If you were wondering where the Northern Ireland Executive’s junior Minister, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly, was [you were? – Ed] wonder no more. According to the Irish News he’s flown to Manilla with sometime speech-writer for Gerry Adams, and former Downing Street chief-of-staff, Jonathan Powell, on behalf of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. But one hopes for the sake of the people of the Philippines.. From the Irish News report
David Gorman of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD), which is organising the talks, said the opposing Philippine factions hoped to learn from Northern Irelands example. The purpose of the visit is to help the government and the MILF overcome current obstacles to resurrecting the peace process through exchanging ideas with the negotiators from the very challenging yet ultimately successful talks on Northern Ireland, he said.
We couldnt have been more fortunate than to have Jonathan and Gerry come out here especially at this time. These two belligerents, counterparts and finally friends were the key figures in bringing success to one of the most intractable and long-standing conflicts we have seen.