User:Sijo Ripa

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I currently focus myself on improving articles on Belgium. Belgium is a very special country, ethnically divided in two groups - Dutch-speakers (60%) and French-speakers (40%) - and has a long history of discrimination of the Dutch language (until the 1960's) which led to fierce language struggles and sensitivities which continue until today. My goals is to remove the POV that has crept in many, if not most of articles on Belgium. Often this POV is quite subtle. Some examples:

  • Removing the Dutch name of Belgian organizations, saying that only the French name should be kept - there is no specific need to remove either one.
  • Adding the French name to Flemish cities in the lead, on par with the Dutch (=English) name, thereby giving the impression that these villages are bilingual, while they are in fact just Dutch-speaking - they indeed only have Dutch as an official language and Dutch-speakers are in a clear majority.
  • Putting undue weight on the recently immigrated French-speaking minority in some Flemish villages near Brussels. These inhabitants only form one aspect of the town, which should of course be mentioned, but they do not form the most important one. Minorities of different origins also never seem to get a similar mention.
  • Colouring monolingual Flemish towns with language facilities for French-speakers in the same colour as Brussels and in a different colour than Flanders as a whole, seemingly to support the opinion of some French-speaking radicals (e.g., the FDF) that these villages should become part of a bilingual Greater Brussels Region.
  • Calling French-speakers in the region of Brussels e.g., "aggressive"

I will add more examples to this list in the future. My goal is to balance all articles related to Belgium - there should not be a French-speaking or Flemish POV.


The articles I rewrote/heavily edited/unstubbed. Bold indicates long articles that I've almost completely written.

Transatlantic area[edit]

East Asia[edit]


Articles For Deletion[edit]

Policy vs. practice[edit]

I'm concerned that the AFD process is becoming a democracy (which Wikipedia is not, see: WP:NOT) in which arguments weigh less than votes. One user with a comprehensive reasoning (using a wide array of arguments which are based on Wikipedia policy guidelines) can be offset by a few users who've never read the policy and just state an opinion without using any arguments. This is a major problem and I hope Wikipedia guidelines will eventually prevail.


I'm also an exclusionist: Wikipedia is bloated with articles of non-notable people and things. This is gradually changing Wikipedia in a de facto non-discriminate source of information (which is not its goal, see: WP:NOT) because every non-notable article can be used to justify other even less notable articles. I think Wikipedia should remain an encyclopedia.

Fair Use[edit]

I think many Wikipedians ignore or minimialize the importance of the "fair use criteria" (see: WP:FUC), especially criteria #3 and #8.

  • Criteria 3 states: The amount of copyrighted work used should be as little as possible. Low-resolution images should be used instead of high-resolution images (especially images that are so high-resolution that they could be used for piracy). Do not use multiple images or media clips if one will serve the purpose adequately.
  • Criteria 8 states: The material must contribute significantly to the article (e.g. identify the subject of an article, or specifically illustrate relevant points or sections within the text) and must not serve a purely decorative purpose.


User:Sijo Ripa/Box
User:Sijo Ripa/Sandbox
User:Sijo Ripa/Sandbox/List of treaties by city

User assertion[edit]

I assert to be the same user as commons:User:Sijo Ripa Sijo Ripa 15:42, 25 February 2007 (UTC)