Saudi Arabia to hire 100,000 Nepali migrants in next 4 months

Himalayan News Service, November 29, 2010

Nepali workers in demand

KATHMANDU: Nepalis joining overseas jobs may rise in 2011 following the increased demand from destination countries. “Current demand trend shows there will be a sudden boost early next year,” said Manohar Khanal, director at the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) that has been issuing around 1,000 prior approvals a day.

According to the department, prior approvals have increased from 23,512 in Asoj (mid-September to mid-October) to 30,902 in Kartik (mid-October to mid-November).

Saudi government’s decision to hire 100,000 Nepali workers in next four months will also boost up Nepali migration to overseas jobs. Continue reading

Al-Jazeera: Nepali migrant workers feel pain of economic downturnd

Foreign workers are bearing the brunt of the current economic downturn – they’re often the first to lose their jobs. With migrant workers sending home remittances of almost 400 billion dollars last year the subsequent loss of income could be devastating for many.

There are 2 and a half million Nepalis working overseas and the money they send home is the country’s biggest source of foreign exchange.

Al Jazeera’a Subina Shrestha reports in October 2009 from Nepal where migrant workers are beginning to return home.

——————–

[Below is an excerpt from a report by the Deputy Manager of Nepal Bank Limited.  It a useful source of facts on the hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants who are driven by oppressive economic and social conditions in Nepal to migrate to India and other countries in the Middle East and Asia;  the important role that remittances from these overseas workers play in propping up the Nepali economy and state; and the 60,000 Nepali troops that are part of the Indian Army.--Frontlines ed] Continue reading

Philippines: Call to youth to join the national democratic revolution

[This press release puts forward Andres Bonifacio as a revolutionary role model for today's Filipino youth. Bonifacio founded the Katipunan, which led the people's struggle against Spanish colonialism and then the US military forces which invaded the Philippines in 1899. The US counter-insurgency war from 1899-1908 left over a million Filipinos dead. This war to suppress the Filipino people's struggle for independence and national liberation was the direct precursor for US imperialism's genocidal wars against the Vietnamese and Korean peoples a half century later.---Frontlines ed]

Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos, Spokesperson, National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Mindanao

From Philippine Revolution (www.philippinerevolution.net), November 30, 2010

The NDFP-Mindanao calls upon Kabataang Makabayan (KM) and the Filipino Youth:

FULFILL AND CARRY FORWARD THE TASKS OF THE SECOND PROPAGANDA MOVEMENT TO ADVANCE THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION!

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Mindanao salutes all the members as well as the heroes and martyrs of the Kabataang Makabayan (KM) on the occasion of its 46th founding anniversary.

 

KM student/youth contingent in a Manila protest against the repressive actions of the US-backed Marcos regime in the early 1970s. When Marcos declared martial law in 1972, the KM went underground and many of its members joined the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People's Army's guerilla fronts.

Andres Bonifacio, one of the great revolutionary leaders, whose 101st birth date was chosen to be the founding date of KM, must have been proud to see the sons and daughters of the revolution today carrying onward with fervent and vigor the aspirations of the Filipino people to be free from the clutches of oppression and exploitation by foreign power and its local agents.

True to its goals and ideals, the KM, has performed and has continued to do so its historic role of being the vanguard organization of the Filipino youth. Since its founding in 1964, the patriotic Kabataang Makabayan took on their significant task of carrying forward the national-democratic propaganda movement to stimulate the positive revolutionary potential of their fellow youth and students, and, more importantly, to help in rousing the revolutionary might of the masses of workers and peasants. Continue reading

Philippines: New People’s Army releases prisoner of war, demands freedom for all political prisoners

Map of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. The boxed area is where the Moro population is concentrated. As you can see from the inset map, the Philippines occupies a strategic location for US war planning aimed at countering the increasing projection of military power in Asia by the Chinese imperialists.

 

[Some background to this press release and the revolutionary movement in the Philippines: The New People's Army is the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which has over 100 guerilla fronts in all of the 11 major islands of the Philippines. The CPP/NPA has established People's Democratic Governments in many of these fronts.  The Compostela Valley guerilla zone mentioned in this press release is an area in southeast Mindanao, one of the two largest islands in the Philippines. The Moro people are the oppressed Muslim people who live in large parts of Mindanao and the islands south of Mindanao. The AFP is the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which conducts brutal military operations against the NPA and its popular base of support according to US counter-insurgency military doctrine. The AFP receives hundreds of millions of dollars in US military aid annually, conducts regular "joint exercises" with US marines and naval forces, and receives training from US Special Forces units who operate out of a US military base in Zamboanga, Mindanao.

After the US imperialists opened a "second front in the war against terrorism" in the Philippines in 2002, they inserted US forces into the Moro areas of the Philippines in the name of fighting against the Abu-Sayyaf, a small fundamentalist Islamic group that the CIA had armed and supported to fight against Soviet imperialist forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The real targets of the US military forces were the CPP/NPA guerilla fronts  in Mindanao and a Moro organization fighting for independence, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. In order to stop the growth of the CPP/NPA and the MILF, the Arroyo regime and now the Aquino government have ordered the AFP to coordinate its counter-insurgency operations with the US military base at Zamboanga in spite of the Constitution's prohibition on foreign military bases on Philippines soil.--Frontlines ed]

Rigoberto F. Sanchez, Spokesperson, Merardo Arce Command, Southern Mindanao Regional Operational Command, New People’s Army

From Philippine Revolution (www.philippinerevolution.com),  28 November 2010

The Merardo Arce Command-Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command of the New People’s Army has ordered the release of Cpl. Daiem Amsali Hadjaie of the 25th Infantry Battalion of the 10th Infantry Division-Armed Forces of the Philippines (Serial No. 813144) after 12 days of captivity as prisoner of war of the Conrado Heredia Command-Front 20 Operations Command-NPA.

The CHC-NPA custodial unit undertakes POW Cpl. Hadjaie’s safe and orderly release today, 28 November, in the guerilla territory in Compostela Valley Province.

The order to release Cpl. Hadjaie is an exercise of the revolutionary forces’ own political authority and based on humanitarian grounds. This is consistent with the revolutionary movement’s long-standing policy of humane and lenient treatment of POWs and its serious adherence to the NDFP [National Democratic Front of the Philippines] Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol 2 of 1977. Continue reading

Mumia Abu-Jamal: ‘I am an outlaw journalist’

Mumia Abu-Jamal: Journalist and former Black Panther framed in 1982 by the Philadelphia police department for a murder he didn't commit

On August 29th, 2010, Reporters Without Borders Washington DC representative Clothilde Le Coz visited Mumia Abu-Jamal, prisoner on death row for nearly three decades. The meeting took place in room 17 of the State Correctional Institution (SCI) in Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania.

(For more information about Mumia Abu-Jamal and his case, please visit  http://www.freemumia.com)

Reporters Without Borders: As a journalist who continues to work in prison, what are your latest reports focused on?

Mumia Abu-Jamal: The prison population in the United States is the highest in the world. Over the past year, for the first time in 38 years, the prison population declined.  Some states, like California or Michigan, are taking fewer prisoners because of overcrowding. State budgets are restrained and some prisoners are released because of the economic situation.

Prisons in America are vast and the number of prisoners is immense. It’s impressive to see how much money is spent by the US government and how invisible we are. No one knows. Most people don’t care. Some journalists report when there is a drama in prison and think they know about it. But this is not real : it is sensationalist. You can find some good writings. But they are unrealistic. My reporting is what I have seen with my eyes and what people told me. It is real. My reporting has to do with my reality. They mostly have been focusing on death row and prison. I wish it were not so. There is a spate of suicides on death row in the last year and a half. But this is invisible. I broke stories about suicide because it happened on my block.

I need to write. There are millions of stories and some wonderful people here. Among these stories, the ones I choose to write are important, moving, fragile. I decide to write them, but part of the calculation is to know whether it’s helpful or not. I have to think about that. As a reporter, you have a responsibility when you publish those kind of stories. Hopefully, it will change their lives for the better. Continue reading

For Asian and African migrant domestic workers, the Gulf is a golden cage

In front of the Saudi Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka: This angry protest was triggered by the brutal torture of a domestic worker by her employers in Saudi Arabia--who had hammered nails throughout her body. (See article below)

The Media Line Staff,  November 18, 2010

Saudi Arabia (TML) – An international human rights group has called on Arab countries to better protect their foreign domestic workers, following recurring reports of abuse suffered by Asian maids.A Sri-Lankan housemaid working in Jordan told Human Rights Watch that her employer forced her to swallow nails, while another, employed in Kuwait, claimed her employer drove nails into her body.

Fleeing extreme poverty and harsh living conditions, millions of migrant domestic workers from across Asia and Africa flock to the oil-rich Persian Gulf. Leaving underdeveloped countries such as Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Nepal and Ethiopia, the workers seek higher salaries which they send home as remittances. However, higher wages often come at a high cost in human rights abuses and labor violations.

“I had no day off. There was no rest,” Sanju, a 33 year-old domestic worker from Sri Lanka working in Kuwait, told Human Rights Watch. “The Madam always beat me; she would beat me on the head […] she told me ‘I can kill you; I can beat you. No one cares about you.'” Continue reading

Nepal: 2 newspaper reports on Maoist party’s struggle over its strategic direction

My Republica, November 30, 2010

KATHMANDU: “This is the first time in the party´s history that your political document has failed. What do you have to say, comrade?”

When a journalist shot this question at Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal during the news conference held at the end of the weeklong party plenum in Gorkha last Saturday, the latter looked disappointed while the face of Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai, who was sitting cross-legged nearby, lit up.

Vice-Chairman Mohan Baidya "Kiran"

Challenged by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya and Bhattarai simultaneously, Chairman Dahal was pushed into a defensive position. Both the vice-chairmen, who represent two extreme and opposite ideological lines, not only attacked his “centrist line”, but also accused him of misusing “power, authority and finances” to increase his hold on the party.

Chairman Pushpa Kamal Damal and Vice-Chairman Baburam Bhattarai (rear, unsmiling)

The sixth plenum turned out to be different from those in the past as both Bhattarai and Baidya abandoned their support for Dahal simultaneously, and the two-way intra-party conflict of the past turned triangular. Without the support of Baidya or Bhattarai, the Maoist chairman appeared weak as never before. Result: the sixth plenum rejected Dahal´s synthesized political document.

Bhattarai had sharp differences with Dahal on the issue of naming the party´s principal enemy, though both leaders shared the ideological view that the party should work to institutionalize the political achievements made so far. While Dahal stated that India should be declared the party´s principal enemy, Bhattarai had argued that the party should first defeat “domestic feudalism” instead of launching struggles against India. “We could not agree with the chairman as he prepared his synthesized document, mixing dissimilar ideas. It is an act of eclecticism,” says Maoist leader Ram Karki, who is close to Bhattarai.

The Maoist chairman had hoped that he would get the support of Baidya as he had accommodated most of the latter´s views in his synthesized document.

The meeting showed that Dahal is also losing his grip on the Maoist People´s Liberation Army (PLA), which is still indirectly headed by Dahal himself.

But Baidya appeared more aggressive than Bhattarai against Dahal. Baidya, who leads the hard-line camp in the party, attacked Dahal for not launching a “people´s revolt” to establish a “People´s Federal Democratic Republic” in Nepal, the line passed by the Kharipati national conclave. He even threatened to take over the party leadership. “We could not agree with the chairman as we not only had sharp ideological differences, but we also saw a gap between the chairman´s words and what he has been doing in practice,” says Maoist leader Khadga Viswakarma, who is close to Baidya.

During the plenum, Baidya had the strongest hold among the cadres, while Dahal´s position weakened significantly. There was no one to speak in favor of Dahal in the party´s foreign affairs department. Continue reading

Delhi, India: Sedition case against Arundhati Roy; Will Nehru be charged also?

[See the second article, below, for Arundhati Roy's argument that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru should be also charged (posthumously) for making the same remarks about the right of the Kashmiri people to choose whether they want to be part of the Indian state or to be independent.--Frontlines ed.]

The Hindu, 30/11/2010

Case registered against Arundhati, Geelani

Arundhati Roy

New Delhi: Following a court order, the Delhi Police on Monday registered a case of sedition against writer Arundhati Roy, hardline Hurriyat  leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, revolutionary poet Varavara Rao and others on charges of giving “anti-India” speeches at a convention on Kashmir, “Azadi: The Only Way”, held here on Oct. 21.

The case has been registered at Tilak Marg police station under Sections 124 A (sedition), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153 B (imputations, assertions, prejudicial to national integration), 504 (insult intended to provoke breach of peace) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the IPC and Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi Range) Dharmendra Kumar said the complaint filed by Sushil Pandit in the court under Section 156 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code has been converted into the First Information Report FIR after taking legal opinion on the matter. With the registration of the case, the police have initiated investigations. They have already obtained footage of the speeches made at the convention. “We will closely examine the speeches and file a report in the court by January 6, 2011 (the next date of hearing),” said Mr. Kumar.

The others named in the complaint include Delhi University professor S. A. R. Geelani who was acquitted in the Parliament attack case, Kashmir University law professor Sheikh Shaukat Hussain, Shuddhabrata Sengupta and Sujato Bhadra. Continue reading

Say No to Islamophobia! A Sign-On Statement

Please email info@al-awda.org t0 sign onto this important statement!

To:  All concerned people

Say No to Islamophobia! Defend Mosques and Community Centers! The Fight for Peace and Social Justice Requires Defense of All Under Attack!

There has been an explosion of racist attacks, verbal and physical, on masjids (mosques), proposed masjids, and Islamic community centers around the US. In episodes reminiscent of Kristallnacht, the Nazi destruction of Jewish synagogues and businesses, masjids have been picketed and vandalized and obscenities shouted at worshippers.

On September 11th the Tea Party and its allies plan to demonstrate at the site of the proposed Islamic masjid and community center in lower Manhattan. On the same day, Christian fundamentalists plan a “Burn the Quran” day at a Florida masjid.

Like Hitler before them, these bigots whip up hatred against a religious minority in the midst of an economic crisis. They want to divert popular anger away from the banks and corporations who rob millions of their jobs and homes. Hitler did not only target Jews, and the Tea Party bigots do not only target Muslims. They aim to build a fascist movement against all people of color, immigrants, union members, against the civil and human rights of all.. They must be stopped!

The Islamophobes also want to justify the murderous stream of bombs and missiles the Pentagon rains on the people of Islamic lands in wars that feed corporate contractors at the expense of our schools, hospitals, subways and communities. They want to justify continued U.S. funding of Israeli apartheid and a U.S.-Israeli attack on Iran.

Reactionaries flaunt Islamophobic signs and wave American flags at an anti-mosque rally near the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2010 in New York City.

The Anti-Defamation League, part of the pro-Israel lobby, has allied publicly with this wave of Islamophobia, whose promoters explicitly advocate violence and even genocide. But even mainstream figures who defend some masjids and some Muslim rights on civil liberties grounds helped create a political and social climate that breeds Islamophobia.

After 9/11 the government and media launched a witch-hunt against Muslims and Arabs, encouraging individual violent attacks. Even before 9/11, demonization was used to justify support for Israel’s wars and U.S. efforts to control Arab and Iranian oil.

Since 9/11, as part of the bipartisan “war on terror,” tens of thousands of Muslim men were fingerprinted, questioned and registered. Hundreds were detained with no regard to their constitutional rights, often abused and tortured, in a campaign of preemptive prosecution mirroring the practices in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and overseas secret detention centers.Masjids have been subject to FBI and police surveillance, infiltration and intimidation.

We are told that Muslims must be presumed  guilty of “terrorism” until proven innocent – then denied the chance to prove their innocence. The government and media demand hypocritically that “moderate” Muslims denounce and inform on so-called “extremists.”

The Obama administration claims to support the right of the Cordoba Initiative to build the lower Manhattan masjid/center but fuels Islamophobia with the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a stepped-up campaign of extra-judicial assassinations..

These attacks occur for one fundamental reason: To intimidate those who would oppose Washington’s wars abroad and growing economic misery at home.The government demonizes those who oppose its wars and its support for Israeli apartheid and aggression. It seeks to prepare public sentiment for a US and/or Israeli attack on Iran.

Attacks on Muslims and Arabs mirror the labeling of war opponents as “supporters of terrorism” during US wars in Central America and Vietnam, and the persecution is carried out in the spirit of the round-ups of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Islamophobia also serves to split potential allies in the fight against the deepening economic crisis. The attacks parallel the persecution and terrorist-baiting of unionists and radicals during previous depressions, as well as of fighters for the freedom of Black, Latin@ and other peoples of color who suffered the worst impact of such crises.

The attacks on Muslims parallel the scapegoating of mostly Latin@ undocumented workers, whose labor is key to the economy but whose status is used to pit workers against each other.

This understanding of the roots of Islamophobia and the resulting attacks impels us to mobilize and speak out whenever there is an attack on any Muslim individual or institution and call on our allies in every social movement to do the same.

We demand:

• End the attacks on masjids and Islamic community centers. Stop the government and media witch-hunt that sparks such attacks.

• End “preemptive” prosecutions and entrapment by government informants.

• Close Guantanamo, US prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the CIA’s secret detention centers.

Free all Arab and Muslim political prisoners at home and abroad.

• End all attacks on immigrant communities, including racial and religious profiling, harassment, detentions, and deportations.

• Stop US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. End all US aid to Israel. No war or sanctions against Iran.

• Redirect the trillions of dollars from war to funds for jobs, education, healthcare, and humanitarian relief, at home and abroad.

Initial signers: Organizations:

Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition

American Iranian Friendship Committee
Council on American-Islamic Relations–Connecticut (CAIR-CT)

Creative Nonviolent Resistance against Injustice (CNRI)

DRUM – Desis Rising Up and Moving

International Action Center

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Justice and Peace in Palestine Alliance (JAPPA)

Albany 
Labor For Palestine

NYC Coalition to Stop Islamophobia

New York City Labor Against the War

Palestine Rights Committee Albany

Palestine Solidarity Caucus of the United National Antiwar Conference

WESPAC

Women in Black Westchester

Women of a Certain Age

Individuals (organizational affiliations for identification purposes only):

Shamshad Ahmad, President, Masjid As-Salam, Albany, NY

Laurie Arbeiter, A.R.T. (Activist Response Team)

Tom Bias, President, Northwest New Jersey Peace Fellowship

Dave Capone

Rick Congress, Gaza Freedom March

Don DeBar
Hedy Epstein

Women in Black, St. Louis, MO & St. Louis Free Gaza Movement

Carol Gay, NJ Labor Against War

Marty Goodman, Transport Workers Union Local 100

Stephen Gross, Texas State University

Stanley Heller, host of “The Struggle” TV News

Fadi Kanaan, JAPPA-Albany

Roberta Koffman, UJP Palestine Task Force -Boston

Jim Lafferty, Director, National Lawyers Guild-Los Angeles

Cecelia Lavan, OP, Women in Black Westchester

Nydia Leaf, New York, NY

David Letwin, Al Awda-NY

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Michael Letwin, Labor for Palestine

Marilyn Levin, New England United

Joe Lombardo, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace

Jeff Mackler, Co-National Coordinator, National Assembly to End US Wars and Occupations

Joyce McKelvey

Laura Myerson, Cortlandt Manor, NY

Abu Nazem, Delmar, NY

Terry Phelan, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace

Joan Pleune, Granny Peace Brigade

Bobbi Siegelbaum

Kwame Somburu

Andy Thayer, Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism



US prisons, Muslims and torture in solitary confinement units

Muslims in US prisons, subject to long periods of solitary confinement

Oped News, September 3, 2010

US Prisons, Muslims and Human Rights Violations

By Bonnie Kerness

A former warden at Marion, Illinois said at a congressional hearing, “The purpose of the Marion Control Unit is to control revolutionary attitudes in the prison system and in society at large.”

In 1986, I received a letter from Ojore Lutalo who had just been placed in the Management Control Unit at Trenton State Prison in New Jersey. He asked what a control unit was, why he was in there and how long he would have to stay. We knew little of control units then, except what we learned from the many prisoners who reached out to the AFSC [American Friends Service Committee] to mentor those of us trying to give voice to what was – and is still – happening.

Today the continued use of these instruments of torture coupled with the persistent misunderstanding and mislabeling of prisoners as Muslim extremists threatens the security of Americans both inside and outside prison walls, and eats away the moral and spiritual compass that purports to drive American justice.

After Ojore’s letter, we began hearing from people throughout the country saying that they were prisoners being held in extended isolation for political reasons. We heard from jailhouse lawyers, and prisoner activists, many of whom were Muslim who found themselves targeted and locked down in 24/7 solitary confinement. The AFSC began contacting people inside and outside the prisons to collect testimonies of what was going on in those isolation units which by definition are forms of torture. We had no idea how many people were experiencing this, the conditions in those units and how many control units there were.

One woman wrote “the guard sprayed me with pepper spray because I wouldn’t take my clothes off in front of five male guards. They carried me to my isolation cell, laid me down on a steel bed and took my clothes off, leaving me with that pepper spray burning my face.” Continue reading

Guarani, Tapiete peoples fight gas exploration in Bolivia

Guarani at a rally supporting Evo Morales' presidential campaign in 2008. Since then, the Guarani and other indigenous groups have developed increasingly sharp differences with the Morales government's strategy of prioritizing oil exploration and exports over protection of their land..

By Franz Chávez

 

LA PAZ, (IPS) – The explosive charges utilised in fossil fuel exploration in Bolivia’s Chaco region divert underground water flows, scare off wildlife and harm the environment, charge the leaders of local indigenous Guaraní communities, which have been blocking access routes to keep oil company employees from entering the area.

The notion that the government, led by President Evo Morales (who is of indigenous Aymara descent), is protecting the indigenous peoples of south- eastern Bolivia “is just words, the same as the discourse about defending Mother Earth,” Jorge Mendoza, head of natural resources for the Guaraní- Tapieté Council of Captains, told IPS.

The Council brings together the leaders, or captains, of the Guaraní and Tapieté communities, which in Yacuiba alone, 1,315 kilometres southeast of La Paz, number around 3,000 members.

On May 20 the leaders declared a pause in the blockade of the international highway that connects the city of Yacuiba to Argentina, and agreed to a dialogue with the Energy Ministry, but they have yet to reach an agreement. The sporadic blockades and clashes with the police began May 14, involving some 200 people from 47 communities.

With the failure of previous negotiations, the leaders of the native groups who live in areas rich in petroleum and natural gas in the Gran Chaco province, in the department of Tarija, resolved to seek direct dialogue with President Morales.

Tarija has reserves of 41.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, 80 percent of the country’s total. Most of this fuel is exported to Brazil and Argentina. Continue reading

Indigenous resistance, from Colombia to Palestine

Live from Palestine, 16 September 2010
Anna Baltzer writing from Lopez, Colombia

“They only see our water, our land, our trees. They don’t care about us. They want the land — without the people on it.”

These words are not of a Palestinian farmer but of Justo Conda, governor of Lopez Adentro Indigenous Reserve in southwestern Colombia, whose community was repeatedly threatened with displacement under former president Alvaro Uribe Velez. Uribe, recently appointed by the United Nations to investigate Israel’s fatal attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, has a notoriously horrific track record on human rights.

Less explored are the clear parallels between his government’s mistreatment of indigenous peoples of Colombia and Israel’s abuses of the indigenous people of Palestine.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Colombia has one of the largest populations of internally displaced people in the world, numbering as many as 4.9 million. According to the Consultancy for Human Rights and Displacement more than 286,000 Colombians were uprooted from their land in 2009 alone. Approximately ten percent of the Colombian population has suffered forced displacement, many of them indigenous communities, afro-Colombian descendants of former slaves, and campesinos (farmers).

A teenager sits above the Toez Indigenous Reserve at dusk. Her community has been repeatedly threatened with displacement by the Colombian government.

Continue reading

Al-Jazeera: WikiLeaks Releases US State Department Cables

Never in their wildest nightmares could politicians, bankers, dissidents, world leaders and government officials have imagined that their confidences would be thus distributed

Sunday 28 November 2010

 

    How secret is “secret?” That is the first question posed by the publication today of material derived from the leak of a quarter of a million US state department cables  in the Guardian and a number of other newspapers. Much of the material is certainly very private. When people around the world tell sensitive things to American diplomats they do so in the expectation that there is a high degree of implicit confidentiality about the conversations. But “private” is not the same as “secret”. It now transpires that these confidences were posted on a US government intranet, SIPDIS, for a very wide distribution among diplomatic, government and military circles. They may have been marked “secret” but all secrets are relative: there are around 3 million Americans cleared to read material thus classified. Continue reading

Nepal’s UCPN(M) condemns India’s Operation Green Hunt and its hegemonic ambitions in Nepal

[An Indian news outlet reports on the Nepali UCPN(M) plenum meeting, now concluded.--Frontlines ed.]

Kathmandu, Nov 28 (IANS) A year after India started paramilitary operations against its own outlawed Maoist party and nearly five months after security forces killed a top guerrilla leader, Nepal’s Maoist party has finally reacted to the incidents officially, condemning both and underlining its continued antagonism towards the Indian government.

The week-long plenum of Nepal’s largest party, that ended in a remote village in western Nepal Saturday, has formally condemned India’s ‘Operation Green Hunt’, the offensive started in five Indian states in November 2009 to flush out underground Maoists, known as Naxalites in India. ‘We condemn the oppression of the Indian people in the name of Operation Green Hunt,’ the plenum declaration said. ‘We urge for a peaceful resolution of the problem.’

The 14-point statement also condemned the ‘immoral and planned murder’ of Cherukuri Rajkumar, who was the spokesman of the Indian Maoists under the nom de guerre Azad. Indian police say Azad was killed during a gun battle with the guerrillas in Andhra Pradesh state in July, a claim rejected by the rebels who allege he was captured and shot dead in cold blood.

The official show of solidarity by Nepal’s Maoists with the Indian Naxalites comes after their chief, Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, came under fire from his own party members at the plenum for the long official silence of the party on their fellow ideologues in India. Continue reading