The Global Digest


Jan-Jun 2011

State plans 10-week abortion limit for contraceptive failure cases

In memorial of Salai Tin Mg Oo’s campaign: Stop the violation of human rights, and the ethnic repression in Myanmar

Candle Light Vigil – Memory of Tamils killed in Sri Lanka – Marina Beach

Channel 4 Video: Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, in 53 languages

Functioning of Government on the behest of Corporate is fatal for democracy

Citizens Delegation Meets CM | Discussions Inconclusive

MPJ Campaign-Food Right for All-Implement Jus.Wadhawa Report on PDS

At the ASEAN People’s Forum 2011 in Jakarta: Vietnam Committee denounces brutal repression against religious freedom in Vietnam

Statement Against Police firing on Protestors in Jaitapur, Maharashtra

Please sign the public campaign to ask Hitachi to save your face and drop the case against Charles Hector !!‏

The Korean contemporary Kimsatgat and a freedom fighter

Myanmar People protest for their country's democracy and demand to honor historical “Union Day”

Massive Rally to release Binayak Sen and Ram Shakal ( Activist of NFFPFW) on 1st Feb 2011, Robertsganj, Sonbhadra, UP

Advocate Democracy in Myanmar

In Memorial of Myanmar Pro-Democracy Activist

Chin National Day in Crisis in Myanmar



State plans 10-week abortion limit for contraceptive failure cases

Special Contribution
By Sanjeev Shivadekar
June 30, 2011


Beed/Aurangabad: The Maharashtra government is fighting female foeticide on a war footing, and wants to tighten abortion laws—the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and Rules—to protect the unborn girl child. Besides considering closing down of existing standalone sonography centres, the government wants to prevent women who are more than ten weeks pregnant from undergoing an abortion if the reason cited for the procedure is ‘failure of contraceptives’.

It is possible to determine the sex of the foetus after the twelfth week of pregnancy. And contraceptive failure, said state health minister Suresh Shetty who was in Beed on Friday, is exploited by couples and used as an excuse to abort female fetuses. These recommendations can only be enforced if the Centre gives its approval. In its present form, the MTP Act allows pregnancies to be terminated up to a gestation period of 20 weeks. If the Centre gives its blessings, the ten-week limit will be enforced only on women who have listed contraceptive failure as the reason of the abortion.

A termination after 10 weeks (and before 20) will be allowed in genuine cases, where for instance the pregnancy poses a risk to the life of mother or doctors find the fetus is malformed. STAND-ALONE SONOGRAPHY UNITS UNDER GOVT LENS Besides Recommending That Abortion Time Limit Be Reduced To 10 Weeks, Govt Is Considering Closing Solo Sonography Units

State health minister Suresh Shetty, along with other ministers, on Friday traveled to Maharashtra’s worst-affected district Beed—which has the lowest boy-girl ratio—where he held a series of meetings with district, health, police officials and NGOs. The health minister saidsuch measureswouldhelp reduce female foeticide, which is rampant not just in Beed but across Maharashtra including cities like Mumbai. Shetty said: “We have decided to write to the central government on this matter. Abortions after ten weeks should not be allowed if the reason given for aborting the child is that the contraceptive has failed.” The government is also considering shutting down existing stand-alone sonography centres and introducing tougher norms to prevent new units from cropping up in urban and rural Maharashtra.

The minister also has recommended that radiologists will henceforth be permitted to work in only two hospitals in a district. Strict action will be taken not just against a doctor caught for carrying out sex determination tests or performing female foeticide, but also government officials, health department officials and the police in charge of the district if they are found to be negligent in enforcing the law.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act is a Union government act. the state can make recommendations that the Centre may or may not move as an amendment. The state government will incorporate suggestions made by doctors, NGOs and sonography centres before passing the amendments, which will be drafted by the health department in consultation with the law and judiciary department. Once approved by the state assembly, it will be forwarded to the Centre for approval.

Shetty was speaking at the state supervisory board meeting organized to review the implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act in the nine districts of Marathwada, which has recorded drastic decline in child sex ratio in Maharashtra as reflected in the provision figures of 2011 census. The reason why the meeting was held in Marathwada is because all the eight districts in the region have the worst child sex ratio in the state. In 1991, there were 939 girls for every thousand males being born in Beed. In 2001, the figure came down to 894 for every 1,000 boys. In 2011, it to 801 girls. Guardian minister of Beed Jaydutt Kshirsagar said the state health department should determine if Section 302 (punishment murder) could be applied in cases of female foeticide.

Fauzia Khan, minister of state for health, said: We should be trying to change the thinking that boys are an asset and girls are a liability,” said Khan. Tackling female foeticide

All universities in Maharashtra will be roped in to strengthen the ‘Save Girl Child’ campaign

A website will be launched on July 11, where anyone can register a complaint against a sonography centre

A 24x7 helpline will counsel people on the appropriate use of sonography tests

All district collectors will be empowered to appoint a district legal advisor who will work in tandem with the administration and pursue legal matters

Every district collector should form a task-force and chalk out a strategy as per the needs of the area for effective implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.

Existing Law

THE MEDICAL TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY ACT 1971, SAYS AN ABORTION CAN BE PERFORMED Up to 20 weeks’ gestation With the consent of the pregnant woman. If the woman is below 18 years or is mentally ill, then with consent of a guardian is required With the opinion of a registered medical practitioner, formed in good faith, under certain circumstances Opinion of two registered medical practitioners is required for termination of pregnancies between 12 and 20 weeks .

A termination is allowed if:-

Continuation of pregnancy constitutes risk to the life or grave injury to the physical or mental health of woman Substantial risk of physical or mental abnormalities in the foetus as to render it seriously handicapped Pregnancy caused by rape (presumed grave injury to mental health) Contraceptive failure (presumed grave injury to mental health)



The state has recommend shutting down existing stand-alone sonography centres and introducing tougher norms to prevent new units from cropping up

Radiologists will be permitted to work in only two hospitals in a district

Strict action will be taken not just against a doctor caught for carrying out sex determination tests or performing female foeticide, but also local government and health department officials and the police if they are found to be lax in enforcing the law

It is considering conducting raids and installing CCTVs to catch doctors performing sex determination tests.


In memorial of Salai Tin Mg Oo’s campaign: Stop the violation of human rights, and the ethnic repression in Myanmar

Statement of Letter
June 26, 2011

Barry Welsh (2nd R), friend of Myanmar, and Thang John Smith(R), an ethnic leader have a speech at the campaign in the midst of rain and storm in Seoul

We are a group of ethnic people from Myanmar based in South Korea. Our organization’s name is the All Ethnics Democracy and Human Rights Network. Today we are holding a pro-democracy and ethnic-rights demonstration in front of the Myanmar Embassy, in memory of our leader, and Chin students’ hero; Salai Tin Mg Oo.

Today marks the 35 anniversary of the assassination of Salai Tin Mg Oo by the Myanmar military junta in the early morning of the 24th June 1976 at the notorious Insein jail. He is the first student leader and activist, was assassinated by Myanmar military junta. We, the All Ethnics Democracy and Human Rights Network strongly condemn the Myanmar military junta for the secretly executed by hanging our students’ leader and activist Salai Tin Mg Oo, and for the litany of massacres, disappearances, and human rights abuses committed by the junta, from: the massacre of students on 7th July 1962, the brutal repression of the 8th August 1988 democracy uprising, the massacre of Depayin in 2003, brutally attacked the protesters in September 2007 uprising, the junta’s callously lackadaisical response to the Cyclone Nargis disaster in 2008, to the present day where conducting war against ethnic minority has caused millions of people to suffer and hundreds of thousands deaths.

We condemn that recently conducted 2010 flaw election and military back a new government, under the leadership of former Military General Thein Sein as its president. Furthermore, that 2008 constitution guaranteed 25% of parliament seats for military which is undemocratic and that the military intention is clearly showed to keep control over the country through dictatorship.

Members of "All Ethnic Democracy and Human Rights Network", which includes Arakan, Mon, Bamar and Chin ethnics, protest rally in front of Myanmar embassy in Seoul in the midst of rain and storm

The ethnic minorities of Myanmar, in particular, are threatened more than other sectors of the population. There has been a permanent state of conflict between ethnic groups and the military junta along the border areas of the ethnic regions. Subsequently the military junta has systematically ignored the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the population living in the particular ethnic regions of Myanmar.

From repressive and antagonistic actions such as this, it is clear that the ethnic people are one of the most suffering populations in Myanmar.

Therefore, we, the All Ethnics Democracy and Human Rights Network, demand that the Myanmar military junta:

(1) Immediately cease its human rights violations and repression upon the ethnic people.
(2) Immediately stop war against ethnic minority (currently escalating conflict with KIA and SSA ethnic armed groups).
(3) Immediately relieve ethnic people from other forms of political and economic repression.

Furthermore, we ask that the government of the Republic of Korea and the international community show staunch support for the cause democracy and the end of ethnic repression in Myanmar. We also ask for a greater support for the ethnic victims from the repression and violence in Myanmar.

Further contact: John Smith Thang,
Executive Director, All Ethnics Democracy and Human Rights Network
Telephone: 010-8685-8860 (inside Korea) / +82-10-8685-8860 (outside Korea)


Candle Light Vigil – Memory of Tamils killed in Sri Lanka – Marina Beach

Special Report
By Muthamizh
June 26, 2011

More than 50,000 people have participated in the event "Candle Light Vigil" - Memory of Tamils killed in Sri Lanka! Huge support for Eelam at Candle light vigil

CHENNAI: Supporters of Eelam Tamils made this Sunday a historic day in their two-year struggle towards mobilising support for Eelam Tamils on whom war crimes were committed in Sri Lanka.

Strong winds and rains did not dampen the spirit of thousands of people including IT professionals, nuns, activists, educationalists, media-persons, and cadre of MDMK and Naam Tamilar Katchi, who had gathered at the Marina to light candles in memory of Eelam Tamils killed during the Lankan war on the eve of 'Victim Torturing Day'.

They demanded punishment for Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for annihilating the Eelam Tamils. Supporters of the cause raised slogans like, "We will unite in support of Tamil race, punish dictator Rajapakasa, Eelam Tamil country will be formed soon." "I have come with my family from Alandur. If we don't sacrifice this one day for our race, we can't sleep in peace," said Balu, who was carrying his newborn baby.

When asked what he meant by Tamil race, he replied, "It is language. We all are united by one language that is called Tamil mozhi. By birth, I am a Malayali, but my parents settled in Tamil Nadu 70 years ago and I now know only Tamil."

"Thousands of women and children killed by the Sri Lankan army were our sisters. World-over, Tamils will continue this struggle demanding punishment for Rajapaksa," said Selvarasu of Avadi, a central government employee who was walking around carrying a LTTE flag.

"I might be a central government employee, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't express my support to our race. Do you know the history behind this flag?" asked Selvarasu, explaining how LTTE leader Prabahakaran had designed the flag with the help of a local artist when he stayed in Madurai.

Most of the supporters had come with their family. An IT couple said they had come from Tambaram. Members of the May 17 movement, who had organised the meeting, had informed them about the event.

"IT professionals are aware of the Eelam Tamil issue. Whenever we have free time we browse the website and see the torture they underwent at the hands of the Lankan army," said Jeya. "We are around 600 IT professionals working in various IT companies in Bengaluru. We hired a bus to participate in the vigil," said Arul and his friends from Bengaluru.

When the event ended, the women participants and their children ensured that their candles weren't blown away by the wind. The police, who were getting uncomfortable over the huge gathering, stopped the supporters of Eelam Tamils who had organised a play in which Rajapaksa was hanged. "Police can stop us now, but Rajapaksa will not escape punishment," said the supporters.


Channel 4 Video: Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, in 53 languages

Letter to the Global Digest
June 23, 2011

Channel 4 Video screening on Sri Lanka's Killing Fields

Watch Channel 4 Video

Dear Mr. Thang,

I write to seek your support once again in helping spread this humanitarian cause among the population about the recently released Channel 4 video footage on the ended Sri Lankan war.

Please apologize me for taking the liberty to link the video footage at the bottom of this mail. The 'distressing images' of true events in the programme, described as the "most harrowing' some viewers had ever seen, from prolonged civilian starvation to the naked corpses of men, women and children being loaded onto military trucks by smiling soldiers.

The film, billed as 'one of the most shocking films ever screened by Channel 4" has an explicit message to the international community complementing the UN Expert Panel's findings of up to 40,000 civilian deaths within few days.

The documentary reveals the Sri Lankan government’s master plan to get rid of international witnesses. The documentary begins and ends with the pathetic and heartbreaking images of desperate Tamil civilians begging the UN workers not to leave.

UN staffer Benjamine Dix was choking with emotion when he shared his feelings with C4 about the UN leaving. “For me that was personally the worst moment of my life. It seemed like their greatest hour of need; there was an army sitting at their door step waiting to take the town and we drove out; that was a very difficult time for us, a real sense of abandonment of these people,” he said, pointing particularly to one girl in the crowd amidst waving hands.

On 15th Sept 2008 when news that the international staff were leaving spread, a crowd had gathered, “please don’t leave, they cried, pleading not to go, I ran my camera along the waving hands and there was one girl at the end she wasn’t shouting or chanting but there was real sadness in her face – I was quite emotional - her face captured the real emotion at that point. The Brahmin laid it on the line – we don’t care about our food, shelter and water, we’ll take care of ourselves we need international eyes on the ground to see what’s happening here. If you leave we will all die – the knife is at our throat.” Dix said.

The official UN spokesman at that time Gordon Weiss believes “the Sri Lankan Government’s motive was not the safety of UN Personnel,” when it asked the staff to leave Tiger controlled areas: “The government regarded the UN as impediments to their conquest of the Tamil Tigers. By removing those organizations there were no longer international witnesses to what was coming; their intention was to remove independent witnesses,” stating he personally thought “it was a mistake.”

The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heynes verified the new video’s authenticity to the United Nations Human Rights Council, has called for an international investigation, after recognizing the video showed evidence of “serious international crimes”.

Further a lawyer with international human rights expertise, Prof William Schabas points out attacking hospitals is a serious violation. “A hospital is totally off limits” he says, and goes on to draw a clear distinction between legal and illegal acts in war.

I am hopeful that the disturbing scenes in this film will give you a better understanding of what the Tamil minority population in Sri Lanka has been going through at the hands of oppressive majoritarian for the past six decades since the Independence. Please feel free to contact me if you need any assistance on editorial assistance or further information.

Thank you for your service to humanity.

Mr. Ganes Selva
Toronto, Canada

Read UN Report here


Functioning of Government on the behest of Corporate is fatal for democracy

June 15, 2011

Indian Justice Rajindar Sachar

A press meet was organised by NAPM, INSAF, Socialist Front & Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangam on the issue of Power Sector-Land Acquisitions-Environment-Violation of Human Rights. Justice Rajindar Sachar - National President, PUCL, Dr. B D Sharma - Bharat Jan Andolan, Praful Bidwai - senior journalist & writer, Prashant Bhushan - senior advocate & social activist, Vijay Pratap, Socialist Front, Madhuresh Kumar,NAPM, Subhash Bhatnagar from Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangam and Wilfred D Costa from INSAF condemned the brutal attack on Dr Sunilam (Ex MLA & Fonder President of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti) and Advocate Aradhna Bhargava(President, Mahila Kisan Sangharsh Samiti) by the goons of Adani Power Project Limited in Chindwara, Madhya Pradesh and keeping Ramesh Aggarwal handcuffed in hospital after his arrest in Raigad. They also added that the Government, Police and Administration are working as agents of Corporate and it is fatal for the Democracy.

Former Justice of Delhi High Court, Shri Rajindar Sachar raised doubts on the police’s conduct and their complicity with local administration since it reached after two and half hours of attack on Dr Sunilam and despite of serious injuries they only registered the case of small scuffle. He also said that keeping Ramesh Aggarwal handcuffed in hospital is the height of brutality and such actions cannot be legitimised under any law. He said PUCL will take these issues to the notice of National Commission for Human Rights.

Dr. BD Sharma shared his experience of his visit to the villages of Chindwara where during the Padyatra farmers refused to part with their lands under any circumstances. He said without any Environment clearance Adani Power Project Limited illegitimately started construction on the forcefully acquired land which has to be immediately act upon by the Ministry of Environment through the state government and acquired land should be handed over back to the farmers. He also said that as per the decision taken by Government of India in 1975 a Public Tribunal should be held to estimate the implications of any project in the affected area. He appealed to the Ministry of Environment and Forests to hold a People’s Tribunal in the area again.

Shri Prashant Bhushan, senior advocate, Supreme Court stated that post liberalisation the natural resources of the country are given to private companies in the garb of Public Private Partnership which is responsible for displacement of poor forcing them towards extreme poverty, rampant corruption and total take over by the corporate mafias which are not under anyone’s control.

Dr Sunilam said it is illegal that the land which was bought over by the state government at the price of Rs 1,500-10,000/- per acre in 1986 is being sold now at Rs 13,50,000/- per acre especially when land was used for agricultural purposes even until last year. Dr Sunilam said generation of electricity in the area is only for sole purpose of benefitting Adani Pench Power Limited. He said that Pench Project’s water will be used by Adani. This will displace 31 villages of the region where land is being acquired in the name of Public Interest. He said this Project will destroy agricultural land of almost 150 villages due to ash of the power plant and ash dam water therefore the farmers in the whole area are protesting against this Power Project. He informed that on June 10, 2011 farmers of the area have decided to sow their land as soon as possible and thus Mahapanchayat has been called on June 26, 2011. Dr Sunilam highlighted that the congress goons hired by Adani in connivance with local police and administration are openly threatening to attack him again and villagers with deadly consequences. It is evident that farmer’s movement is under assault but farmers will continue with their peaceful struggle.

Dr Sunilam also released a summary of report compiled by Himanshu Thakkar(South Asia Network on dams, Rivers and People) and told that as per EIA report prepared by Green C has neither given any information on coal and its transport linkages, availability of 33.2 MCM water, impacts on Pench Tiger Project, acquisition of 6541.24 hectare land for Pench plan and 7771 hectare land for Totladoh dam nor it has talked about the effects of Khaparkheda and Koradi electric power plant. Therefore Green C’s report on Adani Thermal Power project is full of flaws and distorted facts. In the past also Green C has given similar reports on Visa Power Limited in Raigarh, Chattisgarh and Kutch Thermal Power Project in Gujarat. Dr Sunilam said in the wake of such conditions the Ministry of Environment should black list Green C.

Madhuresh Kumar, National Organiser of NAPM said that we disapprove the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. He said there is no scope of any amendment in the existing law and there should be a new law to deal with Development Planning. Vijay Pratap, Convenor of Socialist Front said that we socialists protest against any acquisition of land used by farmers for agricultural purposes. Subhash Bhatnagar, Nirman Mazdoor Sangam said that the issue of Adani Power Project and Pench Project is not only related to the uprooting of farmers from 150 villages but also concerns those 50 percent landless farmers in these villages who are on the verge of displacement.

The leaders of other social movements stated that that Congress and BJP party and their central and state governments are trying to violently crush the famer’s movement. Attempts to divide the movement by offering Rs. 1 lakh per acre to few of them have also been made. They have appealed to the NHRC to provide security to Dr Sunilam and investigate the whole incident. They told that when farmers met Minister of Environment and Forests Mr Jairam Ramesh under the leadership of Medha Patkar, he had categorically emphasised that no permission has been granted to Adani Power Project. Despite that construction work is under process which needs to be stopped with immediate effect and constructed structures should be demolished. They declared that social movements will join the peaceful movement of farmers in order to get back their lands.

The meeting was also attended by senior Samjwadi Party Leader and MP Shri Mohan Singh, who strongly condemned the actions of the BJP government and attack on Dr. Sunilam and called for united opposition by the farmers and landless workers of the country to unit against the unmindful industrialisation and urbanisation. Meeting was also addressed by Danish Ali, General Secretary, JD (S), Forward Block General Secretary Comrade Debbrat Biswas, Former Secretary GoI, Ramaswamy Aiyer, Manju Mohan, Gopal Rai, Prof. H M Deshrada, Gandhian Socialist and many other dignatories.
Contact: Madhuresh(9818905316), Wilfred D Costa(9825171919) Vijay, Pratap(9910770263), Subahsh Bhatnagar(9810810365)


Citizens Delegation Meets CM | Discussions Inconclusive

Special Report
By Thomas Kocherry

Social activist Medha Patkar undergo hunger strike

May 24, Mumbai : Today Medha Patkar's indefenite fast entered 5th day and Syed Zuberi in Mumbai joined her side on indefinite fast. Five other basti dwellers continue to do relay fast everyday for a day. In the evening a citizens delegation consisting of Justice (Retd) Hospet Suresh, Anand Patwardhan, Ashok and Chhaya Datar, Neerja Gupte, Dr. Mirjakar met the Chief Minister along with other officials for nearly 45 minutes. The delegation questioned and appealed to the government to initiate dialogue on issues and demands raised by the urban communities struggling for their human and lawful rights guaranteed in constitution. CM accepted the need for the review of 3K as well as SRA scheme and proposed to stop demolitions of Ganesh Krupa Society for next 15 days and also appoint a committee to review the documents. For other issues it was proposed to be taken up in due process and towards logical end agreeing with the basic framework and people's perspectives.

Later, Collector along with Deputy Collector in-charge for the demolitions at Golibar came to the site of dharna and fast and had a dialogue with Medha Patkar and other fasting persons amidst more than 1,000 people coming from various societies and communities. It was a serious yet strong dialogue with people who exhibited sample of documents exposing the frauds and corruption in housing schemes and emphasised their right to shelter and housing. They also expressed and condemned the atrocities on them and land grab with the massive misappropriation of funds. They emphasised that whether those schemes are from Central government or state government or Unitech, the builders in this case, the illegalities in receiving sanctions as well as transfer of plans by the unholy nexus of bureaucrats, politicians and builders continue unabated.

Sanctions granted to Shivalik Ventures or Satyen Kunda of Guru Nanak Nagar or Shakti Developers of Sion Koliwari and others have already been exposed by people and activists, and has proved the rationality of their demands which they must stick to.

It was concluded and conveyed by Medha Patkar and others to the Collector that the proposal is absolutely inadequate and a result of no serious and in-depth dialogue with representatives of movements, even when they have been submitting memorandum, alternatives, proposals as well as held dialogues whenever possible.

Medha Patkar, Syed Zuberi and others decided to continue their fast and also conveyed that with no solution or resolve to save people's lives and death of the lakhs of people in Mumbai, the movement will only be intensified and not withdrawn.

Meanwhile, apart from Delhi and Aurangabad programmes were also held in Pune and Solapur in front of the Collectorate in support of the dharna and fast in Mumbai.

People's Power Vs Builder Shahi : More Join in Struggle from Across the Country

May 24, Mumbai : Someone once known as 'one man demolition army', G R Khairnar, who took cudgels against the land mafia and the builder lobby twenty years ago as Deputy Commissioner (Special – Demolitions) between 2000 - 02 today joined Ghar Bhachao Ghar Banao Andolan's ongoing dharna in Ganesh Krupa Society, amidst the debris of broken houses by government authorities in collusion with Builder Lobby. He said, “the fight today led by Medha Patkar and this movement is an important fight. What he did as someone being in the authority is now being taken up by 'people's power'. This struggle needs support and everyone needs to join hand in this.” Even as people lent support and they resolved to fight for their rights demolitions continued in Powai, Mankhurd, Worli, and a couple of other places.

The resolve to fight was joined by other people's organisations who visited the dharna and gave their solidarity messages and also sang songs of struggle against corruption and injustice. Republican Panthers, Ekveera Sez Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti, Tata Dharan Grast Sangharsh Samiti, farmers from Malegaon, Chemical Mazdoor Sabha, Shramik Janta Sangh, India Against Corruption, Brihan Mumbai Niwas Abhiyan Samiti, SUCI, Lok Jagran Manch, Brihanmumbai Nivara Abhiyan Samiti, and may others. The dharna has become a meeting ground for many of the anti corruption activists not only from India Against Corruption, whose 15 members sat all day but also anti corruption activists like Bhagwan Das Ryani, Sharad Gayakwad and others.

Earlier in the day Deputy's Collector's office sent doctors and his representative requesting Medha ji to call off her fast, but Medha ji refused to be attended by them. Yesterday, the doctors who came to attend to her were the same ones who tried to influence people injured in the earlier demolitions on behalf of the Shivalik Builders. She is weak but her condition has been mostly stable today and continued to boost the morale of the people. 12 people arrested on May 19, released on bail It brought cheer to the people present at the dharna site as they heard that the twelve of their comrades who were arrested while resisting demolition on May 19th are going to join them late in the evening after being released from the Arthur Road jail with the determination to save their houses at any cost.

Domestic Workers and Hawkers along with Anna Hazare and Swami Agnivesh join in support in Delhi

Anna Hazare, Swami Agnivesh, Arvind Kejriwal etc were at the Delhi Dharna in front of Maharshtra Sadan along with more than hundred others representing: NAPM, National Domestic Workers Union, Delhi Solidarity Group, Shahari Gharelu Kaamgar Union, SUCI, PUCL and others. On the request of Anna Hazare and Swami Agnivesh, Shri. Bhupendera Singh Rawat, National Convener, NAPM who was to start a solidarity hunger strike in Delhi, postponed it, subject to action from the state government. Anna Hazare said that he is in touch with Prithviraj Chauhan and Medha Patkar and is trying to resolve the issue. He added that he is concerned about the health of Medha ji and would like this situation to end soon. Swami Agnivesh, Arvind Kejariwal and others including Sunita Rani, Anita Kapoor, BS Rawat, Rajendra Ravi, N D Pancholi, Vimalbhai, Preeti Sampat, Seela M Mahapatra, Jawahar lent their support to the ongoing struggle in Mumbai against evictions.

Aurangabad too Joins in

Aurangabad Social Forum, a coalition of different progressive organisations joined the struggled against evictions and demolitions in Mumbai today at 11 am and submitted a memorandum to the Divisional Commissioner. Similar to the eviction at Golibar region Mumbai, a large scale eviction of the poor inhabitants on the riverfront of Kham river has been started by the district administration and the Municipal Corporation at Aurangabad. This brutal eviction too was condemned by the gathering and they decided to continue their fight against the evictions.

Apart from Delhi and Aurangabad, demonstartions were also held in Thrissur and Calicut. Similar events are being planned in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala and other places. Supporters have also started an online petition addressed to Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Prime Minister and Smt. Sonia Gandhi, President INC. International support is also being mobilised and emails are being sent to the CM demanding for putting a moratorium to all demolitions until an independent enquiry is held in to the 3k clause related projects and SRA is completely reviewed.

Even as we write this, a citizens delegation is trying to meet the Chief Minister, Shri Prithvi Raj Chavan.

Prerna Gaekwad, Santosh Daundkar, Deven Nair, Simpreet Singh

For details contact : Madhuresh Kumar (9818905316) | Simpreet Singh 9969363065


MPJ Campaign-Food Right for All-Implement Jus.Wadhawa Report on PDS

Special Contribution
By Soheb Lokhandwala
May 25, 2011

MPJ Media Secretary Soheb Lokhandwala(L), President Mohammed Siraj(C) and Gen. Secretary Afsar Usmani

Food insecurity has lead to severe malnourishment dead and hunger in our State and entire country. Which has made India to 67th rank in Global Hunger Index (GHI).There is serious food security breach in Public distribution system(PDS )where millions lacks the subsidized grains due to various reasons& on the other hand centre wants to weaken the existing PDS system by introducing Conditional cash transfer(CCT) The recent poverty lines given by GOI Additional solicitor-general to SC of Rs.20 and Rs.15 for Urban& Rural shows the callous figure& attitudes towards poverty alleviation, which we feel not be helpful to achieve the very UN Millennium development Goal 2015 to reduce extreme poverty by half.

MPJ has already made aware the corruption& leakages involved in PDS system to Jus.Wadhawa a committee appointed by SC on its last visit December 2010&in the same month we met Food &Civil supply Minister explain the grave and pathetic conditions on ground but the Minister was in denial mode. The recent report of Jus.Wadhawa reflects MPJ’s concern showing the dismal & malpractices of PDS system in Maharashtra.

To address this serious issue MPJ has launched a campaign throughout Maharashtra called “Anna-cha-Adhikaar Sarvansaathi or ‘Food right for All’ from 15th May 2011 to 15th July 2011 emphasizing on strengthening the Public distribution system (PDS) to alleviate poverty.

In the first phase MPJ will carry out Awareness on PDS,in second phase it will gather the genuine complaints of end users and in third phase a Jan sunwai in all talukas of Mah.& if we feel nothing has being heard then Dharna,memos throughout Mah in front of District Collectorate.

MPJ demands the implementation of Justice Wadhawa report which strengthen the PDS system and oppose the CCT(Cash Transfer). We support & advocate the idea of universalization of the PDS. MPJ believe that the government cut down on subsidies will harm our overall welfare measures.

MPJ also demand that in Urban slums& Rural areas Aganwadis(under ICDS prog) should be set up based on population size for proper uptake of children, adolescent girl and pregnant women.


At the ASEAN People’s Forum 2011 in Jakarta: Vietnam Committee denounces brutal repression against religious freedom in Vietnam

For immediate release
From Jakarta
May 5, 2011

The most Venerable Thich Huyen Quang, the Sangha President of the Unified Vietnamese Buddhist Church.

A delegation from the Paris-based Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR) participated in the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum 2011 (ACSC/APF) and associated events from 30 April-7 May 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia, to draw attention to widespread human rights violations in Vietnam. The ACSC/APF is a major civil society venue, organized as a parallel process to the annual Summit of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Hosted by Indonesia, this year’s ASEAN chair, the ACSC/APF brought together over 1,300 civil society participants from countries all over the world including the 10 ASEAN states, China, South Korea, Japan, Timor-Leste, the USA, Canada, France, Holland, Sweden, the UK... Civil society concerns raised at the ASCS/APF will be forwarded to ASEAN leaders at the Summit which takes place this week-end (7-9 May 2011).

Speaking on issues of civil liberties, Mr. Vo Tran Nhat, VCHR Executive Secretary noted the contrast between Indonesia’s democracy and the totalitarian system in Vietnam. In 2010, whilst Vietnam held the chair of ASEAN and its new mechanism, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), the Vietnamese government pressured Thailand to prevent the VCHR and its partner, the FIDH, from holding a press conference in Bangkok to launch their report on human rights in Vietnam. FIDH representatives were also banned from attending the ASCS/APF in Hanoi.

Mr. Vo Tran condemned Vietnam’s perception of legitimate human rights and pro-democracy activities as “threats against national security”. ”The government’s paranoia is growing with the fast spread of new IT technology, the Internet and blogs”, he observed, adding that “Vietnam is the second largest prison for ‘netizens’.”

Whereas international opinion is well-informed on human rights violations in China or Burma, this is not the case with Vietnam, he said. One reason is Vietnam’s sophisticated propaganda outreach, and its creation of a “two-track” human rights policy, one track “for export only” and the other for “domestic consumption”. The former upholds the respect of human rights internationally whilst the latter suppresses them at home.

In addition, Vietnam has devised strategies that are often invisible to an outside observer: “Vietnam uses tactics of isolation, harassment, house arrest and surveillance to silence dissent. Critics not only face repression themselves, but for their whole families– wives are barred from work, children are expelled from school”.

The most blatant example of these policies is in the domain of religious freedom, and particularly the state’s repression against the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), Vietnam’s largest and oldest religious community. Having failed to suppress the UBCV with a campaign of ruthless repression launched in 1975 (arrests and murder of UBCV dignitaries, forced drafting of monks into the military, confiscation of property), the government sought to place Buddhism under control by creating a State-sponsored Buddhist organization in 1981 and banning the UBCV.

This policy also failed, and today the UBCV is still alive and resisting government repression. But its members live in a climate of fear and face daily harassments, arbitrary detention, interrogation and threats. UBCV leader Thich Quang Do remains under house arrest without trial at the Thanh Minh Zen Monastery in Saigon after over 28 years in detention for his peaceful advocacy of religious freedom, democracy and human rights.

Directives for religious repression are articulated in documents such as a 600-page training manual obtained by the VCHR, with a print-run of 1 million numbered copies, which provides for the formation of “religious police” and instructs religious cadres and police to “struggle against religions” and to “promote Buddhism with Socialist orientations”. Thousands of religious agents and security Police disguised as monks have infiltrated UBCV pagodas today.

At the same time, Vietnam’s government is masking this ongoing anti-UBCV repression by hosting spectacular public relations operations to support State-sponsored Buddhism, such as hosting the UN Vesak Day (Birth of Buddha) in 2008, or the construction of massive Buddhist temples such as Bai Dinh Pagoda in the province of Ninh Binh.

As the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights made its report to the ASEAN People’s Forum, new violations were committed in Vietnam. The arbitrary sentence of 5 years in prison and 3 years house arrest against on-line journalist Vi Duc Hoi on charges of ”anti-socialist propaganda” was confirmed by the Appeals’ Court (29.4.2011), and poet Bui Chat, founder of the Giay Vun (Scrap Paper) Publishing House was arrested at Tan Son Nhat airport, Saigon, as he returned from Buenos Aires where he had been awarded the 2011 Freedom to Publish award by the International Publishers Association (30.4.2011). He was temporarily released on 2 May, but remains under surveillance and subjected to interrogations by the Police. –


Statement Against Police firing on Protestors in Jaitapur, Maharashtra

The Japan Nuke crisis level reaches a 5 to a 7

New Delhi, Apr. 19, 2011: We, the undersigned individuals and organizations condemn the Maharashtra Police firing on protestors who were demonstrating against the proposed Nuclear Power Park at Jaitapur, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.

The corrupting influence of the nuclear companies over the political parties has been revealed in the Indo-US nuclear deal. These are the same political players who had played dubious roles during struggle against Enron power plant.

This incident happened at the protest which was organized against the Union Environment Minister’s statement saying, come what may the Nuclear Park will be built in Jaitapur and Prime Minister’s consistent advocacy for nuclear energy unmindful of the tragic incident in Japan.

In the police firing on 18th April, 2011, one person died and 8 others were seriously injured. This firing should not be seen in isolation. For the past one year, the government of Maharashtra has unleashed a reign of terror in the entire Jaitapur area against farmers, fishing folks and other rural artisans who have launched a non-violent and protracted democratic struggle against snatching away of their land, livelihood and the imminent catastrophe from the proposed Nuclear Power Park.

We oppose any forcible acquisition of land against the wishes of the local farmers. The high-handedness of Maharashtra State Government has been evident for the last four years. A local Konkani activist Vaishali Patil and even other prominent Konkan and Maharashtra residents like Retd. Admiral L. Ramdas and Retd. Supreme Court Justice P B Sawant were arbitrarily declared out of bounds from Ratnagiri District.

This is a flagrant violation of democratic rights. This is clear example of stamping out the right to protest which is one of the sacrosanct constitutional rights in the country. It should be noted that Mr. Narayan Rane, the State Revenue Minister who also hails from the Konkan region has been going around Jaitapur area and threatening everyone who protests against the proposed Nuclear Power Park. Mr. Rane has also openly given a call to local Indian National Congress cadres to forcibly drive out the activists who are protesting against the Nuclear Power Park.

We are seriously concerned about Shiv Sena’s role in provoking the tragic incident. Motivated hooliganism and strong arm tactics of Shiv Sena is a well known phenomena which often dissipates the possibility of peaceful democratic protests. This provides the logic to the administration for Police repression and vilifying peaceful mass protests. Shiv Sena’s opportunism in the Anti- Enron Struggle in the 1990s is well known. We disapprove of such rank opportunism of these political outfits which attempts to divert the studied pace and direction of the ongoing struggle against the Nuclear Power Park in the Ratnagiri district.

The people of Jaitapur are carrying out peaceful struggle against the proposed Nuclear Power Park for the past 4 years, but Congress Party’s partisan role and Shiv Sena’s unwarranted entry into the struggle has vitiated the atmosphere.

In the aftermath of the nuclear accidents in Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, a stark rationale for the abandonment of nuclear energy has emerged. In a situation where admittedly public health infrastructure is non-existent to deal with the inevitable event of nuclear emergency, promotion of nuclear commerce cannot be approved. We disapprove of nuclear energy in such a context where countries after countries are abandoning or doing a rethink about this option.

Therefore, we demand:
Scrapping of the proposed nuclear plant in the Ratnagiri district and other states in the country.
Judicial Enquiry into the incident of police firing on 18th April
Strong action against the district officials and the Police officers who ordered the police firing on the protesters.
Immediately withdraw the false cases against the activists, the villagers and rescind the externment orders.

Several citizens groups and people’s organizations will be demonstrating against the police firing and the myopic promotion of nuclear energy on 21st April at 11.30 AM at Jantar Mantar.

Endorsed by Organisations
National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements (NAPM)
Popular Education and Action Centre (PEACE)
Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)
Coalition on Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP)
Delhi Forum
Programme for Social Action (PSA)

Aruna Roy & Nikhil Dey, MKSS, Rajendra Ravi, IDS,Chittaranjan Singh, INSAF/ PUCL, Anil Chaudhary, Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance, Kiran Shaheen, Media Action Group, Susan Abraham, FORRAD, Prakash K. Ray,, P T George, Intercultural Resources, Benny Kuruvilla, Focus on the Global South, Preeti Sampat, Prem Piram, JAGAR, Amit Mahanti, Frame Works Research & Media Collective, Asit, Delhi Platform Shree Prakash, MISAAL, Sandeep Singh, AISA, Wilfred D’ Costa, Soumya Dutta, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha, Priya Pillai, Greenpeace, Sundaram P. Prafull Bidwai, CNDP, Kavita Krishnan, Central Committee Member, CPI (ML) Liberation Mona Das, S. Lahiri, NFFPFW.


Please sign the public campaign to ask Hitachi to save your face and drop the case against Charles Hector !!‏

Special Report
Angeline, ALIRAN
Apr. 14, 2011

Dear Friends.

Things have taken a turn for the worse. On 7 April, Asahi Kosei (M) Sdn Bhd was granted an order by the court for the injunction against Charles Hector to continue until the end of the defamation trial. The Court did not set aside the order that was obtained by the company (ex parte) on 17 February 2011. This means that Charles Hector will be sued for defamation by the company and the full trial will proceed at the end of June. Please use the links for more information on this case.

It is important to realize that if this multinational company succeeds in ruining Charles Hector, affecting his credibility, he will not be able to advocate human and workers rights effectively. Migrant workers, local workers, other marginalized groups and ordinary people in general will lose out, since Hector cannot help them effectively anymore.

Further, this outcome will also affect all defenders, advocates and activists of human and workers rights, as it will endanger their right to do their work without fear or favour. It also implies that private corporations can sue anyone who objects to anything they do or any project they intend to carry out, or raises any issue that may put them in a bad light, if this case becomes a precedent in Malaysian law.

Please sign the petition and get as many people as possible to do the same.

Thank you.
In solidarity,


Hitachi, save your face, drop the case!

Japanese electronics company Hitachi is failing to uphold human rights throughout its supply chain – while migrant workers are mistreated and Malaysian human rights defenders exposing this behaviour are facing aggressive legal action, Hitachi keeps refusing to use the means at its disposal to make its supplier Asahi Kosei drop the legal case and respect workers' rights. Take action today and write to Hitachi

At the Asahi Kosei operated plant in Malaysia migrant workers from a number of Asian countries are set to work, including workers from Burma. These workers are generally treated abominably, having to put up with disproportional wage deductions, lack of sick leave, withholding of their passports, retaliatory confiscation of their belongings if they protest, etc. In January 2011, a group of 31 Burmese workers protested about their labour and employment conditions. Despite having valid work permits and contracts subsequently two of them were taken under false pretence to the airport to be deported - but managed to escape at the very last moment. At the time of writing, Thiha Soe and Aung San are in hiding.

Malaysian human rights defender Charles Hector and fellow labour rights activists concerned themselves about the treatment of the Burmese workers deployed at Asahi Kosei’s Selangor plant. In February 2011, Charles Hector wrote a letter to Asahi Kosei. When the company failed to respond, Hector posted information received from the affected workers on his weblog.

In retaliation, Asahi Kosei has taken aggressive legal action against Charles Hector, accusing him of libel, and demanding an outrageous sum for compensation ($ 3.3 million). Several hearings have taken place - the dates for the full trial are expected to be fixed shortly.

In support of migrant workers and human rights defenders, tens of labour rights groups from all over the world have expressed their concerns over Asahi Kosei’s treatment of the Burmese workers and the aggressive legal action against Charles Hector. Click here for the public statement that was signed by more than 80 organisations.

Until this date, Asahi Kosei, Hitachi, as well as other buyers, refuse any dialogue with the labour groups and migrant advocacy groups concerned. There has been no improvement of the treatment of the Burmese workers after Asahi Kosei Malaysia filed the lawsuit against Charles Hector.

GoodElectronics, makeITfair as well as other labour rights groups have written to brands known to be sourcing or to have sourced from Asahi Kosei Malaysia. To see this letter, click here. So far, Philips, Seagate and Toshiba responded, with –unsubstantiated- claims that they are no longer sourcing from Asahi Kosei Malaysia. Their companies’ names are, however, still listed on Asahi Kosei’s website. Other buyers did not respond.

At its 65th Annual General Meeting, held on 12 March 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian Bar unanimously carried a motion in support of human rights defender Charles Hector referring to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. To read more click here.

For more information on case against Charles Hector click here.

Good Electronics is now specifically addressing Hitachi as a major and well-known buyer of Asahi Kosei. On its website Hitachi emphatically presents its corporate social responsibility vision, speaking of “the building of a prosperous and vibrant society”, of “disclosing information openly and transparently in order to maintain and develop a relationship of trust with its various stakeholders, and acting responsibly towards them through various means of communication”, and about “undertaking business based on the principles of fairness and sincerity, acting with the utmost respect for human rights and pursuing a high sense of corporate ethics in the global business market which encompasses diverse cultures, morals, ethics, and legal systems”. Moreover, Hitachi is member of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and has a responsibility to live up to the EICC code of conduct. Take action today; write to Hitachi to say you expect Hitachi to:

* use its leverage as customer of Asahi Kosei to immediately and unconditionally drop the legal case against Charles Hector
* ensure that labour rights and standards are upheld throughout the Hitachi supply chain
* migrant workers ‘s rights are upheld and respected in Hitachi’s supply chain
* ensure justice is done to Thiha Soe and Aung San and the other affected workers
* respect human rights defenders.

Please sign the protest letter. This letter will go out to the Hitachi for its refusal to take sufficient action on this issue, thereby causing harm to migrant workers set to work at Asahi Kosei in Malaysia, as well as to human rights defender Charles Hector.

South Korea

The Korean contemporary Kimsatgat and a freedom fighter

John S. Thang
Staff Writer
Apr. 1, 2011

A Korean comedian and freedom fighter Kimsatgat

The contemporary Kimsatgat, 66, with Korean traditional long hair, is continually fighting against Japanese colonization. Its anti-Japanese colonization movement is a legacy of his father.

During the 1925s, his father was a businessman and spoke Japanese very well, Kimsatgat told the Global Digest. His resistance and fighting were popularly known in the Jungro region. Even Kim Duh Han, a gangster turned Parliament Member, referred to him as a big brother.

The contemporary Kimsatgat is talented in various fields, he is known as a Korean journalist, comedian, singer, anchor, poem and kayo. The ancient Kimsatgat, in the times of Josun dynasty in 400 years ago, was a government officer and a very famous poet.

Actually, Kimsatgat is from a Korean high society background, as well as a social heater, beater and activist. In Jeongju, he used to be an actor, artist, cartoonist, and he has received a Korean artist award. You can find some of his drawings at Bono elementary school in Ansan.

Moreover, he has lectured in Hanyang University about the subject of “Dokdo-Love”. He sang a song and drew a cartoon about “Korea-Dokdo-Love” in his lectures. He also performed a special singing concert which was broadcast on Tongil Arirang.

During his time as an artist he had been invited to broadcast in KBS Yeongwol during President Kim Dae Jung’s government. He lamented that due to his popularity in KBS some people plotted to kill him but he escaped.

Kimsatgat(left) with his costume

At the moment, he is planning to make his own film about the Dokdo story set against the backdrop of Japanese colonization.

At the same time, he advocates North and South Korean unification. His principal characteristic is fighting for justice and his sideline is maintaining and promoting traditions. Kimsatgat speaks out for justice and social service, not for money. He calls himself a scholar with a good memory of Korean history.

As well as his scholarly work, he is talented in self-defense, traditional arms, taekeondo moo (dance), and martial arts.

Unfortunately, Kimsatgat has been threatened and chased by extremist or communist groups in contemporary society. Furthermore, his enemies were trying to get support of the local authorities and the government. Consequently, a confrontation with them happened and as a result, his house was burned down on December 2010.

On several occasions some people have attacked him but he was able to defend himself, and he never sacred of them. Kimsatgat boldly stated “I’m like a tail of cat when I encountered with an enemy.”

He is one of the strong advocators of “Korea-Dokdo-Love,” and partnership with The Global Friendship Club.

The Global Digest editor Barry Welsh edited to this story.


Myanmar People protest for their country's democracy and demand to honor historical “Union Day”

By Neil Paul Valentino
Staff Correspondent
Feb. 07, 2011

Myanmarese ethnic and other supporters

More than twenty people from Myanmar held their protest in front of its Embassy in Seoul. Meanwhile, honoring the memory of its Myanmar's "Union Day" is one of the annual tasks of the Myanmarese people (formerly Burmese) and likewise, aiming the long-waited genuine democracy and freedom for its nation's people.

The successful Myanmarese rally has peacefully ended for an hour and thus, was attended and supported by Koreans like, Mr. Kimsatgat, a comic entertainer, Mr. Oh Sunggon, Mr. Suh Hansool and Mr. Hwang from a Global Friendship Club and Korea Dokdo-Love.

A Korean comedian and revolutionist Kimsatgat

In addition, witnessing the said rally was member of International Associated Press in Korea, and also Scottish editor staff member Barry Welsh and other guests from Canada, New Zealand and Malaysia were also present in this organized movement.

Some protesters carried banners with a slogan "Unforgettable Union Day" and stood and repeatedly shouted freedom for Burma, restoring the Panglong Agreement, stopping the present nation's dictatorship and military's rule and establishing a "genuine Union Day" and all protesters were constantly lamenting for the lack of Democracy.' Also, they condemned its newly adopted flaw constitution and military back democracy system.

Hence, the demonstrators, who really showed their patriotism and idealism are still positively aspiring their advocacy that in the proper time they could attain what they have dreamed and hoped for their country. In reality, some countries finally achieved freedom and democracy because of its People's will and not because of few's interest and greediness.


Massive Rally to release Binayak Sen and Ram Shakal ( Activist of NFFPFW) on 1st Feb 2011, Robertsganj, Sonbhadra, UP

Special Contribution
By Roma, Human Rights Law Centre
Jan. 4, 2011

Member of Adivasi youth Binayak Sen

A massive rally is being organized in protest against illegal detention of Binayak Sen and activist of NFFPFW Ramshakal in Robertsganj, sonbhdara in UP on 1st FEb 2011, by NFFPFW, NTUI, NAPM, PUCL, Kaimur Kshetra Mazdoor Mahila Kisan Sangarsh Samiti, Human Rights Law centre.

There are numerous activists like Binayak Sen who are facing illegal detention due to false cases lodged by Police branding them as naxalites. Ramshakal is one of them. He is an educated adivasi youth from Dudhi, sonbhadra, he was booked as maoist by police in 2001 on the complaint of the local feudals who wanted to grab Ramshakal's land. Ramshakal and 20 other adivasi youths were booked under POTA in 2002, but due to public hearing organized by NFFPFW and Human Rights Law center the POTA was withdrawn by Mayawati government in 2003 feb when BSP came into power.

All cases were found false. But again some of the youths including Ramshakal was booked in arms looting case of PAC camp in 2001. His name was inserted in the FIR after two years. In 2009 in the hearing of this arms looting case he along with other 5 were convicted for 7 years. The case has no evidences against him, the local lawyer of Mirzapur who was fighting the case on behalf of Ramshakal committed fraud with Ramshakal and took bribe from the police and did not fight the case properly.

Ramshakal is in jail for more than a year now, we have are fighting the case in HC, Sh Ravi Kiran Jain is the lawyer. There is biased attitude of Court in the case of Ramshakal and the bail application has been rejected. Every time the bail application is moved some or the other incident happens at the national level that makes the Court even more biased as they feel that these people are Maoist and should remain in jail.

There are hundreds of Binayak in this country who are languishing in jails for just being innocent. We are raising our protest on such false cases and illegal detention. we request all of you to kindly participate in this protest in large numbers in Roberts ganj on 1st FEb.

Sh Chittranjan Singh, Ashok Chowdhury are joining the protest.


Advocate Democracy in Myanmar

Members of the Chin Democracy and Human Rights Network staged a rally against the Myanmar government in front of the Myanmar Embassy in Korea on July 5.

The protest was in memorial of a pro-democracy leader ― an ethnic Chin student, Salai Tin Mg Oo, who was killed by Myanmar's military government on June 24, 1976.

Salai Tin Maung Oo was popular among university students in 1974-75 for his dedicated fight against the brutal military regime in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

He and his colleagues organized a ``U Thant Uprising'' there in honor of U Thant, a former U.N. secretary general. After the military government prohibited the public from holding an honorable funeral for U Thant, Salai Tin Maung Oo and students led demonstrations to protest the dictatorial military rule.

Apart from the uprising, Salai Tin Maung Oo organized a ``labor strike anniversary day'' and ``Mai-yar-pih events.'' The military arrested him for his role in the uprising and pro-democracy movement.

Before Salai Tin Maung Oo was executed, military intelligence officers tried to persuade him to pledge to follow their authority in exchange for freedom. But he refused to do so and shouted, ``I shall never kneel down under your soldiers' boots.''

And he continued to shout in jail, ``Comrades, they are killing me secretly.'' Finally he was secretly hanged at Insein Jail on June 24, 1976.

His death brought great shock and anger to the whole country and particularly to ethnic minorities who were yearning for freedom and democracy. Salai Tin Maung Oo belonged to one of these groups.

In Myanmar, oppressing activists is routine. Since, the Myanmarese military government massacred student activists on July 7, 1962. Subsequently there were several repressive acts against Salai Tin Maung Oo and students in 1974.

And then there was a nationwide mass uprising in 1988 when the government forces brutally fired on the crowd ― killing about 3,000 innocent people. The Depayin massacre took place in May 2003 when the military alleged killed hundreds of people.

Again in September 2007, the military attacked and killed innocent people and monks who peacefully protested ― and many more people have ``disappeared. ''

Allegations have it that the military regime still continues to arrest pro-democracy and human rights activists. In recent days, the military took into custody pro-democracy icon Daw Aung San Su Kyi after 13 years of house arrest, without honoring the Nobel Peace Prize she won.

There are around 2,100 political prisoners in Myanmar. And many ethnic minorities and Christians continue to be persecuted by the military regime.

At the moment, Myanmar's military government is escalating its war in peripheral ethnic regions using weapons supplied by its closest allies, China and North Korea. Innocent people are suffering and tormented, and thousand of refugees have had to flee their homeland due to the military government's policy.

The military regime is preparing for 2010 elections in order to tighten its grip on power, which is ostensibly supposed to be transferred to a democratic government.

A democratic government should have the following basic elements: a people's constitution, judicial independence, free media, and free and fair elections. But the military government has failed to introduce any of these elements.

The government is reluctant to acknowledge the multiethnic fabric of Myanmarese society. There should be guaranteed ethnic-civil rights through mutual agreement, however, the military regime has adopted an ethnic cleansing policy.

The military government has neither guaranteed civil rights nor ethnic rights. It will never bring true democracy to Myanmar.

The military government should stop oppressing pro-democracy activists. The international community, particularly the United Nations, must make concerted efforts to ensure free and fair elections next year.

Also it is necessary for China to stop supporting Myanmar's military regime. Additionally, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should do more to promote democracy in Myanmar, and not support the military government.

Finally we urge the international community to work to advocate democracy and freedom in Myanmar.

(Note: This article is published in Korea Times)

Members of the Chin ethnic group from Myanmar stage a rally in front of the Myanmarese Embassy in Seoul, July 13, to call for freedom and democracy in the Asian country. The event was also organized in memory of Salai Tin Maung Oo, a Chin student activist, who was hanged on June 24, 1976. The demonstrators belong to the Chin Democracy and Human Rights Network.

In Memorial of Myanmar Pro-Democracy Activist

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, enjoyed a short period of democracy in the 1950s and was a prosperous country in Southeast Asia.Later, the Cold War atmosphere and a misguided concept of Orientalism in Myanmar led to a form of government that ignored the people's voice, ethnic equality and human rights. It established a firm system of military rule based on socialism. The Myanmarese military took power in a 1962 coup, which failed to win public support.

Since then, Myanmar has faced a nationwide pro-democracy movement and various ethnic conflicts in which students played the main role as activists. A student called Salai Tin Maung Oo, who was from Asho Plains Chin ethnic group, attend Rangoon University in 1974-75. He was popularly known among university students as a dedicated fighter against the brutal military regime.

At the time, U Thant, the first non-Western and the first Asian secretary general of the United Nations, died in New York after serving from 1961 to 1971. His body was flown back to Yangon, formerly Rangoon, to be buried there according to his last wish. Many people around the globe reckoned him as an intercessor devoting himself to preventing a Third World War amid the Cold War. So U Thant is still respected and remembered by the people around the world. But the Myanmarese military did not allow a funeral ceremony for U Thant, fearing that it might stoke up the pro-democracy movement. Salai Tin Maung Oo and other student leaders declared that it was unacceptable for the government to have ignored their demand for an official funeral for U Thant. So hundreds of student marched toward Kyaikasan Stadium to pay their last respects to him on December 5, 1974. This is also popularly know as the ``U Thant Uprising" among Myanmarese activists.

After this, students and the people have continued to demonstrate, calling for freedom from dictatorial rule. Salai Tin Maung Oo fought for the dignity of the entire country as well as the symbol of the ethnic Chin's brave freedom fighter.Also Salai Tin Maung Oo organized many other activities and events in addition to the ``U Thant Uprising.'' He organized a ``labor strike anniversary day'' on July 6, 1975 and ``Mai-yar-pih events'' in 1976. The military arrested him for his role in the uprising and other events. Salai Tin Maung Oo was executed by hanging, military intelligence tried to persuade him to pledge to follow their authority in exchange for freedom. But he refused to do so and shouted, ``I shall never kneel down under your soldiers' boots.'' And he continued to shout in jail, ``Comrades, they are killing me secretly.'' Finally he was secretly hanged at Insein Jail at 4 a.m. on June 24, 1976. He was truly a pro-democracy activist and hero fighting for freedom. His death was unforgettably painful for Myanmarese yearning for freedom and democracy.

Today, the military regime continues its dictatorial rule, trampling on the nation's Constitution and democracy. It even neglected rescue and rehabilitation work for victims of Cyclone Nargis, which hit Myanmar on May 3, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives. On the contrary, the junta continued to push for a constitutional referendum in the midst of the people's suffering from the natural disaster. And the government is not willing to help millions of victims who have no food, no water and no shelter. Rather it has intentionally delayed and halted international relief aid. It is one of the cruelest acts against humanity the world has ever seen. It is the military that turned Myanmar from the most prosperous nation in Asia into the most impoverished in the region.

Therefore, it is a big challenge for us to continue our struggle for freedom and democracy under the military dictatorship. Myanmar needs a lot more heroes like Salai Tin Maung Oo to fight for freedom. We also call for support from around the world for our cause for freedom and democracy.
(Note: This article is published in Korea Times.)

Myanmar Ethnic

Chin National Day in Crisis in Myanmar

Ethnic Chins in Seoul Call for Democracy, Rights

Members of "Chin Democracy and Human Rights Network" protesting in front of Myanmar Embassy in Seoul on Feb. 22, 2009.

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, was formed an independent multi-nations state, a combination of different nationalities and their territories. The ethnic Chin is one of eight major nationalities in Myanmar, the other seven are Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Shan, Mon, Arakan, and Burman.

In Myanmar, Chin state lies approximately between North Latitude 21°0' and 24°15' and East Longitude between 93°15' and 94°0. It has an estimated area of 13,907 sq miles.

The Chin people are obviously involved in freedoms and independent movement in Union of Myanmar through fighting the British colonization, Japanese Fascist in World War II and the Communist in civil war. For example the "Chin Rifles," one of federal govern army made up of Chin ethnics, and its military hero Capt. Thai Coeng were both outstanding fighters against Fascist Japanese in World War II and Communists in Arakan and Pagu Yomas.

"Chin National Day"

It was the Chin Conferenc held on Feb. 20, 1948 in Falam town, the state capital of the Chin state, that abolished traditional ruling system such as chieftainship and feudal system. It was only on the occasion of the conference that Myanmar stated to have democratically elected leader in the state followed.

The day of February 20 was designated as "Chin National Day" and it is the beginning of freedom and democracy in Chin state.

It is the first time democratic ruling system was practiced in Chin state. In the process of democratization this "Chin National Day" was reaffirmed by the Chin affair council on Oct 9, 1950. Since then "Chin National Day" have been widely celebrated as commemorative day.

However, in 1962 a military coup took place and since then Myanmar has been under the ruthless military rule. The military abolished all the nationalities treaties and even constitution. Human rights for the ethnics and their basic freedom were flatly denied,

Subsequently the "Chin National Day" was abolished and Chin people were forced to observe "Chin state day" on the same day of February 20, which is meaningless for Chin people. The military turned the Chin territory into a simple state on Jan. 3, 1974, stripping the Chin people of its independence.

Nationality of Chin People

The word "nation" comes from the Latin "natio," meaning birth of place or origin; it was used to refer to a certain group. Likewise the "Chin National" also symbolizes the origin of Chin people's birth place on the Chin land and reflects the Chin people's dignity, freedom, and cultural.

Chin people never belonged to Burman nationality. They were the first to to migrate to the Chin state. They have always been the native residents and owners of the Chin territory.

In terms of territorial boundary "the Chin Nationality" is from Matupi, Palatwa, Mindat, Kanpalet, Hakah, Thantlang, Falam, Tedim and Tuanzang townships of Chin state. People of these nine towns are the founders of the Chin territory and native residents.

People living in other areas like Asho, Lushai and Thado in Myanmar are also Chin nationals but they do not have clear cut territory of their own.

Therefore "Nationality" is very important and meaningful in geographical, political and historical context. Moreover the term "Nationality" is a choice of Chin people for their political rights.

It is the rights of Chin people and this rights should be protected. Myanmar's military government has no legitimacy to abolish and to change the "Chin National Day."

In fact Myanmar's military government itself is illegal government. According to UN Declaration on Indigenous People, Article 33, "Indigenous peoples have the rights to determine their own identity in accordance with their customs and traditions."

Furthermore "Chin Nationality" compares equally with other nationalities in Myanmar. Therefore "Chin National Day" is very important day for Chin people and it is the highlight in the Chin people's identity. Through this symbolic day of "Chin National Day" Chin people want to preserve and pass down the Chin cultures and customs into the future generation.

Nowadays, military government ruined the cuture and identity of the Chin people by sending troops to their territoy. The life of the Chin people was deteriorated.

Chin people are denied religious freedom as well. They are foced to observe Buddhism instead of Chiristianity. Over 99 percent of Chins are Christian.

Presently, thousands of soldiers are sent to every towns and villages in Chin state to oppress the people there. The soldiers are asked to marry Chin women by the military government which promises them for promotion as part of bio-genocide.


Looking back on the whole story, it is a consequence of aggressive policy of Myanmar military government. Certainly, the Myanmar military government neglected the development of Chin people and disregarded Chin sincerity toward the formation of union country in early time.

The Myanmar military government destroys and ruins the Chin identity and their territory by banning "Chin National Day."

They even blocked international aide to the cyclone victims in last year and brutally attacked monks' peaceful deomostration in September 2007.

Finally, the Chin people in South Korea gathered in front of the Myanmar Embassy in Seoul early this year, and called for democracy, human rights, and freedom in Myanmar on the occasion of the "Chin National Day."

They demanded that the military government stop oppressing the Chin people politically, social-economically, and religiously.

They also called for international community to show staunch support in their struggle for democracy. They urged the international society to get involved in their efforts to end the ethinic repression in Burma.