Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lost In Translation ?

There are often title variations between the web and print editions of the New York Times / International Herald Tribune.

Take for instance this NYT article "South Korea Admits Civilian Massacre During War", mentioned yesterday in "
Binding praise for South Korea", and here on the homepage of the IHT :



This morning, on the first page of the International Herald Tribune delivered along with the JoongAng Ilbo, I was not surprised to read the same article under the title "South Korean panel confirms full horror of civilian massacres".

If the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Korea is much more than a "panel", this somehow reconciles with the truth : once again, ""a state investigative agency" is not exactly "South Korea""...

AP maintained the line "
SKorea confirms some 5,000 wartime executions", dubbing independent TCRK "a government commission". But the news agency finished with the key message, reminiscent of the "mantra" I mentioned yesterday : "The commission recommended that the government offer an official apology, come up with legal and other measures to prevent a repeat of the slaughter, and enact legislation to compensate the victims." Times Online put the focus on that line in its very title : "Commission calls on South Korea to apologise for wartime massacre" (20091127)

Whatever.

Here are the facts :
- during the war, countless civilians were massacred by South Korean authorities
- decades later, the TCRK managed to prove cases for about 4,934 victims
- that's only a tiny fraction of the total (probably much less than 10% of all victims), but the time has come to right the wrongs
- the Korean government cannot escape its obligations anymore (and ultra-conservatives can give up their dreams of stopping the transitional justice process) : beyond grieving families, the whole World is watching now

Change will come to Korea.
Seoul Village 2009

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