamilton indicated, if the PSNI is to survive the current turmoil, something new needs to happen. In his view, unless politicians and civil society can resolve the past, policing will always remain susceptible to the political machinations of peace processing, no matter what reforms are developed. Lessons from the PSNI indicate that unless new ways are found to deal with past crimes, policing the present will also become more difficult.
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Old 10-11-2014   #146
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Default Who won the war?

Peter Taylor, a BBC journalist has made a hundred films on 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland and now his latest is available, which is a personal assessment of who really 'won the war', with "talking heads" and some grim reminders of what the 'troubles' meant.

I assume it is available beyond the UK, oddly - again - it was not shown on the 'mainland':http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04jy8hf

It is fascinating to contrast the views of those involved then and now, whether they are paramilitaries or politicians. Particularly poignant are the convicted murderers who now say it was not worth it.

There is a linked series of film clips on 'What turns a civilian into a paramilitary', which are not included in the main film:http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zghnn39#zqr44wx

As Peter observes rolves have been reversed for the Protestant, loyalist working class; now their flag waving, bands playing marches are stopped by the police - sometimes with violence.

This was a stand-alone thread and was merged to here.

Talking to terrorists is a political option, starting covertly and is the theme of a new book by Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair's assistant 'Talking to Terrorists: How to End Armed Conflicts'. I've only seen one review in The Spectator, entitled Dirty dealing; it is nevertheless even-handed:http://www.spectator.co.uk/books/9328482/dirty-dealing/
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-20-2014 at 10:00 PM. Reason: Merged and slightly amended
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