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October 23
2001: IRA begins decommissioning weapons
[ 2006-10-23 08:34 ]

October 23
The IICD chief confirmed the move
2001: IRA begins decommissioning weapons

England have

The Northern Ireland peace process has reached an historic breakthrough as the IRA announced they had begun decommissioning their weapons.

In a statement the IRA said: "In order to save the peace process we have implemented the scheme agreed with the IICD [Independent International Commission on Decommissioning] in August 2001."

General John de Chastelain, head of the IICD confirmed the action.

"We have now witnessed an event which we regard as significant in which the IRA has put a quantity of arms completely beyond use. The material in question includes arms, ammunition and explosives" he said.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair praised the Sinn Fein leadership for the "boldness of this move."

"This is a peace process that despite it all is working. We are a very long way from finishing our journey but a very significant milestone has been passed" he added.

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern also welcomed the move, recognising that "taking this step has meant a lot to the leadership of the IRA and I fully acknowledge that this was not an easy decision for them."

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, who recommended the move, described the announcement as "a huge, liberating leap forward".

"At a time when there is internationalcalamityin the world, this shows that matters can be resolved through politics" he said.

The absence of decommissioning arms, a move pledged in the Good Friday Agreement, has been one of the main stumbling blocks in the peace process but this move looks set to renew the agreement.

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble said "there is now clear evidence of a commitment" and added that he was now ready to return to the power sharing executive with Sinn Fein. Despite the IRA statement and assurances from the IICD there are concerns that the IRA will retain enough weapons to be capable of causing massive damage. 

October 23
Tens of thousands of people are on the streets of Budapest

1956: Hungarians rise up against Soviet rule

Artificially 1969:

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Hungary to demand an end to Soviet rule.

There are believed to have been many casualties in a day which started as a peaceful rally, and ended with running battles between police and demonstrators in which shots are said to have been fired.

The demonstrators are demanding that the former Prime Minister, Imre Nagy, be returned to power.

Mr Nagy was dismissed last year for his liberal policies, but has since been rehabilitated and was re-admitted to the Hungarian Workers' Party this month.

Other demands include free elections, freedom of the press, and a withdrawal of Soviet troops.

The uprising began as a rally in central Budapest, to express solidarity with Polish demonstrators who have recently succeeded in getting their deposed liberal leader, Wladyslaw Gomulka, returned to power.

The gathering turned into a mass demonstration for a similar Hungarian "declaration of independence" from Moscow's control.

As more and more people joined the demonstration, the First Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party, Erno Ger? made an unscheduled radio announcement, describing as "lies and rumours" reports that Hungary wanted to loosen its ties with the Soviet Union.

Mr Ger?is known for his hardline views, and tensions in Hungary have been high since he was appointed in July.

Immediately after the broadcast, the crowd marched on the broadcasting station.

The gathering was peaceful at first, but the crowd became restless and tried to force their way in.

They were driven back by security forces with tear gas and responded by throwing stones at the windows. One group drove a heavy lorry at the front door in an attempt to break it open.

The incident marked the start of an escalation of violence.

A running battle began to clear the crowd away from the building, while clashes between demonstrators and armed police broke out elsewhere in the city.

When the crowds refused todispersedespite police opening fire on them, Mr Ger?ordered Soviet tanks onto the streets.

The demonstrators, however, are showing no signs of giving up their protest, which is continuing into the night.


calamity: a state or time of distress or misfortune; misery(灾难)

disperse :to separate; to go or move into different parts(分散)

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