TIMOR-LESTE: When do mother tongues divide?


Photo: Brendan Brady/IRIN
When can A-B-C’s spell conflict? A student in Manatutu District

DILI, 26 March 2012 (IRIN) – A proposal to sanction the use of indigenous languages in primary schools in polyglot Timor-Leste has divided members of government, civil society and educators, raising questions about how language can spur harmony – or discord – in the young nation.

The “mother-tongue” programme is spearheaded by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which has promoted similar programmes in other countries.  More

World Council of Churches (WCC) Statement On The Doctrine Of Discovery And Its Enduring Impact On Indigenous Peoples

WCC Executive Committee
14-17 February 2012
Bossey, Switzerland

1. Indigenous Peoples have the oldest living cultures in the world. Three hundred to five hundred million Indigenous Peoples today live in over 72 countries around the world, and they comprise at least 5,000 distinct peoples. The ways of life, identities, well-being and very existence of Indigenous People are threatened by the continuing effects of colonization and national policies, regulations and laws that attempt to force them to assimilate into the cultures of majoritarian societies. A fundamental historical basis and legal precedent for these policies and laws is the “Doctrine of Discovery”, the idea that Christians enjoy a moral and legal right based solely on their religious identity to invade and seize indigenous lands and to dominate Indigenous Peoples. More

%d bloggers like this: