The Global Digest

Asia Pacific

Cow: A wrong debate

Special Contribution
By Medha Patkar

A hungry cow in Bihar chews PM Modi`s BJP flag

A big mass of the country is reverie with the cow and believe it’s not only an animal but venerated it also. On the other hand cow also treated as edible like other animals in a large section of the country. It’s also sooth that every year millions of tons of beef is exported and it’s totally business slant of the people who reverie in cow. 24 million tons are exported in 2015 till now. Cow sacrifice is prevailing in the country from a very long period, and todays also it comes into operation in many parts of the country. But besides all, issue of land acquisition, fulfilling of WTO agenda, problem of Adivasis ( tribal), juggle of NDA government on holy Ganga (Namami ganga) of Hindus vail out and the work of strenthing the communal forces is going on. all the issues are left behind and maxim of what to eat and what not to eat and its a cabal of RSS.

India is a land of farmers and cow sept need is necessary. At many places after ply of these animal for a life time into field they kept after that also but with the introduction of the new technologies for agriculture these animals became wisp. It results, hike export of beef and now days India became at top in the world in Modi led NDA government. Debate of eat beef or not is totally wrong and many groups disguised in term of “Beaf Party” and in repercussion “Pork Party” is organised. The principle of repercussion of action defamed from Gujrat hike in a country now a days. Which became a danger for communal harmony of the country.

This debate about cow is totally different from the realistic debate about the importance of cow in agriculture economic. The debate of cow is depending on economy and culture. In many part of eastern up (personal experience), the meat of cow is cheaper than buffalo. From a longer period schedule caste expend the meat of cow. At one hand the cow family became unservisable in agriculture and sell out for various purpose that results availability of cows in slaughter houses. In 1921 by pricking the issue of cow tried to create a communal tension that failed by the efforts of Gandhi ji and by respecting the feeling of every one cow slaughtering was banned.

By opposing or supporting the issue of cow, is only appraising the agenda of RSS. Like two decade before Ram was portrayed as communal, and saffron became communal as it cow is also becoming communal. In Mumbai at Devnaar Slaughter House, Vinoba bhave did a Satyagraha and everyday Satyagrahies does court arrest and its going on from decades but its not lead any communal tension because it really means to protect cow. At the time no one was there else beside these Satyagrahi. Todays all these communal groups are activated as NDA-2 in power.

The Dadri incident, the Kerela House raid prove beyond doubt that violent, political games are extremely dangerous for both minority and majority communities. As RSS ideological government prepared to exploit the Ganga from starting to end, as in the same manner cow will also use as a poison for a community, otherwise why not these slaughter houses shut down? 80% of the slaughter houses are hold by those who are not ready to give their life for cow protection, in spite it they are ready to take life of others to protect cow.

On the banks of Narmada, cattle is bought from adivasis for as cheap as 500 or 1000 rupees illegally and carried across the river. The Madhya Pradesh government has taken no action even after numerous complaints. It’s clear that there motive is neither to protect cow and nor keep Ganga free & clean. Their only vision is to make India a Hindutva country and that will not accept by the country which is beautifully diverse in term of language, caste, religion and culture.

Diverse social and literary eminent personalities have clearly expressed their view on rising intolerance by returning their awards. The declaration that People's Movements want to make goes out to all progressive and sensitive members of the society to make their own opinions through dialogue and discussions in the favor of peace, harmony and secularism.

Peace and harmony is the real ‘development’ - Public statement of Senior Gandhians


Even if we were to forget the past, the recent events, vitiating the communal harmony in the country, are extremely painful and disturbing. On 29th September, a violent mob lynched 52 years old Muhmmad Akhlaq in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh. Since then the discord has spread over the country and on 16th October Noman Akhtar was beaten to death in Himachal Pradesh. The Prime Minister, his government and his party have only added fuel to the fire in these past weeks. This is a bad omen. The black ink thrown on Sudheendra Kularni’s face has now reached Kashmir and the smugness is spreading. With full responsibility, we would like to say that these events are not random and do not merely result of rumours. This is a systematic effort to create communal tensions in the nation. It is not just a matter of law and order, the environment thus created is hurting the core of Indian culture.

We are aware that the previous governments and the police did not have any better record on the matter and that the communal tensions have been erupting time and again. But it is the direction and the intent of the recent events that has made us suspicious and worried. There is a constant attempt to push the minorities to the corner. Intellectuals and literary personalities raising their voice against this intolerance, they are being victimised and insulted. Authors and cultural personalities have been returning the awards and honours given to them in the past. It is a very positive way of showing their dissent. Instead of respecting their opinion and understanding their pains, they are being made a laughing stock. We would like to caution the government that its intentions are under a cloud of suspicion. Brushing the matter under the carpet will make the whole society, including them, pay for it. Parties and governments are irrelevant here. We are more worried about the tried and tested inclusive structure of Indian society. It is the soul of Indian society and we cannot allow anyone to play with it.

We, along with the whole nation, are closely watching the steps and initiatives taken by the government in response to the unfortunate incidences in various parts of the country. On behalf of the Gandhian family, we ask for forgiveness from the families who have lost their near and dear ones, and homes. We also want to convey to every Indian that peace and harmony are the biggest and priceless ‘development’ that any country can have.

Gopinanathan Nayar


Special Contribution
By Roland Watson(dictatorwatch)
Oct 1, 2015

Kachin Independence Army troops

Agents of Burma’s military dictatorship have published a great amount of propaganda about the country’s nationwide ceasefire negotiation. Many incompetent journalists have also repeated the propaganda. Because of this, there is a pressing need for accurate information, so both the people of Burma and the International Community can understand what is really happening. Following the Ethnic Armed Organization meeting earlier this week, it was publicized that seven groups will sign the draft agreement, ten groups will not, and two are as yet undecided. This information, however, is both incorrect and superficial.

The groups that have said they will sign are the KNU-KNLA PC, DKBA, KNU, ALP, CNF, PNLO, and ABSDF. Considering these in turn: The KNU-KNLA PC and the DKBA don’t count. They are long-term allies of the dictatorship. The NCA is between the resistance organizations and the regime. Those are the two sides of Burma’s Civil War. The PC and the DKBA are not resistance organizations. Therefore, they have no place in the ceasefire. They will do whatever the Burma Army generals tell them to do. They were only added by the ceasefire promoters, starting with Europe through Euro-Burma Office and Myanmar Peace Center, to give more signatures in support of the regime’s position.

The KNU has seven armed brigades. Brigades 2, 3 and 5 do not agree with Chairman Mutu Say Poe’s decision to sign, nor do many of the rank and file soldiers of the other brigades. Neither, for that matter, does the allied Karen civil defense organization, the KNDO. The KNU is split, and it remains to be seen what will happen with the organization if Mutu does actually sign.

ALP has 30 soldiers in the KNU’s 7th Brigade area, and 100-200 in Arakan State. It is signing to maintain the patronage of Mutu. CNF has 150-200 soldiers in Chin State, but it enjoys little public support. It is signing because it is under the influence of EBO.

PNLO has approximately 100 soldiers. As with the KNU, its leaders are signing to get development assistance from Europe and Japan. In effect, Europe and Japan have bribed the PNLO, and the other groups, to sign. ABSDF has at most 100 soldiers in KNU areas and 200-300 in the north with the KIO. The southern faction is signing because it needs Mutu’s patronage. However, the northern unit will continue to resist.

In summary, the seven groups for the NCA are really five, and of these only one is large, and it is split, and three of the others are under its influence and with one of them also split. The groups that will not sign include the ANC, LDU, SSPP, WNO, MNDAA, AA, KIO, KNPP, NMSP, PSLF/TNLA, as well as the UWSA and NSCN-K. The NDAA will also not sign (it is not undecided), and it is believed that due to recent Burma Army attacks the RCSS will not sign, either. Lastly, you can add to these dissenters ABSDF-North, the KNLA brigades and soldiers that oppose Mutu, and KNDO. This totals seventeen different groups. The real position of the EAOs on the NCA is therefore seventeen against and five for.

This means that any signing by the five in the coming weeks will be useless. It will be a failure for the regime and a fraud - not a real nationwide ceasefire at all. Any “political dialogue” in which the five participate will be pointless as well. The entire NCA negotiation has been paid for by Europe (mainly through EBO) and Japan. Their motivation has been clear: to force a peace so that large-scale development can begin. The regime hasn’t contributed anything.

Europe and Japan, though, have said that they will not keep giving money unless a deal is reached. This is the only way they will fund the dialogue phase as well. This is why the regime, EBO and MPC are desperate, and why they will have a ludicrous signing with only Mutu and a couple of small groups and then try to call it “nationwide,” to keep the foreign money flowing. Europe and Japan should note: You wasted your money!!! Stop funding and therefore supporting the dictatorship. The people, certainly the ethnic nationality people, won’t forget this. Pull back and like everyone else wait and see what happens with the election: How the dictatorship manages to rig the vote in favor of the USDP, or just says to hell with it and launches a coup.

The firing on Gujarat Fishermen by Pakistan Navy

Sep 22, 2015

Pakistan Navy

An Indian fisherman, who ventured into sea for fishing along with 6 other fishermen in a boat from Okha harbor of Dwaraka District of Gujarat on last Friday was shot dead at the international border of Indian with Pakistan. Bhatti Iqbal Abdul (40 yrs) a native of Okha died on the spot being shot at several rounds by men from an unidentified boat. The fishermen of the region opine that it is an act of the Pakistan marine protection force.

It is been construed that the Pakistan forces have trespassed into the International waters and have done such inhuman act. We demand that the government of India should call the Highcommission of Pakistan and condemn such inhuman act and should demand that the Pakistan government be instructed that the Pakistan Navy shall not be involved in such inhuman activity anymore.

The Indian government should provide for an adequate compensation to the family of the diseased. The Indian Prime Minister and the External Affairs minister should take adequate steps to get a compensation from the government of Pakistan. M.Ilango Chairperson,

World : Receiving visitors in the ‘Republic of Conscience’

By Basil Fernando
Sep 12, 2015

Fleeing Syria through Hungary

Perhaps the most touching moment broadcast through international media in recent times is the warm welcome people fleeing Syria through Hungary received from large German crowds on arrival. When citizens of one country extend their friendship to the people of another, at their hour of need, it is always a powerful moment. When freedom-loving people of a country extend support to a freedom loving people of another country fleeing from war and oppression, it is indeed a meaningful moment.

For several decades now, heavy propaganda spread through the media has conditioned minds to regard everyone fleeing their country in search of refuge as economic migrants. These words, economic migrants, have acquired a derogatory meaning. In fact, migration for economic reasons has taken place and is taking place all the time and on quite a large scale. Such migration is considered quite normal and even necessary. There are various arrangements, in various countries, to facilitate such migration. There is no hue and cry about those who come to steal the jobs of local people when such migration occurs. Hell breaks loose only when people try to reach outside of their settled areas into other areas in sheer distress. The warm and humane response extended to Syrian refugees arriving in Germany reminds us of many other instances not long ago, when similar or even more powerful positive expressions of solidarity arose in response to human tragedy. One such occasion was when, in late 1970s, pictures of large masses of people walking from Cambodia towards the Thailand border were flashed in media throughout the world. Those people were fleeing from the wretched conditions and devastation caused by the Pol Pot regime (1975-1979). The world responded overwhelmingly and even prominent personalities at the time like Jean-Paul Sartre spoke powerfully in favour of a massive humane response to this great tragedy.

The Irish poet, Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney wrote his great poem “From the Republic of Conscience” that became the title poem for a collection of poems published by the Amnesty International Ireland to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Heaney wrote this about his poem in the introduction to the collection: “I took it that Conscience would be a Republic, a silent, solitary place where a person would find it hard to avoid self-awareness and self-examination …” The opening verses of the poem are relevant to mark the German people’s welcome of the Syrian refugees:

“When I landed in the republic of conscience it was so noiseless when the engines stopped I could hear a curlew high above the runway. At immigration, the clerk was an old man who produced a wallet from his homespun coat and showed me a photograph of my grandfather. The woman in customs asked me to declare the words of our traditional cures and charms to heal dumbness and avert the evil eye. No porters. No interpreter. No taxi. You carried your own burden and very soon your symptoms of creeping privilege disappeared…”

It has taken a series of rending incidents – of drownings of people as their boats capsized, of people dying inside enclosed vehicles, where they could not breathe, and of a child’s body being washed ashore, the little black shorts and the red t-shirt and the tiny shoes – to provoke a re-examination of the laws and the rules in several of the European countries. The politicians promised such a re-examination only after sections of people in their countries began to express outrage at what they were seeing and hearing. What has come to be challenged in this way are hardened attitudes created mainly by the propaganda of right wing political parties, which have kept on attributing all the ills of their societies to migrants. It was the same old trick played by the Nazis, in their time. However, in the recent decades this propaganda has resulted in making the migrant blame game appear as the truth. This created heavy burden on international agencies committed to international conventions relating to refugees and internally displaced persons, as the governments began to refuse to cooperate with them. One of the most hardened stances in this regard has been the position taken by the Australian government. Even in Hong Kong, the government’s policy on refugees has been questionable.

The results of such hardened stances is the attitude that whatever happens to other people due to whatever problems exist in their countries is no concern of ours. It went to the extent of some developed countries establishing cooperation with repressive regimes in less developed countries to monitor the refugee inflows and to stop those attempting to flee. These developed country governments were quite willing to support repressive regimes by keeping silent about human rights abuses committed by such regimes. However, the events that have unfolded in the recent months have clearly demonstrated that the problem of people fleeing from repression, war, and hunger can neither be resolved by creating blackened images about these persons through propaganda, nor by taking hardened stances ignoring the relevant international conventions. Following the end of the Cold War, the attitudes of developed democracies regarding the less developed countries has undergone a fundamental change. The problems in these countries no longer provide the possibility for, i.e. threat of, the expansion of communism. The promotion of democracy in developing countries and fighting against repressive regimes that create civil wars and enormous amount of violence became a matter of less concern. Indifference to the sufferings of people in these countries was no longer thought of as posing problems which will have international repercussions.

However, such notions have been proved to be just illusions. It is to be hoped that the more positive responses that have emerged will lead to greater soul searching and a re-emergence of a ‘conscience’ within the international community on matters related to the sufferings of others. In a September 10 editorial, the South China Morning Post has referred to the absence of consensus amongst European nations on ways to deal with the present influx of persons seeking asylum. However, this is not merely a European issue. It is a global issue, and much more soul searching is needed to find a humane solution.

Nation and Nature are with Narmada Valley; not Narendra Modi

Supporters of Narmada Ghati

Eminent Citizens from 15 states declare rock-solid support to thousands of Sardar Sarovar oustees in Mass Land-Livelihood Convention... Sardar Sarovar: Symbol of Political Conspiracy and Corporate Loot.

24th August, 2015: “We are with Narmada Ghati, Not with Narendra Modi”, declared eminent citizens and supporters from across the country who joined thousands of oustees from the Sardar Sarovar project affected regions on the 13th day of the indefinite Jeevan Adhikar Satyagraha on the banks of Narmada today. Sardar Sarovar, is one of the worst symbols of political conspiracy and corporate loot and we will intensify the 30 years long struggle to ensure justice to the lakhs of people and environment of the valley and also to assert our development paradigm, based on justice and equity, not “jhoot” and “loot”, declared the valley and the supporters, in a united voice during the Mass Convention on Land, Livelihood and Housing Rights organized at Rajghat, Badwani today.

Numerous representatives of people’s movements, political groups, social organizations, intellectuals, artists, activists passed the “Rajghat Resovle” in the middle of Narmada, in the presence of thousands of adivasis-farmers, fish workers, landless workers, potters etc, who have embarked on an indefinite struggle against the Sardar Sardar Project, with renewed strength as “owners” of their acquired lands and houses. Exactly a year ago, on 24th Aug, 2014; thousands of oustees declared that they are “owners” of the acquired properties as per the New Land Acquisition Act, since possession continues to remain with the people, since 10-15 years. Once again, today the people thundered that neither the Sardar Saroavar nor Sarkar can submerge their lands and villages. [Copy of the Resolve and list of all participants enclosed. Talking to the thousands of oustees, Yogendra Yadav from Swaraj Abhiyan and Jai Kisan Andolan said that Sardar Sarovar is symptomatic of the obnoxious political culture of the country. “The illegality and inhumanity of the SSP, is now exposed in the Courts and on the field and the Govt. must stop installation of the gates of the Dam forthwith”, he demanded. He also stated that “Even as have to resist the height of the SSP and weight of the political bigwigs tooth and nail, we must also move towards strengthening an alternative political culture and system, based on the cherished values of the Andolans of this country”. “This is not development, it is political arrogance”, he said. The politics of this country should learn from the Andolans, if it must be truly pro-people, he said,

Oustees from the three states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat spoke their hearts out and demolished the claims of “rehabilitation”, and stated that even in 2006, when the dam height were raised to 122 mts, thousands were yet to be rehabilitated and even as on date, thousands of farmers-adivasis are yet to get alternative land, alternative livelihood is nowhere in sight for the landless, fish workers are being denied the fishing rights. Mr. Modi is busy rehabilitating those who have supported his party in the elections, including Adani, Ambani and Coca-Cola; but there is no rehabilitation or rights for us, said Shanta behan and Shanno behan. Senior Gandhain activist, Shri Anil Trivedi said that the 30 years struggle of Narmada is testimony to the fact that not just Gandhian thought, but the practical possibilities of non-violence struggle are still possible and even effective. The Andolan is a living University of non-violence and is both a re-invention of Gandhi and re-assertion of Ambedkar, at the same time. Adv. Aradha Bharghav, Kisan Sangrash Samiti, Chhindwada challenged the anti-farmer policies of the Central and state governments and said that the country can survive without Collectors and corporates, but not without the crops of the common kisaan.

Eminent Peace Activist and leader of Socialist Party (I) Dr. Sandeep Pandey, who just returned from the Veda Dam affected areas stated that in dam after dam and state after state, the issues, challenges and political insensitivity is similar. What we need in these trying times are united struggle against the political malaise. He declared that the dam work being illegal, it must stop immediately and a review of the Project must be initiated. Speaking on behalf of the entire adivasi belt, Ghokru, Noorji and Jikubhai from the 3 states accused the Govt. of betraying the fundamental constitutional values and committing mass atrocity on the tribals, by limiting the special protection to scheduled areas and PESA Act only to paper. We have not consented to the SSP, to the fraud land acquisition and R&R process. Sitting in the rally of 20 boats in Narmada, they said, “Narmada Valley is ours” Sardar Sarovar is yours”. Shivraj-Modi Go Back.

Activists Mahendra Kumar and Kamayani Swami saluted the struggle of the Narmada Valley spanning over 4 generations and said the entire country stands with the valley. CK Janu of Adivasi Gotra Sabha lashed out at Narendra Modi for his cruelty to the Narmada Valley and his approach in treating the people. She said the curse of the ordinary people of his country will hit him very soon. She equated the struggles between the adivasis at Kerala and Narmada and stated that the adivasis-dalits of the country must launch an intense battle to preserve their identities, dignity, right and resources in this country. Subhas Lomte called for a joint action by the workers of the urban and rural areas to defeat the anti-worker approach of the present Govt. Modi will have to retract very soon, just as he did on the Land Acquistion Bill, he said. Raj Kumar Sinha and Navratan Dubey condemned the corporatization in the name of development and said whether Bargi, where the dam water is being diverted for nuclear plant or SSP, where water is give to Coca Cola, the anti-poor approach of the State is crystal clear and we must unite to defeat this hoax of development.

Medha Patkar questioned the reluctance of the Govt. in reviewing mega dam projects across the country, which have led to massive environmental degradation and displacement of millions of people, over the past 60 years. She pointed out to Sardar Sarovar as a classic example of failure of large dams and said the Govt. must be held accountable to the nation; not only for the 90,000 crores investment, but also for the sacrifice of 2.5 lakh people and its cozy relationships with the corporate. We will not allow the gates to be installed and we will fight with our life, she said. ''Our challenge is greater than that of government's'' , she added. Numerous students from different colleges in Delhi, (including Ramjass, Furguesson, TISS, Malegaon etc.) expressed solidarity and stated that what is not taught in colleges and universities is learnt from the Andolans of this country and therefore “we come again and again”, to gain strength, wisdom and learn from the people, the everyday life.

Supporters of the Andolan at Badwani including the Congress Party called for a Badwani Bandh today in support of the people’s struggle against the Sardar Sarovar. Towns and cities, dependent on the villages are now beginning to understand and support Narmada. The struggle will intensify in the days to come, declared the eminent citizens and activists unitedly, with the people. People decided to take the satyagraha to its next phase of intensity from tomorrow and expose all the false claims of the Govt, the denial of rehabilitation, ownership rights, illegal submergence and installation of gates, corporatization of dam-benefits and the political arrogance of the Centre and States.

Rahul Yadav, Pema bhai, Sunita Kamal, Contact: 09179148973 / 9179617513

Narmada Jeevan Adhikar Satyagraha

Satyagraha at Rajghat

Landless, Fisherwomen of Semalda, Dhanora and Bajrikheda condemn Modi Govt’s massacre of Narmada valley “Fishing is our agriculture”: We will live and die for Narmada

13th August: The second day of the indefinite Jeevan Adhikar Satyagraha at Rajghat, Badwani, witnessed the participation of a large number of women and men from the Sardar Sarovar affected villages, especially a large number of landless women and fish workers from Dhanora (Tehsil Badwani), Semalda (Tehsil Manavar) and Bajrikheda (Tehsil Kukshi), who resolved to resolved to intensify the struggle.

“Can Modi live with Rs. 20,000 and a house plot? Each suit of his costs more than Rs. 20,000. How then can he expect an entire family to live on a 20,000 rehabilitation grant” ? roared Sudhabai of Village Semala, who stated that she would not relent from the Satyagraha until all dispalced fish workers obtain right to fishing in the reservoir. Pointing to the rampant corruption at the Rehabilitation Office of NVDA, Pemalbhai of Village Dhanora challenged the claims of the Govt that her house and houses of many others of Dhanora would “not be affected by submergence”, since waters had come close to her house during the submergence of 2012-13. Speaking on behalf of the generations-old potter community, Ramesh Prajapati stated that a few hundred families of potters living along the river banks in Villages Rajghat, Nisarpur, Sala etc have also been given meagre cash grants, without any livelihood security. “Potters also require land as livelihood on the river bank, and our struggle is for that right, not for breadcrumbs”, he said.

Rulsing, an adivasi from the hilly tribal villages Kharya Bhadal acknowledged that it was due to relentless struggle by his family, village and the entire Andolan that the Govt. finally admitted that the land from the land bank was encroached / uncultivable and finally the State had to give cultivable land worth 2.5 crores to his mother. “However, the struggle for land to 5 adult sons in the family continues”. Sardiya from hilly village Kakrana stated that despite multiple rounds to the GRA, he and 13 members of Kakrana and Sugat villages ahve eben denied land at Khajuri. Their struggle also continues. Ganpat from Village Rajghat, whose old father Gopal baba died a few days ago, without land begin given, stated that along with his deceased father, he and his 2 brother have been denied land. “We have a right of 20 acres of land, NVDA has not given us a cent of land. How then can they submerge our lands, he asked” ?

Vijay Valvi from Maharashtra stated that even as on date more than 1200 hilly tribal oustees, who are yet to be given 5 acres of land or other R&R entitlements and there can be no submergence, even during the present monsoon, until all these oustees are rehabilitated. Children from the Jeevanshalas of hilly villages Bhadal (Badwani) and Bhitada (Alirajpur dist.) sang various songs, too out a march along the river bank declared, “Jeevanshala ki kya hai baat, ladhai padhai saath, saath”. A morning Prathana at the satyagraha sthal and an evening Prarthana, on the Narmada bank at the Gandhi Samadhi, Rajghat, strengthen the spirits of all those present.

Speaking to the oustees, Medha Patkar stated that the Govt. cannot snatch away or submerge the land and livelihood rights of thousands of farmers and landless oustees in the valley, without recognizing their right to rehabilitation as well as rights as “land / house owners as per the new Land Acquisition Act, 2013. Talking to the press on the status of rehabilitation in the three affected states senior social activists; Dr. Sunilam (Madhya Pradesh), Lakhan Musafir (Gujarat) and Suniti S.R. (Maharashtra), expressed grave concern on the serious state of denial of legal and human rights to the lakhs of oustees and open violation of the orders of the Supreme Courts and GRA. They committed that they shall strive to draw in support from all quarters for the Satyagraha, which has reached a critical phase, in the 30th year of the Andolan. The satyagraha and the struggle continues...

Kailash Yadav Ramubai , Salagram Ranveer Tomar Ph: 09179148973 / 09826811982

Race Course, Delhi must be converted into a National Memorial for Farmers

Jul 26, 2015

Land grabbing cartoon

At a time when the entire country and the parliament are discussing land acquisition, Jai Kisan Andolan would wish to draw everyone’s attention to the case of Delhi Race Club. Situated at the heart of Lutyen’s Delhi, across the road from the residence-cum-office of the Prime Minister of India, the race course is a symbol of all that is wrong with the current practice of land acquisition: forcible dispossession of farmers, unfair compensation, unfulfilled promises, unsettling of families and communities, brazen use of “public purpose” for private gains, collusion of public authorities with private entities, refusal to correct historical wrongs. Therefore Jai Kisan Andolan has decided to take this up as a symbol of our nation-wide movement against the current Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

Here are the relevant facts about the Race Course: 1. This land was acquired in 1912 by the colonial government. This fell under village Malcha; a total of 1792 acres of land from this village was acquired along with large tracts of land from other villages. The Gazette Notification issued by the then Punjab government declared that the land was required for “a public purpose, namely for the new capital of India at Delhi”. The farmers were offered a pittance as compensation: they demanded Rs. 1600 to Rs 2,400 per acre; the government decided to give then between Rs. 15 to 35 per acre. Reportedly, the Award also promised that unutilized land would be returned to the farmers. Historical records suggest that the farmers rejected this offer, that they were forcibly evicted without any resettlement and that most of the farmers never received even this token compensation fixed by the government. The farmers were left to fend for themselves and many of them went and settled in Sonepat district of Haryana at a place that is now called Malcha Patti village.

2. After acquisition, this piece of land was not used for any governmental building or facility. Nor was it returned to the farmers. It was leased to a private entity, the Delhi Gymkhana Race Club. (This was against the spirit of the Land Acquisition Act of 1894, which did not provide for acquisition of land for private entities). This lease was transferred to Delhi Race Club in 1940, which turned into an incorporated Public Limited Company in 1941, now incorporated under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. Thus a land acquired for public purpose was diverted for private profiteering. This continued even after independence.

3. Contrary to common impression, the Delhi Race Club is not a voluntary association engaged in promotion of sports. It is a company that makes profit by promoting betting. Besides holding its own races every Tuesday, the Club also hosts betting for other Race Courses. (for example of 26 July 2015. As per its Annual Balance sheets, the Delhi Race Club made a profit of Rs. 2.31 crores in the financial year ending 31 March, 2013 . It is alleged that the Club makes more profit than is reflected in its books. It follows strange practices like charging Rs. 4,000 as daily “Mobile Phone Permission” (as against an Entry Fee of Rs. 60 without the phone!). This dubious charge was the single largest source of income for the Club in 2012-13. Though it claims to have future plans to “improve racing as a sport and not just a betting product”, its recent Annual Reports do not reflect any significant activity for promotion of horse-racing as sports. In fact, it hints at the possibility of leasing out a part of its estate for “commercial purpose”. It is safe to conclude then that this is a gambling facility being run on public property.

4. What is really shocking is that the Club has been allowed to carry on its operations although its lease expired in 1998 and has not been renewed since. The Land and Development Office (L&DO) of the Ministry of Urban Development promptly served an eviction notice to the Club on 25 October 1999 but after that the public authorities have been strangely lax. The Club initially got an injunction against eviction from the High Court of Delhi. The Club claims that the final order of the High Court of Delhi dated 9 July 2012 “directed that the matter be considered afresh” (strangely, a copy of this order is not available on the website of the High Court or on other reputable data banks). The Club claims that the “L&DO department has agreed to renew and regularise the lease of Delhi Race Club on payment of dues of the department”. The Club is seeking extension of its lease up to 2050. This sequence of event shows that even after the lease expired and the government could take the land back, it chose not to do so. This hints at deeper collusion of public authority with private interests.It should be noted that the Club has government nominees on its Managing Committee, including the Deputy Commissioner of New Delhi and the Commissioner Excise, Entertainment and Luxury Tax (Oddly, the Club has a running legal battle with this very department) The photographs of VIPs that participate in the events held here in the Annual Reports of the Club indicate that the Club enjoys political patronage.

It is clear that the Race Course symbolizes much of what is wrong with the practice of land acquisition. Use of acquired land for gambling for private profit is a travesty of “public purpose”. That it should happen right opposite the office-cum-residence of the Prime Minister of the country is nothing short of a public scandal. That the Club should continue its operations after the expiry of its lease suggests collusion with the government. Delhi Race Club is not an exception. Experience of the operation of Land Acquisition Act has shown that there is widespread misuse of land acquired under “public purpose” for private benefits. Jai Kisan Andolan proposes to bring out further details in the public domain of the misuse of land acquisition. For us the Race Course is a symbol, a powerful symbol, of the perils of land acquisition, especially of extending land acquisition for private entities as proposed by Land Acquisition (amendment) Bill.

Therefore, Jai Kisan Andolan has decided to serve a Public Notice to the Prime Minister calling upon him to immediately 1. Evict Delhi Race Club from this land so as to end this shocking misuse of public property for private profiteering; 2. Use this land for a truly public and noble purpose of creating a National Memorial for Farmers so as to commemorate those farmers who sacrificed their lives in our Freedom Struggle beginning with 1857, those farmers who lost their lives and livelihood in forcible acquisition in independent India; and those farmers who were forced to commit suicide due to discrimination against and neglect of agriculture by the successive governments; 3. Use the remaining part of this land for promotion and propagation of sustainable agriculture by way of a “kisan-haat” where farmers can directly sell safe and healthy organic food; and 4. Rename the “Race Course” Metro Station as “Malcha” Metro Station to commemorate the village and the villagers who underwent untold sacrifices in the making of Luyten’s Delhi.

This piece of land which today is a symbol of expropriation of the farmers for the indulgence of our colonial masters and their Indian successors should become a national symbol of acknowledgement of historic wrongs and a beacon for the future of Indian farmers.

On behalf of the farmers and citizens of India, the Jai Kisan Andolan has served a notice to the Prime Minister. We expect the government to respond within two weeks, by the evening of 9th August (International Day for the Indigenous People and the day of the great August Kranti), failing which we would be constrained to find other peaceful and democratic ways to achieve the demands stated above.

Jai Kisan Andolan is a movement launched by Swaraj Abhiyan. It seeks to mobilise farmers and non-farmer citizens of India to demand, among other things, withdrawal of Land Acquisition (amendment) Bill. It has reached thousands of villages and has collected Kalash containing earth from the field in that village. The Andolan is supported by more than 40 farmers organisations across the country. Its Jai Kisan March begins on 1st of August from village Thikriwal in Barnala (Punjab) and concludes with a rally at Jantar Mantar on 10th of August.

Assam scribes demand protection law for media persons

Special Contribution
By NJ Thakuria


The journalist fraternity of Assam on 29 June 2015 demonstrate their angers against the relentless brutal assaults and killing of scribes across the country in front of Guwahati Press Club. The protest demonstration that started at 12 noon continued till 1 pm.

Representatives from various journalist organizations, while meeting at the local press club yesterday, observed that the media persons based in different parts of India should get united demanding justice for all the slain journalists and also raise voices for a national action plan for the safety & security of newsmen across the country. It may be mentioned that the present month has witnessed a number of cases relating to the physical attacks on the scribes in various parts of the country, where Uttar Pradesh (Jagendra Singh) and Madhya Pradesh (Sandeep Kothari) had lost two journalists to assailants. On the other hand, a rural reporter of Assam (Prashanta Kumar) survived an assassination bid by the suspected armed militants.

The UP also witnessed two major incidents of physical assaults on media persons (Deepak Mishra and Haidar Khan). Earlier Assam also reported few bizarre incidents where local journalists were mishandled by policemen (to a lady television reporter), businessmen (to Mukut Roy), unruly youths ( to Partha Sakia) and a media baron (to Hildol Gogoi) in separate incidents.

India in 2014 lost two active journalists namely Tarun Kumar Acharya from Ganjam district of Odisha and MVN Shankar from Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh to the assailants. According to New York based Committee to Protect Journalists, 61 journalists were killed last year across the globe, where the motive explained that they were targeted because of their activities as media persons. The deadliest countries in 2014 include Syria (17), Ukraine (5), Iraq (5), Somalia (4), Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (4), Brazil (3), Afghanistan (3), Pakistan (3), Paraguay (3), Mexico (2), India (2), Yemen (1), Myanmar ( 1), Libya (1), Democratic Republic of the Congo (1), South Africa (1), Philippines (1), Bangladesh (1), Guinea (1), Central African Republic(1) etc.

This year till the third week June, 32 journalists were killed around the world, where India’s neighbour Bangladesh recorded three gory incidents (slaughtering of secular bloggers namely Ananta Bijoy Das, Washiqur Rahman Babu and Avijit Roy). Other deadliest countries till date (this year) include France (8), South Sudan (5), Syria (4), Yemen (4), India (2), Brazil (1), Iraq (1), Guatemala (1), Ukraine ( 1), Democratic Republic of the Congo (1), Mexico (1) etc.

Security Police prevent Buddhist youth leader Le Cong Cau from meeting German Human Rights Commissioner in Saigon

Le Cong Cau(R)

PARIS, 9 June 2015 (VCHR) – The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) reports that Le Cong Cau, leader of the Buddhist youth movement and UBCV Secretary-general was intercepted by Police in Hue on Monday and prevented from travelling to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Le Cong Cau was going to join UBCV Patriarch Thich Quang Do to meet a delegation of German diplomats, including Mr Christoph Strässer, Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, Dr Hans-Dieter Stell, the German Consul-General and Ms Stefanie Seedig from the German Foreign Office who were scheduled to meet the UBCV leader on Tuesday 9th June 2015.

Mr. Strässer is visiting Vietnam from 3 – 9 June. He met with a number of dissidents and civil society activists in Hanoi, including blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (aka Me Nam) and a 30-minute visit to Le Quoc Quan in Hoa Lo Prison No. 1, Hanoi. He requested to meet Thich Quang Do, who is under effective house arrest at the Thanh Minh Zen Monastery in Saigon, to hear about the situation of the banned UBCV. From 8:00am on Monday morning, 8th June, large numbers of Security Police surrounded the housing block where Le Cong Cau lives, preventing him from stepping outside. At night, Police put a padlock on the main entrance, allowing no-one to come in or out. The families who live in the building were extremely frightened – if a fire had broken out, they would all have been locked in the building with no means of escape.

The Police told Le Cong Cau that he was forbidden to travel to Saigon, and must not leave his home on the 8th-9th of June (the last days of Mr Strässer’s visit). Le Cong Cau asked for a written Police order, but they refused. They said there would be “serious consequences” if he travelled to Saigon to meet the German diplomats and talk about the UBCV. “You spoke to a delegation from the US Congress last month. That’s enough!” they said (see VCHR Press Release, 7 May 2015). “By intercepting Le Cong Cau, Vietnam is giving the German diplomats eloquent proof of its ongoing violations of religious freedom and repression against the UBCV”, said Vo Van Ai, VCHR President. Germany is an important trade partner for Vietnam, and is seeking to strengthen economic ties. However, Germany has repeatedly stressed that human rights and religious freedom remain an essential factor for improved bilateral relations.--

JFA decries bloggers’ killings in Bangladesh

Ananta Bijoy Das

Guwahati: Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has expressed serious concern over the killing of third bloggers in Bangladesh this year and urged the Sheikh Hasina led government in Dhaka to probe into the matter authentically to book the culprits under the respective laws. The media reports from southeast Asian nation reveal that the miscreants killed the third Bangladeshi blogger named Ananta Bijoy Das (around 30 years old) in Sylhet this week.

Prior to him, a US based Bengali blogger Avijit Roy (42) and Bangladeshi writer Washiqur Rahman (26) were hacked to death in the national capital. Unconfirmed source claims that all three secular bloggers were assassinated for their online articles advocating reforms in various Islamic laws by the ultraconservative Islamist elements, which are gaining grounds in the Muslim dominated country. Though claimed as a secular democratic country, Bangladesh’s legal system is partially based on Islamic laws.

“The Bangladesh government must take urgent steps to ensure the security of critical bloggers in the country,” said a statement issued by New York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The CPJ also argued that the Hasina government should show its commitment in curbing this violent trend by immediately finding Das’s killers and bringing them to justice.

The JFA, while urging the Bangladesh authorities to take visible actions against the religious fanatics in the poverty stricken populous country, also extends its moral support to the secular and democratic forces in their relentless fights against the intolerance shown to the free thinkers in the country.

Issued by: Rupam Barua, President, JFA and Nava Thakuria, Secretary, JFA

Being Human-From Salman Khan to AK-67 Vs Human Rights

Special Contribution
By Rakesh Manchanda

Arvind Kejriwal

Both Salman and Arvind Kejriwal are hard working, image conscious , larger than life actors and dream pedlars having millions of die hard fans. So what if with Abuses ? Both practice Hit and Run in private. So what if with Abuses ? Both wish to buy goodwill of blind supporters as a trouble shooter on Screen. Arvind Kejriwal is smarter and more organised to hide his wrongdoings and hidden crash driving of AAP after the recent Delhi AK-67 success.

He chops off legislative and executive branches of his own AAP Constitution and disallows any hearing in AAP using bouncers. Salaman Khan stands in courtroom in tears when the judge asks his opinion as to how many years he should be jailed as all allegations against him today stand true. Fans who perform Prayers and weep as when the icon image is in danger have their non negotiable menu.

Salaman Khan

Arvind Kejriwal removed his own neutral judge-AAP Lokpal illegally without any hearing. For more interesting details have courage to read recent write up in Dwarka Parichay:

Both are adorable, promote Insaniyaat-`Being Human` but tend to run away from the truth and are occasional match fixers. Team management who can be their conscious keeper can help as both who wish to practice the public life of Convenience. Fact remains that more symapthy and support due to unfair unequal power flow shall remain with super hero and lesser with the Aam Aadmi who dies as a victim. Victim may a farmer in a rally or a daily worker sleeping on the road side pavement. Can the die hard fans rescue, improve and control their Icons. Only a strong peoples movement with collective contribution in time can help overcome such speed-breakers put by blind supporters. Reel Vs Real Life-Need is to bring the Super Stars down to Ground Zero.

Arvind Kejriwal Apology on Farmer Death- A Course Correction?

Special Contribution
By Rakesh Manchanda

Arvind Kejriwal

Life and Death will never make a choice between rich and poor. 'Emerging' India is still not ready for a basic team coordination to deliver accident free safe rally and a protest. Responsibility runs down from top to bottom. Greed for a more powerful competitive show to match the biggest farmer compensation announcement is equally responsible in this accident or suicide, which needs a neutral probe. Even 20 policemen who refused to climb up the tree owe an answer. 22nd. April tragedy in AAP Farmers Rally will go down the history of India as a sad shameful day for inhuman treatment to Farmers and poor treatment of Political Party volunteers invited by leaders. This bleeding system and pattern of Neta-Volunteer gap invited CM Delhi apology and condolences only after two days.

The situation which forced Gajender to hang himself shall repeat in future if course correction is not taken. Apology comes with a short cut to damage control because millions are angry. The pattern of old system replacing Nagar Sevaks like Arvind-Modi will not wait for its next victim. Media is flooded with stories on how and why farmers commit suicide but reforms in Neta-Volunteer relationship stand missing.What does a Volunteer want ? Perhaps some dignity,occasional interaction with the decision makers and action on collective hope and dreams. Gajendra Singh Rajput farmer appears to have committed suicide by hanging his neck with a towel-Ghamcha in front of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the Aam Aadmi Party's rally in New Delhi against the land bill. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has ordered probe in the incident after discussion in the Parliament. Media speculates many reasons behind this sad event. What stands missed in news bites is that why this well build farmer from Rajasthan dared alone to climb 40 feet above ground on the tree with a pre-handwritten note in his pocket and with the playcard of Arvind Kejriwal and the Broom.

The handwritten note of Gajendra shows that he wanted the top AAP leader’s attention to share his plight of crop loss and eviction from home by his father branding him as a looser. What probably stands out in the note is the challenge is of `going back` home and not to end his life. With Jhadoo AAP election symbol in his hand and Arvind Keriwal large cut out why should a farmer who was an activist of AAP since Anna Movement take the risk to be heard and seen clearly ? Or was his intention was to hear and see the AAP leaders clearly sitting 40 feet high up among leaves in shade? Eye witness claim that he was continously shouting anti-Modi and anti-Rajasthan CM slogans. Misuse of Volunteers and their bad treatment need to stop ? When leaders have no organisational control over supporters in various ministries and also within the party the easiest way is to start the blame game. It is highly sad instead of looking inwards AAP top guns resort to blame games and Drama Politics.CM-Kejriwal said, "We kept asking the police to bring him down. Police may not be in our control but at least there should be a semblance of humanity among them.”

Key to a Safe Political Rally & Zero Disaster lies at the Top : For success or failure in crowd management a leader must have a team with no loopholes & no missing links.CM-Arvind Kejriwal riding high on the people and farmers has to evolve a clear volunteer safety and a dignity work menu. He enjoys two roles-Delhi elected CM and National Convenor of AAP therefore he is bound to stand weak on a sticky wicket. Original members in AAP were recently hounded out by using fear factor, misuse of constitution and using autocratic attitude with no room for dissent. In this recent disaster each AAP MLA including 3 loser candidate in 70 Delhi Vidhan Sabhas were asked to reach Jantar Mantar with minimum 15 buses loaded with supporters. Expensive colored posters and leaflets donning Arvind Kejriwal calling supporters to reach Jantar Mantar appeared everywhere in time. However this Power show finally failed to protect the life of an activist. What stood teasing in this Volunteer Death Tragedy was good governance, security plans, Police-Public relationship drill, Ambulance, first aid and team work inside AAP with volunteers.Delhi Police chief argument is that AAP wanted an extra last minute attention with media to be kept away from Arvind Kejriwal. Leaders of all political parties today want to milk more power from this accident cum suicide horror of Gajender Singh Rajput a father of three and a farmer in distress.No exit plan, no ambulance plan appears to have been in the narrow space of Jantar Mantar.

How is this error acceptable? As part of safe unique `changemakers` AK lobby is expected to train their rank and file cadres and ministry babus to keep the volunteers and paid service providers alert. Instead we saw a total confusion. All 67-70 plus top leaders on the dias assumed that the uninvited agitating contract teachers in the crowd fuelled by opposition had planted this man on top of the tree to divert the farmers effort. Behind each super Protest or a celebration are a set of modern minds and machine. There are hundreds of eyes – brain, hand – feet coordination. This careful coordination sustains the safe journey via trucks, buses and train. The self evolving modernization of mind sets needs to be separated by the lazy IT communication tools. Hunger for short cuts, transfer of security, shifting controls and engaging the sense of responsibility to few pampered hands is equally responsible. Leader-Volunteer unequal relationship slogan –“ Sacrifice to remain safe and well connected”, stands exposed. Right to lead a safe life is a fundamental right of human being. When rich volunteers’ safety and survival are in danger the presswallas make it a headline.Communication gap leads to perception gaps in public thinking and views.

No political party can at any point say look this volunteer safety is `no profit business` for me. System that can save lives with or without inner democracy stands bleeding today under pressure. Shortage is not of funds but the will of the team to work together.AAP inside story spills more. Delhi Health minister wants new hospitals, new investments with no serious road map to improve the existing health and disaster care system. The CMs, Home Ministers therefore have this comfortable national attitude of waiting for others to do their job. After disasters and ugly accidents they continue to put forward excuses. Excuse such as `we do not have funds like traditional parties or police is not in our control`. This again is a trick because power cares only for relatively more powerful followers. This cannot fool people for long.It breaks the myth that reforms and selling off event management to private companies can bring safe reforms. Only social & financial audit each day can help Business teams deliver safety both controlled by public and private funds.

We have to be the change we are looking for. We need mind modernization First. Nobody shall do it if we do not do it ourselves.Till then the collective search of safe social living must go on. AAP is still the best political party for millions of honest contributors. Transparent team work with fast sharing can achieve safe and a descent living of followers. This needs transparency, inner democracy, sense of belonging to the party, In-house communication and fair elections in AAP from bottom to top. People have to unite and decide and control their naughty Nagar Sevaks.


By Neil Paul Valentino
Staff Correspondent
Apr 18, 2015

Filipinos rally over China's illegal structure

ANSAN, South Korea - China has become a “bullier” or a “threatener” to Filipino nation because of its sudden invasion in building of reclamation works in the disputed islands between West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, as big as the largest Mall of Asia of the nation. Just recently, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has indefatigably complained stubborn China to the United Nation arbitration as latter did not follow the Arbitration Law and not following the rule in sea dispute. Amid criticism of United States of America, China stubbornly believe that its massive construction works in the said disputed islands is legal and reasonable.

A couple of days ago, militant and other groups rallied before the Chinese embassy in Philippine Capital Manila, to stop China's continuous building of artificial buildings which threatening the security of the Republic. Protesters on the other hand, carried placards and posters by showing opposition on China's illegal reclamation activities and they wanted China to get out of from Philippine seas. The dispute between the two nations has become critical due to aggression of China's fast and massive reclamation buildings. However, the Filipino people are condemning the landgrabber China by protesting it and asked the big and communist nation to respect the Philippine territory and also outraging the sudden invasion of chinese in the territory owned by the Philippines. The hostile incursion of the communist nation aroused the anger of Filipinos and will defend their sovereignty against the professional landgrabber in the world.

According to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, "on March 23 images from Airbus Defence and Space showed work on the runway on reclaimed parts of Feiry Cross Reef in the Spratly archipelago, where China contests with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunie and Taiwan," it said. A year ago, the dispute between China and Vietnam occured when the latter’s fishing boats was assaulted by chinese coast guards which promted Vietnamese to condemn China for inhumanly hit vietnamese fishermen by water cannon and avenged their people against the atrocity of China by also attacking chinese nationals and companies inside Vietnam, after that the dispute was no longer heard again.

The report said that US had warned that China‘s reclamation in the alleged artificially created islands could raise tensions in the area, where China denied and insisting that the said territory belongs to South Chinese Sea and also it avoided arbitration or settlement process with the Philippines through United Nation. Jane‘s Defence Weekly also said the island is already big enough for a runway 3,000 meters long that would be able to accomodate air force planes. "China already operates a runway on Woody Island to the west of Ferry Cross Reef, which is also claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan," it added. According to Chinese spokeman Hong Lei, the reclamation work is lawful, justifiable, and reasonable. He also added that it does not target or impact on any other country.

The Filipino people will never allow any invaders again neither bulliers nor landgrabbers. Filipinos have fought in the past against powerful Spain and Japan and Filipino heroes had died for defending the Filipino sovereignty and reclaimed it again. Today, our citizens and patriotic and real Filipinos are fighting against Mindanao which allegedly be invaded by revolutionary group of Moro National Liberation Front which believed the armed group of Malaysia. Concerned millions of Filipinos opposed and stopped the passing of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which is the passage and agreement of present President Aquino with the Malaysia's army to be given an autonomous government in Mindanao to be governed by the rebel group where the massacre of indispensable and elite 44 Special Action Force commandos took place.

Nevertheless, communist China takes advantage with their money and might to bully such poor nations and suddenly building illegal construction works in the territory of the Filipinos while the poor nation at present is facing several issues such as political turmoil and disorder, undying poverty, lack of adequate employment to the unfortunates and jobless, plunder and bribery and lack of justice to the 58 victims of Ampatuan massacre and 44 special Action Force policemen and the killings of Journalists. Worse, our political leaders nowadays are lack of concerns and skills to govern the underdeveloped nation and presently becoming the third most dangerous nation for mediamen just next to Iraq and Afganistan. Alas, Tranparency International tagged Philippines as one of one most corrupt nations in the world in the regime of Aquino and was warned to be removed as a member if massive corruption continues.

Death threats and impunity against the Southern Peasants Federation of Thailand

Chai Bunthonglek

Name of Victims: Members of Southern Peasants Federation of Thailand Names of Alleged Perpetrators: Unknown Persons Date of Incident: March 2015 to Present Place of Incident: Khlong Sai Pattana Community, Chaiburi District, Surat Thani Province

I am unhappy to hear that members of the Southern Peasants Federation of Thailand (SPFT) continue to face death threats in Surat Thani Province. Despite a legal judgment in favour of the Agricultural Land Reform Office five months ago, one that ordered the Jiew Kang Jue Pattana Co. Ltd., a palm oil company owned by a local politician, to vacate the land it is illegally occupying, no action has been taken. Furthermore, there remains little progress in the police investigation into Chai Bunthonglek's murder case. Bunthonglek was shot dead on 11 February 2015 in his home by two unidentified gunmen and represents the fourth SPFT member to be murdered in recent times.

I have now learned that other SPFT Members, especially leading Members, are also in line to be killed. A series of recent incidents highlight the continuing pressure being exerted on Members of the SPFT by powerful forces so that they desist from their work, securing community and land rights in Thailand. On 17 March 2015, Channel TV11 journalists, accompanied by the local Army Division, visited a community residing close to the Perm Sap Community. Members of this community falsely claimed they belonged to the Perm Sap Community. The broadcast of this visit contained no interviews with any Perm Sap Community members and showed photographs of people that do not reside in the Perm Sap Community. One of the pictures broadcast is that of Mr. Pianrat Bunrit, who is a leader of the SPFT. The SPFT, however, has not been given any national TV coverage since this Channel TV11 report. So SPFT has not been able to respond to the claims made by Channel TV11 journalists and Army officers in the broadcast.

Next, on Wednesday, 25 March 2015, at 4 p.m., two SPFT members were travelling out of Khlong Sai Pattana Community, Chaiburi District, Surat Thani Province. Two cars, one in front of them and one behind them, stopped the SPFT members' car. An unidentified man stepped out of the front car and approached the SPFT members' car to look inside. The man then turned to address his colleagues in the two cars, saying, "It isn't the person we are looking for." The two cars moved out of the way and the SPFT members were free to pursue their journey. SPFT Members believe that their car was stopped because this SPFT Members' car is very similar in colour (greenish) and shape (two door pick-up 4x4) to Mr. Pratheep Rakhanthong's car. Mr. Pratheep is a member of the SPFT Management Committee and resident in the Khlong Sai Pattana Community. According to the SPFT, the prominent Khlong Sai Community members are under most risk because of their leadership role in the organization, in particular Mr. Pratheep Rakhanthong, Mr. Supot Kansong, and Mr. Theeranet Chaisuwan. Furthermore, I have learned that the Provincial Army plans to call for a meeting regarding the dispute between Perm Sap Community and Thai Boonthong Co. on Wednesday 1 April 2015. However, should not land disputes in Surat Thani's agricultural land reform areas be discussed and addressed by the Committee to Address Problems Raised by the People Movement For a Just Society (P-move), no. 1/2015. This Committee was set up on 23 January 2015 by Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister, and it is officially tasked with settling land disputes and distributing community land titles to people living in agricultural land reform areas in Surat Thani.

The Khlong Sai Community has also noted the early release of a local criminal, who was convicted for drugs and weapons-related crimes. This person is an influential local mafia who is in cooperation with the company broker who has been selling disputed land, and he was seen accompanying the Army to the Khlong Sai Patanna Village on a few occasions. It is most unfortunate that SPFT members, and especially leaders under explicit death threats, are living under constant fear. The lack of effective investigation into attacks faced by members of SPFT and the prevailing impunity in Thailand only seems to enable further attacks on community-based rights defenders. This situation of constant intimidation might makes it impossible for community based human rights defenders – such as SPFT leaders – to pursue their work of advocating community rights and securing community land title deeds. The killing of human rights defenders can often be avoided if state authorities were to take proper notice and investigate the threats and acts of intimidation they face.

I call on human rights actors in Thailand to urge the Thai authorities to: 1. Persuade the Krabi Provincial Court to immediately release an order for the Legal Execution Department to implement the decision in the judgment against the Jiew Kang Jue Pattana Co. Ltd., in a dispute with Khlong Sai Pattana Community. This action requires the company to return the land to the governmental Agricultural Land Reform Office (ARLO), who is the rightful owner of the land, according to the 11 November 2014 Supreme Court judgment. The ARLO should urgently redistribute land based on collective ownership, managed by the community. 2. Demand that the Ministry of Justice, Rights and Liberty Department, extends its protection mandate to provide immediate and sufficient protection to community-based human rights defenders. The Rights and Liberty Department should take all measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Mr. Pratheep Rakhanthong, Mr. Supot Kansong, and Mr. Theeranet Chaisuwan, and Mr. Pianrat, and all SPFT members, their families, as well as other community activists. 3. Insist that the Committee to Address Problems Raised by the People Movement For a Just Society (P-move), no. 1/2015, at the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister, actively addresses the needs of the people living in agricultural land reform areas in Surat Thani. Such actions should include coordinating with all concerned actors to suspend any activities that may cause further conflict, or may disrupt the livelihoods of SPFT members, and halting all efforts to evict the people. 4. Reiterate to the Thai government its obligation to ensure a conducive and protective legal environment for human rights defenders to promptly and effectively investigate all threats and attacks against them, and to hold both state and non-state perpetrators accountable.

Yours Sincerely,


1. General Prayuth Chan-ocha Prime Minister Head of the National Council for Peace and Order Royal Thai Army Commander-in-Chief Rachadamnoen Nok Road Bang Khun Phrom Bangkok 10200 THAILAND E-mail:

2. Dr. Amara Pongsapich Chair, National Human Rights Commission The Government Complex Commemorating His Majesty the King's 80th Birthday Anniversary 5th December B.E.2550 (2007), Building B 120 Moo 3 Chaengwattana Road Thoongsonghong, Laksi Bangkok 10210 THAILAND E-mail:

3. Dr. Niran Pitakwatchara,M.D. National Human Rights Commissioner The Government Complex Commemorating His Majesty the King's 80th Birthday Anniversary 5th December, B.E.2550 (2007), Building B 120 Moo 3 Chaengwattana Road Thoongsonghong, Laksi Bangkok 10210 THAILAND Email:

4. General Tanasak Patimapragorn Minister of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sri Ayudhya Road, Bangkok 10400 THAILAND Tel: +66 2 203-5000 Fax : +66 2 643-5320, 643-5314 Email:

5. Mr. Chatmueng Chatputi Suratthani Provincial Governor Surat Thani City Hall Mueang Surat Thani 84000 THAILAND

6. Maj-Gen Prakarn Cholayuth Commander of the Fourth Army Region The fourth Army Headquarter, Muang, Nakhonsrithmmarat THAILAND Tel: +66 75 383418 Extension-40054 Email:

7. Maj Gen Kueakun Innachak Surat Thani Army Chief Surat Thani THAILAND Tel: +66 7720 4491 (Office) +66 08 7270-5804 (Mobile) Fax: +66 7720 4491

8. Col. Naras Savestanaa Director General Rights and Liberties Protection Department 120 Moo 3 Rajaburi Direkriddhi Building The Government Complex Commemorating His Majesty the King´s 80th Birthday Anniversary 5th Changwattana Road Tung Song Hong Laksi Bangkok 10210 THAILAND Tel: +66 2 1412707 Fax: +66 2 1439660 Email:

Investigation of alleged torture against suspects of the Criminal Court bomb attack urged; Martial Law must be lifted

Sansern Sriounruen

A bomb exploded inside the compound of the Bangkok Criminal Court on 7 March 2015 and nine suspects have been arrested so far. Today, 17 March 2015, the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) has received complaints from four of the suspects in this case including Mr. Sansern Sriounruen, Mr. Chanwit Chariyanukul, Mr. Norapat Luephon, and Mr. Wichai Yusuk.

It has been alleged in the complaints that the four suspects were subjected to torture, including being hit, punched, booted in their head, chest, back, and threatened with assault, in order to extract information from them. In addition, some suspects were electrocuted, leaving visible traces on their skin, while being held in custody from 9-15 March under Martial Law.

TLHR is gravely concerned about the use of Martial Law to hold a person in custody and to prevent the person from communicating with his or her relatives and lawyers during the seven days. Previous detentions invoking Martial Law since the coup have taken place in undisclosed facilities and were conducted without transparency and accountability. The latest case of its kind involves the detention of Ms. Nutthathida Meewangpla; it was made known only later that she had been subjected to military custody.

The deprivation of liberty of a person, invoking Martial Law, may give rise to arbitrary exercise of power, torture and ill-treatment, and enforced disappearance. Torture inflicted on a person in custody is considered a gross human rights abuse and is a breach to obligations regarding the UN Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) to which Thailand is a state party and has been obliged to follow since 1 November 2007.

TLHR demands the following from concerned agencies: 1.The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) must bring to a halt the invocation of Martial Law to suppress any criminal act, as the police are already able to invoke their power as per the Criminal Procedure Code to effectively apply for arrest warrants and investigate the case.

2.The Department of Corrections, which supervises detention facilities, must ensure access to independent and impartial physicians for the four suspects. They, along with other suspects in the same case, should have access to physical and mental examination so as to create a guarantee against any possibility of being subjected to torture and ill-treatment during the time Martial Law is imposed.

3.The Royal Thai Police must conduct an investigation and collect evidence related to the abuses committed against the four suspects and bring the perpetrators to justice.

With respect to people’s rights and liberties, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR).

Auction Modi Suit Raises Questions on Blood Diamond `Havala` Industry & Nuclear Deal

Special Contribution
By Rakesh Manchanda


Narender Modi image is bailed out by this personalised suit auction reading Narender Damodardas Modi and the collected money as announced is to be used in already delayed Clean Ganga Project. Thanks to the `face saver` Auction of the Honourable PM Modi suit at Rs.4,31,31000 or approx.Rs.4.31 crore. Auction was a farce. According to Gujarat media reports an `undated` cheque with the buyer amount was pre-planned and was ready in advance. The lucky Gujarati buyer is Lalji Patel father-son Diamond merchants in Surat.

Suit became viral in media spin and was chosen by PM Modi in his Equal preparedness to meet the President Obama and enter into India-US Nuclear deal. Raja Nanga Hai-The King is Naked : This suit story reminds many including me about a folk and a skit with a Title-The King is Naked where I was assigned the role to play the King in my school class 7th standard. The king ordered the tailor to make a unique suit never woven and stitched before in the history. Tailor was so terrorised to deliver fast that in the end he chose to dress up the king with an invisible suit that made all people laugh.

Recent Budget-2015 by Modi Government tries to hide the Pro-Corporate Budget unborn laws to curb Black Money and punish the guilty. Media sincerity for a balanced budget approach for protecting the naked king is welcomed. `Future` Laws yet to be tailored and shaped but used in Budget-2015 showcase story is a unique attempt to divert the real budget issues.

Blood Diamond Links With African Countries :

Let us talk only about Diamond Havala African Industry with the polishing and the cutting of rough diamonds in Surat. The history of diamond merchant scoops and their visit to various African countries in search of easy booty reveals a lot. Buyers appear with cash like a guerrilla dealer. They stay in one country for few days to fix the deal for raw diamonds with middlemen & politicians.Market buzz is they smuggle back the parcel by a partial declaration. Blood Diamond film title is self explanatory. 143 minutes Hollywood American-German political war film of 2006 can help understand the Havala behind Diamonds Industry in simple entertaining educative fashion. Diamonds mined in war zones are sold to finance war and diamond finishers across the world. Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War 1996–2001,( now reeling under Ebola terror) the old film depicts a west African tiny country people apart by the struggle for power, greed, political unrest and diamond business by `Havala`.

Film portrays many of the atrocities of war, including the rebels' amputation of worker's hands to discourage them from voting in elections and terrorising locals to harvest raw diamonds as slaves. The film's ending, in which a conference is held concerning blood diamonds, refers to a historic meeting that took place in Kimberley, South Africa in 2000. It led to development of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which sought to certify the origin of rough diamonds in order to curb the trade in conflict diamonds, but has since been mostly abandoned as ineffective. How Modi Bandhgala suit is bailed out by a Diamond merchant is still a mystery ? Deal of Two Salesmen-Obama-Modi and Bandh Gala Pinstrips suit.
With Recession American President Obama is having a tough time meeting the standards, aspirations and life style of his American voters. Unlike Indian Politicians American President has to promote `Swaraj` and provide visible democracy by limited participation of US voters. What American Politicians miss to tell the American voters is that standard of life style they get has a bloody cost outside America. What is the hidden cost of unsafe Power and untested Agriculture, Nuclear energy solutions pushed by America is still not known? All American Presidents who visited India failed to address Bhopal gas disaster and did not mention the criminal trial of Late Anderson in India and Nuclear Disasters. See the America Protest Banner against their President.

President Obama for Nuclear take away is more transparent and honest when he says that American Uranium Corporate sellers will first examine the insurance gift of India for final transit of business to begin. For more interesting details see my past stories on this issue title: RELATED STORY: Obama`Namaste`-Can it Help Friend India Grow Fast? Citizens’ Statement against Capitulation to the US on Nuclear Liability Delhi Muffler Man Vs London Imported Suit AAP Govt. in Delhi Seva will Perform Better & Keep Modi Errors in check PM Modi`s Unique Brand Suit for US-India Nuclear Deal Hidden Havens & Stolen Money Management Stop Corporate Match Fixing – Apply Cricket Swaraj.

What Indian PM fails to tell before selling a false dream of a superpower without measuring American tailored gap on GDP and its per capita income. In the post Recession era even when 118 American banks are licking dust allow me to put the American In-House showcase straight: • Military strength of America :40 % of total world military spending. • Money control of America : 17% of total votes in IMF/World Bank. • GDP of USA is still number one- 15 Trillion dollars.

Let us give a benefit of doubt to our PM Modi ji and request him to help India understand as to how the unequal nuclear deal with US shall make India equal and rich? In a changing world there is no harm in getting friendly and closer to America but not a cost to harm 99% the pockets of majority citizens. Independent business and foreign policy is a must with no compromise at the cost of India`s old gift to the world of low cost life saving medicines. The biggest lesson of Blood Diamond, nuclear deal and the pinstripes personalised suit is that people must stop protecting the naked king if he fails to dress up faster. (Author has Worked in African countries since 2006 and is monitoring future possibility of Swaraj in North India and Delhi.)

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