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From the Archive
The Commonwealth Games – the ‘friendly games’ – take place this year in the Midlands city of Birmingham, once known as a ‘workshop of the world’ with iconic brands known all over the Commonwealth such as HP sauce, Birds Custard, Typhoo Tea, Bourneville hot chocolate and Cadbury chocolate all produced there. This article harks back to a previous major gathering of the G8 in Birmingham, linked to the previous year's CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) in Edinburgh. Both looked at the dangers posed by the ‘new’ globalisation, and shared concerns over India's nuclear testing programme – still concerns today.
Patricia Scotland was re-elected Commonwealth Secretary-General for another two years at the Kigali Commonwealth summit in June 2022. This early piece from now veteran Commonwealth-watcher Stephen Chan analysed her first three predecessors, using an avian analogy for each. What bird he would choose for the Secretaries-General who succeeded is an open question.
There have been tears and conflict in the south Asian state of Sir Lanka this year, as the country struggles to find a way out of the current economic and political crises. Going further back, Saman Kelegama here discusses earlier conflict between the Tamil LTTE movement and the Government in the early 21st century, the failure to deliver the expected peace dividend and institutional weaknesses. Were these lessons learned?