Monday, 6 October 2008

Video of Cyprus Debate at Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly

I was particularly honoured to read the comment by repulsewarrior, given his long-standing commitment to peace and reconciliation on Cyprus, on one of the last entries on my blog and I thank him for choosing to also provide those writings with the air of publicity on this forum at Talk Cyprus. Thanks also to stavrizatz for having taken the time to look at my pages, and for his comments at the Talk Cyprus thread.

Having been a member of this forum, as well as of the cyprusforum for some years, I must admit to have looked-in at both locations on a very occasional basis, but to have chosen to remain a read-only observer of the many topics and discussions contained within both fora.

I did not unfortunately have a camera on the occasion when Lord Hannay addressed a specially convened meeting of the Association for Cypriot Greek and Turkish Affairs at the London School of Economics (I think it was way back in 2002, at the start of the then-new interest by him as UK Special Representative for Cyprus) where he urged increased activism on the part of Turkish Cypriots in favour of rapprochement efforts, and during which I suggested the creation of internet-borne channels of communication in efforts to produce improved communication between the two communities.

By way of introduction I should therefore say that I am a Kyrenian whose family left during the invasion in 1974 (though I was in England studying at that time, rather than in Cyprus)... whose family has always been involved in 'the media' ... I found myself by the mid-80's, after the immediate disruption to family life from the invasion had been somewhat 'sorted out' ... becoming angry at the lack of any progress towards a solution ... and thus became a voluntary 'community activist' via London's Cypriot Community Centre at Theatro Technis as one of few apparent avenues of 'doing something about it'.

My own methodology and 'tool of analysis' has been the use of 'video recordings' of events associated with London-based efforts to engender rapprochement (at a time when that was impossible in Cyprus) ... on the premise that what every speaker at various events had to say was important and should be recorded out of respect for the views of people who were being bold enough to speak in favour of rapprochement, and in order to enable such views to 'not be lost'.

I therefore have a considerable archive of such recordings, made over quite a few years, which coincided with the advent of the "Women Walk Home" movement, and I have the only recording of President Vasiliou's "Love offensive" speech in London ... and of many meetings in the few years immediately following... some of which are in process of being released onto Video On Demand facilities on the web.

All this is mentioned in order to say that although I have not written much on this (or other fora), I am a person who has carefully listened, and re-listened to very many views being expressed, verbally (in a culture that better expresses itself verbally, than in writing) and in writings from the entire spectrum of the politics of Cyprus ... from academics, politicians, journalists and laymen ... and somewhat like repulsewarrior has done with the many posts he has made within this thread, I have spent hours and hours collecting and archiving many of the newspaper articles, but also much of what I could record of the output by CyBC from about 2002 onwards ... with lapses during periods when things just went quiet. or when I just missed things.

My reasoning in doing so was my own effort to learn about something which is a major part of my identity as a Cypriot, but also to try to understand what has been going on, from as many perspectives as possible.

A supplementary reason was my own perception of a need to look at the totality in order to then try to step aside objectively, as any good social scientist should be able to do, to look at that totality of information in order to TRY to see what is missing ... in order to see what that 'something' is, which if introduced into the situation, could perhaps be a key factor, and which if properly handled by all involved (much though that is a tall order) might make a difference and help contribute to a breakthrough, and contribute that certain something which the French would call 'je ne se qua' ... that is what motivates me.

It is perhaps therefore an appropriate time for me now to make a first contribution to this forum by stating that in the recording I made (and placed on the web at Google video) of the debate about Cyprus at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on October 1st .... (and which video to my knowledge is not publicly available elsewhere) ... are contained some pivotal arguments which I believe Cyprus has needed for some time to be expressed by informed 'outsiders'.

Lets see how the 'how it is handled' from here progresses into the future.

There is also the video of the speech by Cyprus Presient Cristofias:

Translation into English of the main speech spoken in Greek:

And the resolution adopted by the Council of Europe:

Verbatim text of proceeidngs on 30th September, with the section including the section of Presient Christofias' session, at the very end of the morning session:

Verbatim text of the proceedings on 1st October (in English) . Speech by Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, of the Report by the Rapporteur on Cyprus, and comments by the legal committee, and all other speeches:

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