Tag Archives: Judina

UN advisers denounce apparently deliberate attacks on Syrian civilians

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2 June 2011Two high-ranking United Nations officials today said they were “alarmed at the apparently systematic and deliberate attacks” on civilians in Syria, and called for an investigation into possible violations of international human rights law. Francis Deng, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and Edward Luck, the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, said in a joint statement that they were “gravely concerned at the increasing loss of life in Syria as a result of the continued violent suppression of anti-Government protests.”Media reports indicate that several hundred persons have been killed in Syria during recent anti-Government protests that are part of a broader uprising this year across North Africa and the Middle East.“We are particularly alarmed at the apparently systematic and deliberate attacks by police, military, and other security forces against unarmed civilians taking part in the last two months of protests. These attacks have reportedly resulted in many hundreds of deaths. “The deployment of armed forces and the use of live fire, tanks and artillery in response to peaceful protests, and the targeting of residential areas where protests have taken place, are unacceptable under any circumstances.”The statement said the attacks “appear primarily to have targeted the civilian population.”“This underscores the need for an independent, thorough, and objective investigation into all alleged violations of international human rights law,” Mr. Deng and Mr. Luck said. They also called for an investigation into the reported killing of members of the Government security forces.For her part, Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Secretary-General’s Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, issued a statement condemning the torture and killing of children across the region.“Children are being wounded and killed in military action and armed violence throughout the Middle East and North Africa,” Ms Coomaraswamy said.Specifically citing “the widely reported torture and execution of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khatib as well as the killing of a 10-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl in and around [the Syrian city of] Homs,” Ms. Coomaraswamy stressed that “the killing and maiming of children is a crime and is contrary to successive Security Council resolutions.” read more

Norfolk council holds off on Hastings decision

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Norfolk County council is taking a wait and see approach to the situation on Hastings Drive in Long Point.Property owner Mary Weber made a public deputation to council on Tuesday asking for those who own vacant lots on the 3.2 kilometre strip of land be able to park trailers and RVs on their properties.The land that sits on the shore of the Inner Bay was home to a number of cottages before a large storm in 1985 wrecked and damaged several structures. Fearing another weather event would endanger the structures and people in them, the Haldimand-Norfolk Region imposed a hazardous land designation.In recent years, an estimated 11 owners have parked trailers on their lots and left them for much of the summer season. Trailers are considered to be vehicles and were deemed a legal non-conforming use of the land.In the days following the Oct. 28 municipal election, 16 charges were handed to land owners, most for having trailers on their property which goes against a 2014 Norfolk by-law.There are 24 cottages in total on Hastings Dr., 75 lots are privately owned and 47 are owned by Norfolk County.“Please do the right thing here,” Weber urged council. “I’m not asking you to allow us to build three storey condos, dig up deep basements or put up street lights, I’m asking you to save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation costs and allow what has been allowed by this county since at least 1985. These recreational vehicles are as much of the colour of the landscape on Hastings Drive as the (24) cottages are. In fact, they are as much a part of the landscape on the rest of Long Point as those 800 cottages are.”A 2018 decision by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal – an agency that replaced the Ontario Municipal Board – said that all new development on Hastings is forbidden because the land is declared hazard land. The LPAT decision did not deal with the suggestion that camping trailers, RVs and the like count as a legal non-conforming use and thus should be allowed.Waterford Councillor Kim Huffman noted that some property owners purchased their land following 1985 knowing it was designated hazardous.“To me, that’s two different issues, that you had people that owned their property, had a structure on it, the structure was lost and then we have people who bought (land) after,” she said.Weber said she doesn’t think there’s a difference between the two.“People bought lots (after 1985) because they wanted to fish, they wanted to launch boats so there’s no difference between people who have a lot that has been in their family for generations, or people who just bought a lot ten years ago with the hope of spending the day on their property,” Weber said.“Respectively, there is a little bit of a difference,” Huffman replied.Stephen Corke of Brantford – whose family owns two lots – also spoke at Tuesday’s council meeting.“Our lot and many others are referred to as vacant lots,” he said. “We’ve never considered it a vacant lot, we never considered it abandoned. We feel we have uses established with it from 1940 on.”Long Point and area councillor Tom Masschaele said he finds the situation “troubling”.“We’re here today and some very good people who are residents of Norfolk County have actually had to come here to plead to council to have their rights as property owners listened to,” he said.Masschaele made a motion that Norfolk wait for a ruling in a civil action against Norfolk by Randy Mawhiney of St. Williams before proceeding on the issue. Mawhiney, who owns vacant lots on Hastings Drive, is challenging Norfolk’s current restrictions.Masschaele also suggested Norfolk withdraw from those proceedings.The motion was seconded by Simcoe councillor Ian Rabbitts and agreed upon unanimously.Weber applauded council for hearing the case of lot owners.“I think it’s moving forward because we have a council that is at least considering both sides of the story,” she said. “In my option, our old council was very much against anything on Hastings Drive. I look at this as a step forward, baby steps – it’s all going to be baby steps – but there were great questions, people wanted clarification and they’re willing to listen.”jrobinson@postmedia.com read more