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.

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[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