FAIR
Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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15/12/04
Victims Network Supports the Stance of FAIR

The umbrella organisation for over 14 victims groups in Northern Ireland has endorsed the stance of FAIR concerning the Government's dealings with innocent victims in Northern Ireland. NITVT represents groups from all over Northern Ireland. The current funding situation reflects an ongoing attempt to alienate the Protestant community and engraft all others into so-called Reconciliation initiatives.

FAIR has recently been made aware of their estrangement from these funded peace initiatives because they allegedly do not adequately address reconciliation. This is merely a sop to Republicans who have sought to undermine the fledgling Protestant victim's sector and discredit it's leaders and member groups. NITVT has formally recognised this position and is now implementing the same policies as FAIR. This involves a complete withdrawal from all forums, reconciliation programmes, workshops and schemes which deal with issues of "mutual recognition", "reconciliation", include terrorists, or have a Republican agenda .

There will be no contact with such groups or organisations as it is deemed inappropriate to work within their frameworks and still be denied the recognition that we are working towards reconciliation. The groups under NITVT are doing sterling reconciliation work with victims and have enabled many to move on from entrenched positions and beliefs. However, it is now the case that networking with these reconciliation groups has become surplus to requirements - both a waste of time and a waste of resources. We will continue reconciliation work with victims as we are best placed to do this.

NITVT has recognised that the innocent victims of terrorism have been treated badly by the Government, whilst Republicans and their front organisations have been elevated and given a higher priority in the scheme of things. Until there is a substantial shift in the Government's viewpoint, NITVT and FAIR will keep this policy in place and no further "reconciliation" work will be done.

The progress made to date has involved huge sacrifices on the parts of those who have sacrificed more than enough already. Such denigrating statements have served to undermine their confidence in a process which has now left them in a bad light. They cannot be expected to tolerate it, much less meekly follow the government's line. There can be no room for Republican-inspired reconciliation processes which display clear bias, and which are formally adopted by the British Government. The NIO should get the message loud and clear - the innocent victims are united. W stood against the terrorist with his guns and bombs, and refused to be humiliated and driven down a path which we didn't wish to go. Does the Government honestly believe that threatening to remove funding will cause us to dance to their tune?

We work for proper reconciliation, justice and peace.

 



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