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Northern Ireland regional government in crisis

The North of Ireland after partition had an inbuilt pro-British unionist colonial population and through this inbuilt gerrymandered majority the Ulster Unionist Party ruled the North of Ireland from 1921 as a one-party state

Bobby-Storey-funeral

SaebPress – Belfast

By Fra Hughes

Fra Hughes, in Palestine.

The devolved regional assembly of Northern Ireland which sits at Stormont the building, previously housed the N Ireland government from 1922 to 1972 is in crisis.

The precipitation something as ordinary as a funeral  something that happens every day all over the world but this was no ordinary funeral 

This was the funeral of Bobby Storey a charismatic leader of the Irish Republican Army. An icon to generations of republicans and a man held in high esteem by colleagues and former comrades alike.

 Storey was also credited with overseeing the appropriation of  hundreds of classified secret police Special Branch files in March 2002 at their Headquarters in Castlereagh Police Station  .

A close personal friend to Gerry Adams former leader of Sinn Fein an ex-prisoner and the man many believe masterminded the escape of 38 republicans from Long Kesh maximum security prison camp known as HMP The Maze on September 25, 1983, One of Europes most secure prisons and designed specifically to prevent communication between  political prisoners 

On December 15, 2014, the Northern Bank Headquarters based on Donegal Square West Belfast had 26.5 million pounds stolen. Accusations that Storey and the IRA were involved in the raid have never been proven

The anecdotes involving Mr Storey are too numerous to mention and many will probably never be told  Known only to a few people who will probably carry them to their graves.

Mr Storey passed away shortly after having an unsuccessful lung transplant in Newcastle Upon Tyne  England 

He died on June 21 aged 64 and had served 20 years in prison on various charges connected to his membership and active participation in the IRA armed campaign for national liberation 

Michelle O Neill is the deputy party leader of Sinn Fein and serves as Joint First Minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly

Since Ireland was partitioned by the British in 1921  we have had two governments on the island of Ireland one North and one South of the border. 

The North of Ireland after partition had an inbuilt pro-British unionist colonial population and through this inbuilt gerrymandered majority the Ulster Unionist Party ruled the North of Ireland from 1921 as a one-party state

 A Protestant  Parliament and a Protestant State is a quote from Lord Craigavon in 1934.

The indigenous Catholic Irish absorbed into this new partitioned statelet were treated as second class citizens and viewed as an enemy by the new state.

After nearly 25 years of internal armed conflict in Northern Ireland from August 1969 to the IRA ceasefire June 1994, a new dispensation was then created and the people of Ireland North and Soth voted in favour of the Good Friday Agreement also known as the Belfast Agreement on April 10, 1998, and the IRA embraced politics as a method to obtain National Reunification over armed militant struggle and so the Peace Process was born

This was followed by a devolved government being elected and the IRA enter government at the old Parliamentary Building at Stormont.

The newly elected Assembly first sat on July 1 1998

Powers were re devolved to the Northern Assembly on December 2, 1999, having been suspended from 1972

This has been an uneasy marriage between two sets of political antagonists.

One one side the descendants of the colonial settlements of English and Scottish settlers who wish to maintain the link with the United Kingdom they are Unionists and then we have the indigenous Irish who wish to see the final removal of the British State occupation of Ireland with the national reunification of Ireland were all of the people of the island, unionist and nationalist republican and loyalist can decide on their future together without  British governmental interference.

The outworking of this experiment is a forced Mandatory coalition delivering  both political parties a veto on disputed legislation  

The assembly has collapsed twice before 

That last collapse was in January  2017 with the assembly only reforming after fresh elections on  January  11 2020.

The COVID 19 pandemic has led to restrictive enforcement of legislation around funerals.

It limited the number in attendance to 10 close family relatives and until recently the cemeteries and crematoria were closed to the public.

With the Death of Mr Storey, an impasse has been reached.

Prior to COVID 19, Mr Storey would have received a full semi-state like funeral from  his IRA comrades and the political Elite of Sinn Fein

Thousands would have attended from all over Ireland America Britain and Europe

His funeral would have been massive akin to the funerals of the IRA and INLA Hunger Strikers in 1981

However, the restrictive guidelines in place today because of COVID 19 allow for a maximum of 30 people to attend the funeral, socially distancing at between one and to metres.

At Mr Storey’s funeral, there were indeed 30 people walking behind the funeral cortege. There were also 120 in attendance at St Agnes requiem mass on the morning of the funeral

A guard of honour and the streets lined with  former IRA  comrades and Sinn Fein members from the church  to the cemetery 

Probably in excess of 1000-to 1800 people attended  perhaps more with the streets lined with mourners many of whom were from Belfast showing their respect for a fallen hero 

Now the Unionist members of the Assembly aided by some members of the Social Democratic Labour Party have called on the joint first minister Michelle ONeill deputy leader of Sinn Fein to stand aside from her position while Police carry out an investigation as to whether she and leading members of Sinn Fein, all elected members of both Parliaments on the island, are in breach of their own COVID 19 restrictions? 

Sinn Fein has consistently claimed the funeral met all statutory regulations as to the number of mourners and social distancing

 They claim they tried  to mitigate the size of the crowd in attendance 

To the other Assembly members, Sinn Fein are not above the law and must lead by example during a Pandemic and they have called for ONeill to resign

The Assembly is a combative pugilistic type arena and many outside see the calls for resignation as nothing more than political opportunism from unionists and optics for the gallery

Having fallen twice before, should the assembly collapse again it could be strike three and your out!

Interviews

Iran’s ‘logical path’ to saving JCPOA

Press TV talkes to Dr Saeb Shaath about his take on roadmap that leads the US to return to its commitment and lift the sanctions imposed on Iran.

Tehran has never severed ties with the IAEA

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Tehran is proposing a logical path to the US for its full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. Zarif said the United States should first return to the full compliance and then Iran will reciprocate after rapid verification of Washington’s compliance. Zarif also stressed that all sanctions imposed by Former President Donald Trump must be removed. This comes as Iran and the remaining signatories to the nuclear deal end another round of talks aimed at reviving the agreement. More negotiations are set to be held next Wednesday.

Press TV talkes to Dr Saeb Shaath about his take on roadmap that leads the US to return to its commitment and lift the sanctions imposed on Iran.

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Interviews

Thousands of political prisoners in Bahrain are facing deaths

Most of the prisoners were imprisoned as part ‎of a crackdown on a 2011 uprising… they are ‎detained in prisons that are known to be ‎overcrowded and lacking proper sanitation…its ‎done to break the spirt of the activists through ‎dehumanising and humiliation

Saeb Shaath Said “Thousands of political activists, political ‎dissidents, opposition figures, women and even ‎children in Bahraini prisons are facing deaths ‎
cleric …Sheikh Isa Qassim …has warned of that ‎and demanded their immediate release ,,,,,, he ‎called on the Al khalifa regime to choose between ‎the deaths of the dissident inmates and their ‎release…‎

Most of the prisoners were imprisoned as part ‎of a crackdown on a 2011 uprising… they are ‎detained in prisons that are known to be ‎overcrowded and lacking proper sanitation…its ‎done to break the spirt of the activists through ‎dehumanising and humiliation …‎”

Shaath explained

“That is to force them to stop demanding Al ‎Khalifah regime to allow reforms for ‎establishing of a just and fair system that ‎reflects and represents the people interests .‎
On April 6 2020, 21 International ‎human rights organisations among ‎them were Amnesty international and ‎human rights first
‎ called on the Bahraini regime to release ‎all political prisoners ….as the release of ‎‎1,486 prisoners on 17 March 2020 only ‎included 394 prisoners sentenced on ‎political charges….‎
‎While the western governments applause ‎Bahrain’s so called great amnesty .‎”
‎ Saeb Shaath noted that “Most political opponents, activists, ‎human rights defenders, and journalists ‎remain incarcerated.‎
‎ Among them are influential members of ‎Al Wefaq party such as former ‎secretary-general Hassan Mushaima, ‎and Sheikh Ali Salman, ‎
as well as human rights activists ‎Abdulhadi Al Khawaja and Nabeel ‎Rajab”.‎
‎ Shaath added ” the hypocrisy of the west shines by keeping ‎closed eyes over atrocities committed by the ‎Bahraini regime against the prisoners … All ‎are well aware that Bahrain carries out ‎the execution of political prisoners. ‎
Bahraini authorities habitually diluting ‎human rights abuses by sentencing or ‎executing prisoners during holidays or ‎on days of religious celebrations to ‎prevent any reaction from international ‎institutions or media.‎”

Shaath concluded by saying ” Its well documented that the actions of ‎the Bahraini regime violate ‎international law and Bahrain’s ‎international human rights obligations, ‎
including the UN Convention Against ‎Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or ‎Degrading Treatment or Punishment, ‎
the International Covenant on Civil and ‎Political Rights, the International ‎Covenant on Economic, Social, and ‎Cultural Rights along with the Arab ‎Charter of Human Rights “..‎

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Who is behind the assassination of Iranian Scientists?

“NYT summarizes the “chilling message” that “American officials” want to send to Iranian top nuclear scientists with today’s assassination: “If we can get him, we can get you, too.” Indistinguishable from Mafia talk.”

Benjamin-Netanyahu-stands-by-a-screen-with-a-purported-image-of-Iranian-scientist-Mohsen-Fakhrizadeh-during-a-news-conference-iApril-30-2018

SaebPress

US officials say Zionist entity “Israel” was behind the assassination: New York Times “One American official — along with two other intelligence officials — said that “Israel” was behind the attack on the scientist,” The New York Times reported on Friday.

Fakhrizadeh’s name was mentioned multiple times in a presentation in 2018 by Zionist entity “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during which he repeated baseless claims about the Iranian nuclear program. Netanyahu described the scientist as the director of Iran’s nuclear program and threatened, “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh.”

The Tel Aviv regime has made several attempts over the past years to throw a wrench in Tehran’s peaceful nuclear work. The regime has been behind the assassination of several Iranian nuclear scientists. It has also conduced cyberattacks on Iranian nuclear sites.

Dmitry Polyanskiy @Dpol_un “That’s a telling analysis from @nytimes reflecting readiness of US establishment to give green light to political extra territorial assasinations. Not a thing to boast for a democratic country! #Iran #Fakhrizadeh”.

“NYT summarizes the “chilling message” that “American officials” want to send to Iranian top nuclear scientists with today’s assassination: “If we can get him, we can get you, too.” Indistinguishable from Mafia talk.” @aaronjmate .

The senior Iranian defense official was assassinated near the capital Tehran in a terrorist attack. In a statement, the Defense ministry said the vehicle of the head of the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was targeted by terrorists.

The Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif said the act of cowardice shows the desperate warmongering of its perpetrators adding that there are serious indications of an Israeli role in the assassination. Zarif also urged the international community, especially the EU, to end QUOTE “their shameful double standards and condemn the Iranian defense official’s assassination.

Between 2010 and 2012, four other Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated. Tehran and western intelligence agencies have long put the blame on Zionist entity “Israel”, an accusation that was never rejected by officials of the Israeli regime.

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