Nepal: Grassroots Initiatives to Meet Earthquake Crisis, and Bypass Corrupt International Agencies

VOW_InitiativeFor immediate assistance and relief, VOW Media has set up a fund that we are managing independently. All financial records will be published online and it will be completely transparent. With the funds we collect, we will buy essential items, support older and form new citizen volunteer groups to assist and provide relief to survivors of the Nepal Earthquake. These groups will organise themselves and go out to neighbourhoods and various districts to distribute immediate relief.

In addition to distribution of relief materials we will also be assisting in the rebuilding of people’s homes once we have enough funds to do it. If there is anything in particular you would want your precious resources to be spent on, you can also let us know and we will make sure the money gets spent in the community you want.

Remember people, we will not take ONE single dime of the money you have donated to the relief and reconstruction fund. It will all be accounted for and spent wisely to support people in need.

You can transfer the money into our Dutch Bank Account to avoid all the bureaucracy in Nepal or send it via paypal:

Please direct payment to:

VOICES OF WOMEN MEDIA
ING # 4690420
BIC: INGBNL2A
IBAN: NL72INGB0004690420
PayPal Account: info@voicesofwomenmedia.org

Please write “Nepal” in the bank transfer details so we can track it easily.

“Independent India” Uses British Empire’s “Sedition” Laws to Suppress Dissent

The theatrical trailer of COURT, a winner of 17 International awards  An Indian reviewer said the film is a “remarkably assured, engrossing study of the power of the law and order machinery to crush protest through delays, deferred hearings and demands for further evidence.”  Forbes magazine in India said Chaitanya Tamhane, the director, is “Indian cinema’s new voice of subversion.”

Synopsis: A sewerage worker’s dead body is found inside a manhole in Mumbai. An ageing folk singer is tried in court on charges of abetment of suicide. He is accused of performing an inflammatory song which might have incited the worker to commit the act. As the trial unfolds, the personal lives of the lawyers and the judge involved in the case are observed outside the court.

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A Law Less Majestic

Sanctioned by an archaic law and other draconian legislation, “sedition against the state” is a handy tool to fell voices of dissent
Ushinor Majumdar, Outlook India Magazine, week of May 18, 2015
SEDITION  —  Section 124A, Indian Penal Code, 1860: “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India.”
Punishment: Fine, or imprisonment of three years to life. Shall be punished with 104 (im­prisonment for life), to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.
Exception: Criticism, to be determined by the judiciary
UAPA  —  Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967: Following a constitutional amendment, UAPA was enacted to “impose, by law, reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, on the (i) freedom of speech and expression (ii) right to assemble peaceably and without arms and (iii) right to form associations or unions” 

Punishment: Penalties ranging from five years to life imprisonment along with fines. If the offence leads to loss of life, a death sentence can be awarded.
Unlawful associations: Secessionist and terrorist associations; to be determined and notified by ministry of home affairs

***

Behind every man who has been labelled ‘seditious’ by the State is a law that goes back 155 years. Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code dates to 1860, three years after the British were rattled by what came to be known as the Sepoy Mutiny. There is also the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, a handy tool to silence ‘dangerous’ people with ‘dangerous’ ideas. Why, a week before it was held unconstitutional, Samajwadi Party leader and UP cabinet minister Azam Khan used Section 66A of the Information Technology Act to penalise a Class 11 student in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh.
The police are arbitrary and indiscriminate in the use of the sedition law, arresting people even for activities like singing, acting in street plays, reciting poems, painting graffiti on walls, not standing up during the national anthem or for cheering the Pakistani cricket team. These have, of course, usually accompa­nied the more serious charges of sympathising, funding or acting with Maoists or suspected terror organisations.

Hyderabad: Demonstration for Release of Dr. GN Saibaba

 Demonstration for Immediate Release of Dr GN Saibaba on 9th May @ Hyderabad.

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 Rally from Sundaraih Park, Baghlingampally to Indira park at 10am

Dharna @ Indira park at 11.30am

organising by STRUGGLE COMMITTEE FOR RELEASE OF DR. G.N. SAIBABA

India: Teachers Hunger Strike for Freedom for Prof. GN Saibaba

imageIt will be one year on 9th May 2015 of continued incarceration of our colleague Dr. G.N. Saibaba. He languishes in jail without trial and without bail while his health is deteriorating fast. Please come and participate in the day-long hunger strike to save life of Dr. GN Saibaba and secure his early release from the solitary confinement in Nagpur Central Jail. Please circulate this message among your friends and encourage them to come and participate. Teachers and representatives of Teachers’ Associations from JNU, IP University, JMI, and Ambedkar University are joining the hunger strike.

 

Professor, P.O.W.

Picture of an armed terrorist? Dr Saibaba outside his house 

So afraid is the government of this paralysed wheelchair-bound academic that the Maharashtra police had to abduct him for arrest

Arundhati Roy, Outlook India Magazine, week of May 18, 2015

May 9, 2015, marks one year since Dr G.N. Saibaba, lecturer of English at Ramlal Anand College, Delhi University, was abducted by unknown men on his way home from work. When her husband went missing and his cellphone did not respond, Vasantha, Dr Saibaba’s wife, filed a missing person’s complaint in the local police station. Subsequently the unknown men identified themselves as the Maharashtra Police and described the abduction as an arrest.

Why did they abduct him in this way when they could easily have arrested him formally, this professor who happens to be wheelchair-bound and paralysed from his waist downwards since he was five years old? There were two reasons: First, because they knew from their previous visits to his house that if they picked him up from his home on the Delhi University campus they would have to deal with a crowd of angry people—professors, activists and students who loved and admired Professor Saibaba not just because he was a dedicated teacher but also because of his fearless political worldview. Second, because abducting him made it look as though they, armed only with their wit and daring, had tracked down and captured a dangerous terrorist. The truth is more prosaic. Many of us had known for a long time that Professor Saibaba was likely to be arrested. It had been the subject of open discussion for months. Never in all those months, right up to the day of his abduction, did it ever occur to him or to anybody else that he should do anything else but face up to it fair and square. In fact, during that period, he put in extra hours and finished his PhD on the Politics of the Discipline of Indian English Writing. Why did we think he would be arrested? What was his crime?

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Not the Independence and Socialism the Revolutionary Vietnamese Thought They Won

 [That Vietnam won a world-shaking and -inspiring victory against US imperialism 40 years ago, is a fact that is celebrated and studied by all people seeking liberation and revolution everywhere.  But there have been significant problems, renascent bourgeois and ambitiously corrupt officials, united under a phony “socialist” banner, have relentlessly pursued a course of servicing foreign imperialism.  In growing areas, mass protests brew, as early indicated when, in in one such case,  “Security forces cracked down harshly on protestors from the Kim No village outside Hanoi who were protesting the … decision to confiscate their farmlands and hand it over to foreign developers to build a golf course.”  Clearly, new resistance will grow, and a more clear-sighted revolutionary course is debated.  —  Frontlines ed.]
Image result for vietnam mcdonald's

A family at the opening ceremony for Vietnam’s first McDonald’s restaurant, in Ho Chi Minh City in February 2014. Commerce and globalization have trumped ideologies. Le Quang Nhat/AFP

The fall of Saigon: How Vietnam ended up in the US orbit

Analysis: 40 years after war, Asian ‘tiger’ draws close to old adversary with geopolitical, cultural and economic ties

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — Two stores in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, still popularly known as Saigon, told the story of modern Vietnam one Sunday morning in March.

In a souvenir shop foreign tourists haggled over some of Vietnam’s most iconic T-shirts: Those with the image of Ho Chi Minh, the country’s long-dead father of communism, for instance, and those with the hammer and sickle icon. But down the street in a newly opened Apple store, a crowd of young locals all vied to ask questions about the outlet’s most coveted item: the iPhone 6. And a lucky few with disposable income walked out with their new mobile devices in hands, beaming.

While the hammer and sickle and Uncle Ho’s image may still adorn T-shirts it sells to foreign tourists, Vietnam’s heart throbs for all things American, especially Apple. In 2014, in fact, Vietnam became its hottest market. In the first half of the 2014 fiscal year alone, iPhone sales tripled in this country, far surpassing sales growth in China and India.

But it is not just iPhones, of course, that exemplify America’s powerful presence in Vietnam 40 years after the war ended. Facebook entered Vietnam’s market four years ago and at one point was adding a million signups a month. As of October, it had 30 million users, and that’s out of 40 million Vietnamese who have access to the Internet.

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Rural Nepal Angry With Slow Aid: More Than 70,000 Houses Destroyed: 2.8 Million People Displaced

By Countercurrents.org, 30 April, 2015

Anger, frustration and tension are growing in parts of rural Nepal over the slow pace of relief efforts. Kathmandu also found protests over bus arrangement for going back to rural homes. Badly-affected villages are yet to receive any assistance. Survivors broke into government offices in Dolakha district to demand relief supplies. Survivors confronted prime minister Sushil Koirala in a Kathmandu hospital. There are long queues for food and water around Kathmandu.

Official death figure during afternoon of 30 April 2015 reached more than 5,500 people, and injured at least 11,000. Only 14 survivors have been saved from the rubble till now.

Media reports said:

Nepal’s prime minister Sushil Koirala was confronted by survivors desperate for relief deliveries when he visited a hospital in Kathmandu. Many survivors gathered in front of the prime minister to request to water, food and tents.

About 200 people blocked traffic in Kathmandu after many faced huge queues for free bus rides out of the city. The protesters confronted police and there were minor scuffles. But no arrests were made. Continue reading