SULTAN ASKED TO REDUCE DONATION TO IRISH FAMINE VICTIMS
[ 31 March 1847 ]
On 31 March 1847, the Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecîd sent £1000 to Dublin to help relieve the Irish famine victims. He was moved by the accounts of mass starvation caused by a potato blight and aggravated by the decision of the British government to close all public works at the start of the year forcing hundreds of thousands to rely on charity for their survival.1
HUNDREDS OF TIBETANS MACHINE GUNNED AT CHUMIK SHENKO
[ 31 March 1904 ]
Today in 1904, an invading British army used maxim machine guns to massacre retreating Tibetan soldiers who had committed the crime of refusing to be disarmed of their antiquated matchlock muskets.
LABOUR GOVERNMENT AFRAID OF U.S. ETHICAL STAND ON APARTHEID
[ 31 March 1977 ]
On 31 March 1977, Foreign Secretary David Owen reported to the Cabinet that he was alarmed at a resolution being drawn up by the United States at the United Nations which might ask the United Kingdom to impose some economic sanctions on the Apartheid government of South Africa. This was considered unthinkable as it would seriously threaten the profits of big British business interests. Cabinet minister Tony Benn noted in his diary: ‘It appears we now have a Labour government to the right of an American government – My God, I feel so out of sympathy with this Cabinet… It isn’t a socialist administration, it isn’t even a Labour administration, it is a right-wing Liberal or Heath-like administration. It is awful.’2
BRITISH CLUSTER BOMBS KILL 38 AND INJURE 156 IRAQI CIVILIANS
[ 31 March 2003 ]
Today in 2003, British artillery fired cluster munitions during operations in the Iraqi city of Hillah, 100 km south of Baghdad.
- Tim Pat Coogan, The Famine Plot: England’s Role in Ireland’s Greatest Tragedy, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2012, p. 71 and Alison Comyn, Ottoman Ships on the Boyne, The Drogheda Independent, 23 May 2012 accessed online at url https://www.independent.ie/regionals/droghedaindependent/news/ottoman-ships-on-the-boyne-27166980.html
- Tony Benn: Conflict of Interest: Diaries 1977-80, Arrow Books, London, 1991, p. 101.
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