Subject: Meditation Focus # 2 (Web posted on May 12, 2000)


Hello,

What follows is the second Meditation Focus suggested by the Focus Group. Since there are many important issues to consider this week, we would like to recommend 4 topics to your attention:

1) THE PEACE BREAKTHROUGH IN NORTHERN IRELAND

The renewed hopes of a breakthrough in the peace process in Northern Ireland with the new method proposed by Sinn Fein leader Jerry Adams to disarm the IRA and the accelerated demilitarization of the area as now planned by the British armed forces. Please hold in your heart and mind the vision of what needs to occur for a peaceful and lasting resolution to be found for all, and in so far as it furthers the highest good of all, may this vision include the swift acceptance of this proposal by everyone concerned.

(Please see below for more details on each of these topics)

2) PEACE TALKS FOR THE CREATION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE NOW INTO A CRUCIAL STAGE

There are similar hopes for the permanent establishment of a Palestinian state in the current complex peace negociations now underway between the Israel government and the Palestinian authorities. Please hold in your heart and mind the vision of a successful conclusion of these negociations and the creation of permanent peace in the Middle East.

3) CRISIS IN SIERRA LEONE

The break up of the Lome peace accord in Sierra Leone between the U.N peacekeeping forces and rebel leader Foday Sankoh's forces -- with 500 UN peacekeepers taken hostage and the emergency evacuation of foreigners -- has led to fears of renewed widespread violence in this impoverished country. Please hold in your heart and mind the vision of a sustained commitment of all people concerned to create true lasting peace in Sierra Leone and the complete healing of this nation.

4) THE WAR IN SRI LANKA

The renewed fightings in Sri Lanka by the Tamil Tigers against the government forces in their 16-year struggle to create a separate state is now threatening to engulf 400,000 people in the Jaffna peninsula. Please hold in your heart and mind the vision of a permanent ceasefire and the opening of true negociations to definitely resolve this long war with justice and dignity for all the people involved.

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The Focus Group suggests that we all focalize our meditations and prayers on these 4 situations in immediate need of assistance for the week beginning next Sunday May 14. Please hold and empower the vision, as guided by Spirit during your meditation, of what needs to occur for a peaceful and lasting resolution to be found for all, in so far as it furthers the highest good of all for each of the abovementioned focus.

We also invite anyone interested to review a special complementary document entitled "Suggestions for Enhancing the Effectiveness of our Healing Focus in Meditation" that has been prepared to assist meditating people in better addressing the issue of effective focalization. It is available on the new Focus Group Webpage at http://refcities.com/focusgroup/

The Focus Group also has the following 2 complementary recommendations to make:

People may take a few moments at the top of any hour, once a day, to join with all those meditating on the suggested weekly focus at the top of that same corresponding hour in other time zones around the world. They may also choose to meditate or pray every day at any moment that best suits them, knowing that their added positive vibrations will complement the positive vibrations emitted by other people on that same day.


People may also join with all others to meditate simultaneously every Sunday, beginning at 5 pm Universal Time which is 9 am Pacific Standard Time (Los Angeles), noon Eastern Standard Time (New York), 6 pm Central European Time (Paris), -- please see the World Clock at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/full.html to find out your own corresponding local time -- or simply take about 30 minutes beginning at noon local time to meditate and pray on the suggested focus (or foci) for this week.


The Focus Group members wish to acknowledge that we do not claim to have presented here a complete view of all the aspects of the issues under consideration. Our basic aim is to work impartially for the highest good of all, with the guidance of Spirit. We encourage everyone participating in this global healing work to similarly strive to become neutral channels so as to help step down the powerful Divine vibrations of Love, Peace and Unity to a level at which they can be of assistance to alleviate the suffering of people and instill the goodwill necessary to resolve peacefully any conflictual situation involved with this week's Meditation Focus.

If you are not familiar with how the Focus Group was created, how each focus is being selected, who is part of the Focus Group and so on, we recommend you visit our new international website at http://refcities.com/focusgroup/ where our information is also available in French and Spanish.


If this material has been forwarded to you and you want to make sure you'll always receive each new Meditation Focus, please subscribe to our automatic listserver by sending a blank email at focus-group-subscribe@egroups.com for the English version, and at groupe-focalisateur-subscribe@egroups.com pour la version française. To receive the Spanish version of each new Meditation Focus, subscribe to http://www.elistas.net/foro/alerta (1 mensaje semanal solo con las meditaciones propuestas por el Groupo Focal y otras alertas globales eventuales) or ask it from Ricardo Ocampo at anahuak@webtelmex.net.mx.




YOU FILL FIND BELOW MUCH MORE DETAILS FOR EACH TOPIC CONSIDERED ABOVE:

1) THE PEACE BREAKTHROUGH IN NORTHERN IRELAND

THERE IS A COMPLETE COMPILATION OF THE MOST RECENT NEWS AND LOTS OF EARLIER STORIES ON THE PEACE PROCESS IN NORTHERN IRELAND AT http://uk.fc.yahoo.com/i/irishquestion.html

Tuesday May 9, - Clinton: Offer Heralds Breakthrough - President Clinton says he believes the IRA's offer to put its arms beyond use heralds a breakthrough in the Northern Ireland peace process. Mr Clinton spoke to Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams by phone yesterday and praised the IRA for "reaching out" to Unionists. He said: "This is a very good day. The unionists still have to finally accept it but this idea of stowing the weapons and having the storage sites monitored I think is a way for both of them to achieve their previously stated aims."

AND FOR A COMPLETE REVIEW OF THIS SUBJECT AND A THOROUGH HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE, GO AT http://www.ireland.com/special/peace/ -- Path to Peace - History of Northern Ireland peace process


2) PEACE TALKS FOR THE CREATION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE NOW INTO A CRUCIAL STAGE

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000503/ts/mideast_talks_11.html Wednesday May 3 - Ross Says PLO-Israel Peace Entering Crucial Period - EILAT, Israel (Reuters) - U.S. special envoy Dennis Ross said Wednesday Israel and the Palestinians intended to make a major effort in the next two months to reach a framework accord leading to a final peace deal. Ross, whose participation in peace talks under way in southern Israel signaled a boosted U.S. effort to clinch an agreement, said the two sides had reached a ``new and intensive phase'' in their negotiations. ``It's a difficult process but there is also a very serious effort being made and the intentions on each side I think are very clear and I would say genuine, and the purpose is to reach agreement,'' Ross told reporters. CLIP

Since September, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have been wrestling with thorny "final-status" issues such as the fate of Jerusalem, Jewish settlements, refugees and borders. Palestinian officials said the negotiators had started to draft the outline of a deal but differed over just how comprehensive it should be. They said Israel preferred to reach an agreement that would delay the resolution of the most difficult issues, such as Jerusalem. Palestinians insist on an accord that would include all the issues under discussion and lay out the mechanisms for implementation, the officials added.


http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/05/01/israel.palestinians/ Tensions remain as Israeli-Palestinian talks complete second day - May 1, 2000 EILAT, Israel -- Israeli and Palestinian negotiators take a break from formal talks. Tuesday after two days of frustrating sessions as they seek a framework for a comprehensive peace agreement. U.S. envoy Dennis Ross is scheduled to join informal sessions Tuesday as negotiators reported little progress on any of the key issues remaining. In particular, sharp disagreements remain over the scope of the third and final interim Israeli redeployment from the West Bank. CLIP The talks, in the Red Sea resort of Eilat, are aimed at finalizing the framework of agreement between the two sides ahead of a mid-May deadline, but both sides have said it will be difficult to stick to that timetable. The target date for a final peace agreement is September 13 but difficult issues such as refugees, the future of Jerusalem, Jewish settlements and borders remain to be resolved. But Israel's chief negotiator Oded Eran predicted that he expected the talks would still result in an agreement. "The Palestinian state will be the outcome of negotiations," he said, in a comment that seemed to go further than his government's public position. But a cabinet minister close to Barak, Haim Ramon, said that it was understood that Palestinian statehood was no longer in question. "To be frank, de facto a Palestinian state exists," Ramon said. "Now we are negotiating mostly what will be the limitations of the Palestinian state as an outcome of the negotiations," he added.

RELATED STORIES:

http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/05/05/israel5_5.a.tm/ Israel finds that leaving Lebanon isn't easy http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/05/05/israel.lebanon.03/ Israel decides not to retaliate for new rocket attacks - May 5, 2000 http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/05/04/israel.lebanon.04/index.html Israeli warplanes bomb two Lebanese power stations - May 4, 2000 http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/03/09/mideast.talks.03/ Egyptian leader sees hope for Israeli-Palestinian peace - March 9, 2000 http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/03/08/mideast.talks.03/ Israelis, Palestinians break deadlock on Mideast peace talks - March 8, 2000


3) CRISIS IN SIERRA LEONE

This situation is evolving quickly. Please refer to the latest news report for the current status.

http://www.time.com/time/daily/0,2960,44717-101000509,00.html World Faces a Brutal Choice in Sierra Leone - The failure of a U.N. peacekeeping mission leaves a wounded country at the mercy of thugs. But stopping them requires a massive commitment.

http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/africa/05/09/sierra.leone.06/index.html May 10, 2000 - West African leaders consider new commitment of troops to Sierra Leone - A summit of West African leaders broke up late Tuesday with an agreement to consider a new commitment of troops to troubled Sierra Leone. "Heads of state expressed their determination to use all means at their disposal, including the military option, to foil any attempt to take over power through the use of force," a communique issued after the meeting said. The leaders, meeting in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, strongly condemned the Revolutionary United Front rebels for taking hundreds of U.N. peacekeepers hostage. Still unclear is the fate of about 500 U.N. peacekeepers, composed mostly of Zambians, who are thought to have been taken hostage by rebel leader Foday Sankoh's forces. The United Nations has lost contact with two large groups of peacekeepers, one of which disappeared Saturday.

SEE also CNN IN-DEPTH SPECIAL http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2000/cryfreetown/related.sites/index.html

AND http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/africa/05/09/bc.leone.snapshot.reut/index.html Sierra Leone: poverty, civil war and diamonds - May 9, 2000 - FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (Reuters) -- Sierra Leone, in crisis again as rebels hold U.N. peacekeepers and Britain airlifts out evacuees, is one of the poorest countries on earth despite having yielded some of the finest diamonds ever mined. Following are some key facts about the former British colony, which grew out of a settlement founded for freed slaves two centuries ago. CLIP • Population: 4.58 million (1998 estimate) • Life expectancy at 37 is among the lowest in the world • Annual per capital income: $200 (U.N. 1997)

MUCH MUCH MORE AT http://fullcoverage.yahoo.com/Full_Coverage/World/Sierra_Leone/

4) THE WAR IN SRI LANKA

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/aponline/20000508/aponline070621_000.htm Rebels Offer Sri Lanka Cease-Fire - Associated Press - May 8, 2000 - NEW DELHI, India –– Tamil Tiger rebels proposed a temporary cease-fire today to allow the evacuation of 40,000 government troops from the northern city of Jaffna. The safe passage offer amounted to a call for the surrender of the city of 500,000 "to prevent the further escalation of violence and a bloodbath." CLIP The rebels, who were in retreat for years after the Jaffna peninsula fell to the army in 1996, turned the tide of the war with an offensive last November that reclaimed hundreds of square miles in the northern jungles. They scored another important victory last month when they seized Elephant Pass, forcing 10,000 Sri Lankan troops to withdraw. The rebels are demanding an independent country for the Tamil minority because they say the majority Sinhalese discriminate against them. The government has denied the charge.

http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters05-07-225735.asp?reg=ASIA Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers a sophisticated force - REUTERS - LONDON, May 8 — Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels, mounting a major thrust to recapture the northern Jaffna peninsula, have grown from a small band of barefoot fighters into one of the world's most sophisticated guerrilla groups. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are a formidable fighting machine. CLIP The guerrillas, fighting for independence for minority Tamils in this mainly Sinhalese Indian Ocean island's north and east, have a fearsome reputation for kamikaze attacks. Kumaratunga has been offering extensive autonomy to Tamils under a peace plan to settle the 16-year war in which more than 60,000 people have died, but the Tigers have shunned the offer.

http://www.timesofindia.com/090500/09home1.htm Lanka rejects Tigers' offer of safe passage for troops - COLOMBO: CLIP The Tamil population of the country is unhappy at the government's refusal to accept the LTTE 's olive branch. ``The need of the hour is to talk, grab a chance whenever it comes. CLIP The majority of the population is sick of the war and would happily opt for peace.

http://sg.dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/asia/article.html?s=singapore/headlines/000509/asia/afp/Sri_Lanka_vows_to_defend_Jaffna_to_the_last_man.html Sri Lanka vows to defend Jaffna to the last man - COLOMBO, May 9 (AFP) - Sri Lanka vowed Tuesday to "fight to the last man" in defence of the northern town of Jaffna after rejecting a truce offered by Tamil rebels to allow the army to vacate the strategic region. The government has rejected the conditional ceasefire offered by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and vowed to crush the rebels.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=000111296545838&rtmo=wA0snsobatmo=wA0snsob&pg=/et/00/5/9/wsri09.html -- Jaffna battle looms after government rejects ceasefire -- TAMIL Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka were expected last night to launch a decisive battle for the northern Jaffna peninsula. CLIP The rejection of the ceasefire could lead to an even more devastating defeat on the battlefield with the loss of hundreds, if not thousands, of lives.

MUCH MUCH MORE AT http://www.lankapage.com/ AND AT http://www.lankapage.com/indexold.shtml

FOR AN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON THIS VERY VERY LONG CONFLICT: http://www.lacnet.org/srilanka/issues/kumari.html ETHNIC CONFLICT IN SRI LANKA AND REGIONAL SECURITY (Date: Oct 1987)




FINAL NOTE: In case the Focus Group is unable for some reason to issue another Meditation Focus next week, the same one as this week will continue to apply. It is also possible in the future that we will revisit previously selected Meditation Foci if the need arises, according to circumstances, to refocus our attention and healing energies to assist in imminent peace breakthroughs or rejuvenate a more positive momentum towards peace and the alleviation of suffering.

And in case an urgent situation arises somewhere in the world for which no Meditation Focus has been issued yet, we suggest that we each take the initiative to unite daily at 12 noon local time in spiritual activity until such a situation is resolved.







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