TEDxAUCollege | Cees Hamelink
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Cees Hamelink


Connecting the Globe: plea for a genuine United Nations

How I became a hero without doing anything: On the web one finds a letter that I wrote to president Putin and which in fact I never wrote. In the original letter, a group of well-meaning Dutch activists apologized to Putin for the way the Dutch media reported on the MH17. Under the letter was a reference to a TV-lecture I had given the title Why you should not believe what is written in the newspapers? This led to the belief that I wrote that letter. As a result I was invited for interviews by many international media. The letter was also translated into many different languages and became ever friendlier. In the last version I saw, I address Putin as ‘Dear Vladimir’ and sign with ‘best wishes Cees’. I received loads of emails with comments such as “All of Croatia stands behind you.” and “You are a hero in Hungary.” When I denied having been the sender, this was seen by many webbloggers as proof that I did it. One evening I sit in one of my favorite jazz bars and the owner brings me his best bottle of wine, saying “I give you this bottle because of that courageous letter to the Russian president.”