Meditation Focus #4: ELECTIONS IN PERU: THE QUESTION OF POSTPONEMENT + HASTY WITHDRAWAL OF ISRAEL FROM LEBANON: PEACE BREAKTHROUGH?... (Web posted on May 26, for the week beginning Sunday, June 28)

Hello,

What follows is the fourth Meditation Focus suggested by the Global Meditation Focus Group:

1. Summary
2. Focus Group Recommendations
3. About the Focus Group
4. More information on the 2 topics

1. Summary

i) ELECTIONS IN PERU: THE QUESTION OF POSTPONEMENT

On Sunday, May 28, a final round of voting is scheduled in Peru's presidential election. Bolstered by independent watchdog organizations' reports that it would be impossible to prevent massive fraud under the current system, opposition candidate Alejandro Toledo announced that he was boycotting Sunday's vote to force a postponement. But incumbent Alberto Fujimori refuses to respond to the concerns and wants the vote to take place anyway. If this occurs "his country will face international isolation, possibly accompanied by internal violence or a military coup", according to the Washington Post.

Please hold in your heart and mind a vision of peaceful resolution of this situation with justice and social harmony prevailing in this part of the world.

ii) THE WITHDRAWAL OF ISRAEL FROM LEBANON: A PEACE BREAKTHROUGH?

An uncertain peace is prevailing after Israel ended last week two decades of military occupation in southern Lebanon. Amidst warnings by Israel of massive retaliation against Syrian strategic targets if the militant Islamic Hezbollah guerilla fighters continue their attacks on border villages in Israel, there has been renewed violence in the West Bank and Gaza territories over the slow pace of negotiations to create a Palestinian state.

Please hold in your heart and mind a vision of peaceful coexistence between all nations in the Middle East and the development of harmonious relations between all people.

(Please see below for more details on those 2 topics.)




2. Focus Group Recommendations

The Focus Group suggests that we focus our meditations and prayers on these 2 situations for the week beginning Sunday June 28. 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.

Please note that we provide more information below, mostly from newsmedia sources, so as to enable you to have enough relevant details to better assess the nature of the situation(s) selected for this Meditation Focus. But we would like to encourage you to not let these descriptions tinge the positive visions you want to hold so at to foster peace and healing. Since what we focus on grows, the more your thougthforms and vizualizations will be focussed on the visions of peace and healing which Spirit may inspire you to have during your moments of meditation, the more you will be of assistance towards manifesting such visions.


Please make sure also to note the following:

Daily Meditation

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.

Sunday Global Meditation

People may also join with all others to meditate simultaneously every Sunday - please see below to find your correct local time or check the World Clock at www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/full.htmla> if you cannot find your own corresponding local time below - or simply take about 30 minutes beginning at noon local time to meditate and pray on the suggested foci for this week.

These times below are currently corresponding to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:
Honolulu 06:00 -- Los Angeles 09:00 -- Denver & San Salvador 10:00 -- Mexico City, Houston & Chicago 11:00 -- New York, Toronto, Montreal, Asuncion & Santiago 12:00 -- Rio de Janeiro & Montevideo 13:00 -- Reykjavik & Casablanca 16:00 -- London, Algiers & Lagos 17:00 -- Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Paris & Madrid 18:00 -- Athens, Helsinki, Jerusalem, Nairobi & Istanbul 19:00 -- Moscow & Baghdad 20:00 -- Tehran 20:30 -- Islamabad 21:00 -- Calcutta & New Delhi 21:30 -- Dhaka 22:00 -- Rangoon 22:30 -- Hanoi, Bangkok, Johannesburg & Jakarta 23:00 -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur 00:00+ -- Seoul & Tokyo 01:00+ -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne 02:00+ -- Wellington 04:00+

(+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time)

Earth Healing Focus

Please dedicate the last few minutes of your Sunday meditation to the healing of the Earth as a whole. See the Earth as healthy and vibrant with life, and experience the healing of all relations as we awaken globally to the sacredness of all Life and to our underlying unity with All That Is.




3. About the Focus Group

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 international website at
http://www.aei.ca/~cep/focusgroup.htm 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 will 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 francaise. Para recibir cada semana la version en castellano de cada Meditacion Focal, suscribase gratuitamente en http://www.elistas.net/alertas/alta (1 mensaje semanal solo con las meditaciones propuestas por el Groupo Focal y otras alertas globales eventuales) o simplemente envie un mensaje en blanco a alertas-alta@elistas.net

And as usual your assistance is welcome to help circulate this Meditation Focus on and off the Internet to anyone who might be interested.




4. More information on the 2 topics

i) ELECTIONS IN PERU: THE QUESTION OF POSTPONEMENT


FROM: http://sg.dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/world/afp/article.html?s=singapore/headlines/000527/world/afp/Further_crisis_likely_as_Peru_s_Fujimori_heads_for_certain_re-election.html

Further crisis likely as Peru's Fujimori heads for certain re-election

LIMA, May 26 (AFP) -

As political crisis deepened, Peruvians waited tensely for Sunday's polls that were certain to give President Alberto Fujimori a weak third term in office, in a process that has drawn international criticism.

The United States Friday reiterated calls to postpone the run-off presidential election, and international electoral observers canceled their missions saying the Sunday vote would not be free and fair.

With opposition leader Alejandro Toledo leading a boycott of the vote, Fujimori -- who in any case held a lead in opinion polls -- was certain to win the third consecutive term he says is needed to continue his program of economic reforms.

Toledo and international observers asked for a postponement of the election to allow time to correct a series of grave irregularities, but electoral authorities Thursday rejected the request.

France and the United States Friday expressed concern over the situation, and a White House spokesman said Peru should postpone the vote in order to organize a more credible election monitoring process.

With millions of voters likely to boycott the Sunday balloting, analysts have warned that Fujimori was certain to head a government with a weak mandate that lacks international legitimacy.

Many experts also agreed with Toledo that this could plunge Peru deeper into political crisis.

Javier Valle Riestra, a legal expert who spent two months as prime minister under Fujimori in 1998, warned that one possible scenario would be that "social concern turns into an apocalyptic crisis."

Peru's leading business papers also expressed concern the current political situation would deteriorate further.

"The grave political crisis that is affecting the country will not be solved by Sunday's elections; indications are that a new phase of confrontation is starting both at the external and internal levels," the newspaper Gestion said in an editorial.

The daily El Comercio concurred, saying that "President Fujimori has opted for a future of confrontation ... the country's social and political crisis has worsened."

Fujimori denied his Peru 2000 campaign committed any fraud. "One has to differentiate between normal irregularities that occur in any electoral process and the concept of fraud," he told a Spanish television channel.

The incumbent president kept a low profile and canceled an electoral meeting he had planned to hold in Lima on Thursday night.

Toledo, on the other hand, reacted angrily to Thursday's decision by the electoral authorities. "Mr President, this is enough, damn it," he yelled, to tumultuous cheers from some 10,000 supporters gathered at a Lima square late Thursday.

The opposition leader reiterated his call on supporters to either vote with their feet or spoil their ballots by writing "no to fraud" across them.

A US-educated economist who prides himself on his humble origins, Toledo, 54, has enjoyed a meteoric rise in support, from seven percent at the beginning of the year to 40 percent in the first round of voting on April 9, when Fujimori fell just short of 50 percent.

Toledo has never held public office but had already run for the presidency in 1995, when he ended fourth, far behind Fujimori, who won re-election by a landslide.

Fujimori, 61, the son of Japanese immigrants, has drawn domestic support and international praise for his economic reforms and anti-terrorist policies.

However Fujimori has also faced fierce criticism for his bleak human rights record and what critics say is an authoritarian style of government.


- FROM: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59341-2000May23.html
Editorial: Peru at the Brink (May 24, 2000)

THE POLITICAL impasse in Peru has reached a critical stage. Presidential elections on April 9 were marred by accusations that President Alberto Fujimori, running for an unprecedented third term, had perpetrated fraud. Mr. Fujimori, confronted by the United States, the Organization of American States (OAS) and leading Peruvian civic groups, consented to a runoff against his leading challenger, former World Bank consultant Alejandro Toledo. The election is set for Sunday. (MORE...)


- FROM: http://www.wola.org/perudeconstructingdemo.html
Deconstructing Democracy: Peru Under Alberto Fujimori - Executive Summary

The Peru inherited by President Alberto Fujimori was far from democratic. The violence unleashed by Sendero Luminoso had ravaged the country. Despite twelve years of uninterrupted civilian rule, democracy had hardly taken root in Peru and emergency measures to counter guerrilla violence restricted many civil liberties and freedoms. The 1979 constitution delegated excessive powers to the executive branch and failed to establish effective mechanisms for transparency and accountability, and few would defend the poor track record of the Peruvian Congress or judiciary prior to 1992. There is no doubt that when President Fujimori took office, the country was in a state of economic, social and political chaos. The April 1992 autogolpe, or presidential coup, did lead to the re-establishment of a sense of order and security. Unfortunately, however, President Fujimori has failed to deliver on his initial promise to reconstruct democracy anew. On the contrary, the past decade in Peru has witnessed the steady dismantling of the basic institutional structures of democratic governance.

The widespread international condemnation of anti-democratic practices in Peru following the 1992 autogolpe largely ceased after the 1995 presidential elections, which President Fujimori won handily. As the internal war subsided following the capture of Sendero leader Abimael Guzmán in September 1992, the egregious human rights violations that characterized the first years of the Fujimori government slowed to a trickle. Fujimori supporters claimed that Peru had re-entered the democratic fold. Yet almost immediately after entering into its second term, the Fujimori government initiated a series of undemocratic measures, many of which violate the very constitution it crafted. The fundamental institutional guarantees needed to ensure respect for and protection of human rights and democratic practices are more distant than ever. The immediate human rights crisis came to an end, but in its wake came the crisis of democracy that dominates political life in Peru today. (MORE...)

FOR MANY MORE ARTICLES ON THE SITUATION IN PERU GO AT http://fullcoverage.yahoo.com/Full_Coverage/World/Peru




ii) HASTY WITHDRAWAL OF ISRAEL FROM LEBANON: PEACE BREAKTHROUGH?

From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_765000/765005.stm

Friday, 26 May, -- Peace advances in Lebanon

UN is providing security until Lebanon takes over United Nations peacekeepers equipped with armoured cars have begun patrolling the former Israeli-controlled zone in southern Lebanon.

At the same time, Lebanon has sent about 600 armed police officers into local towns and villages to increase security.

The UN deployment follows pledges by the Syrian and Lebanese governments to respect its decisions.

There has also been a statement from the militant Hezbollah organisation that its fighters will soon pull out of southern Lebanon.

"Within a few days, I believe the Lebanese internal security forces will enter the various areas and, in this case, there will be no reason for the presence of Hezbollah gunmen or any others," Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Na'im Qasim told Qatari Al-Jazeera satellite TV on Friday.
(MORE...)

- From: http://www.smh.com.au/news/0005/25/world/world01.html

Israel's parting shot at Syria

Israeli soldiers unload their weapons after leaving South Lebanon.

By ROSS DUNN at Fatima Gate, Israel-Lebanon border

Israel yesterday dramatically ended two decades of military occupation in southern Lebanon with strong warnings that it will strike at Syrian military targets if cross-border attacks continue against the Jewish State.

In a letter to the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan, the Israeli Prime Minister, Mr Ehud Barak, accused Syria of attempting to sabotage the withdrawal of troops from Lebanon.

He said Syria, which is Lebanon's main powerbroker, was cynically helping dissident Palestinian groups in the country to launch terrorist attacks on Israel.

Syria had also given the militant Islamic Hezbollah guerilla fighters a free hand to set up a terrorist network in southern Lebanon.

Mr Barak's warning was matched by the head of the Israeli Army, Lieutenant-General Shaul Mofaz, who said that if there was an increase in violence after the withdrawal he would call for attacks against Syrian strategic targets.

``Syria is responsible for the situation which has arisen in Lebanon,'' he said. ``This has to be said clearly there is no immunity for any force.

``We are preparing answers for a large variety of possibilities against all power wielders in Lebanon and I will recommend that we attack all powers if they open fire, including Syrian targets and interests in Lebanon.''

His declaration came as thousands of Lebanese supporters of Israel streamed through military checkpoints along the border, seeking refuge from the Hezbollah.

The scenes echoed Kosovo and other refugee tragedies as the homeless packed onto buses with their belongings before being driven to an uncertain future.

Despite the appearance of turmoil as the thousands of former South Lebanon Army (SLA) soldiers and their families streamed into Israel, Mr Barak could at least claim that no Israelis had been wounded or killed in the withdrawal.

He said the pullback had ``cut the vicious cycle of the tragedy in Lebanon for Israel''.

However, Mr Barak was accused by some commentators of having forced a humiliating defeat on Israel as the Hezbollah and their supporters jubilantly reclaimed what had been a buffer zone for Israel.

In one dramatic scene, the Hezbollah stormed and took control of a prison where it was claimed the SLA had tortured Lebanese prisoners for years.

The scenes of joy contrasted with the lines of panic-stricken former SLA soldiers and their families trying to get into Israel before the Hezbollah arrived.

Residents in towns along Israel's northern border have been kept in bomb shelters at night to protect them from possible rocket attacks.

In Beirut, the Hezbollah secretary-general, Mr Hassan Nasrallah, warned the border residents to stay in their shelters, saying his guerillas had not finished their fight against Israel.

But he conceded that the Lebanese Government would now be responsible for security in southern Lebanon.


- From http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000524/pl/lebanon_albright_1.html

May 24 - U.S. Says Syria Has 'Special Responsibility'


- From: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000523/wl/lebanon_israel_chronology_1.html

Lebanon-Israel-Chronology -- 15 Key events that shaped the history of this conflict, leading up to Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon


- From: http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/lebanon/

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH Report, May 2000 - Lebanon Pullout: The Human Rights Dimensions Israel's unilateral military withdrawal from occupied south Lebanon -- code-named "Operation Morning Twilight" -- is now underway. The human rights dimensions have been largely missing from debates about the anticipated withdrawal.

Many parties to this conflict have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law. Where evidence exists of such violations, including grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, or war crimes, legal proceedings should be initiated in domestic courts or in the courts of other countries, and the individuals found responsible should be brought to justice. (MORE...)

AND FOR MANY MORE RELATED ARTICLES, GO AT: http://fullcoverage.yahoo.com/fc/World/Israel___Lebanon_Conflict/







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