The Global Digest

Press Release

PAKISTAN: Halt the execution of Saqi Shah, a minor at the time of the incident

Dec 14, 2015

Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, President of Pakistan

Please Send the following petition by fax & email to all addresses

Mr. Ban Ki Moon Secretary General of the United Nations Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General United Nations S-378, New York, NY 10017 USA Tel: +1 212 963 5012 Fax: +1 212 963 7055 or 2155 E-mail:, Tel. +1 212 963 7162 (PRESS INQUIRIES ONLY), +1 212 963 1234 (ALL OTHER INQUIRIES) New York, NY 10027 USA Fax. +1 212 963 7055

Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Palais Wilson 52 Rue Des Pâquis CH-1201 Geneva SWITZERLAND Tel: +41 22 917 9656 Fax: +41 22 917 9012/0213 Email:

Mr. Justice Zaheer Jamali, Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court of Pakistan Constitution Avenue, Islamabad PAKISTAN Fax: + 92 51 9213452 E-mail:

Mr. Mamnoon Hussain President of Pakistan President\'s Secretariat Islamabad PAKISTAN Fax: +92 51 9207458 Email:

Dear Sir,

I am writing to voice my deep concern about the execution of two persons who have already spent 23 years in prison, including 20 years on death row in Adialla Prison. They are to be hanged on December 16, which is the first anniversary of the terrorist killing of 145 children at the Army Public School in Peshawar. One of the condemned convicts, Mr. Ishaq Hussain Shah, alias Saqi Shah, was 16 years old when he was arrested on charges of murder in 1992.

I appeal to you to halt the execution of these two persons, Syed Ishaq Shah, alias Saqi Shah, and Liaquat Hussain Shah from Jhang, Punjab, who have already spent 23 years in prison including 20 years of their life in a “death cell” of Adialla Prison. Mr. Saqi was a 16 year old at the time of the murder of a person from a militant and banned organisation, the Lashkar-e- Jhanvi (LeJ). Please urge the Pakistani authorities to grant amnesty, as they have already been punished by being detained for 23 years.

The details of the case are that Mr. Ishaq Hussain Shah (name listed in school registration as Ashaq Hussain Shah), alias Saqi Shah, was arrested on 15 June 1992, along with Mr. Liaquat Hussain Shah, on charges of murdering Mr. Mukhtar Ahmed, a member of a banned religious militant organisation, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). Saqi Shah was, according to his birth certificate, born on 20 April 1975, making him 16 years old at the time of the arrest. The son of Mukhtar, the deceased, filed the case against victims. Notably, Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act, which deals with cause of death by a terrorist act, was not mentioned in the first information report (FIR) of police.

Since 1992, Saqi Shah and Liaquat were held in different prisons. Following announcement of the death sentence they were kept in the “death cell” of Adialla Jail, a prison notorious for its executions. Saqi Shah has now spent 40 years in punishment for a crime in which he denies involvement. According to Saqi Shah, he was a class 8 student at the time, and was not a member of any militant organization. Before Saqi Shah’s and Liaquat’s arrest on murder charges, in 1992 in Jhang District, LeJ militant Akram Lahori, along with two other companions, murdered six persons. These six included a six-month-old baby belonging to the Shia sect of Islam in 1992 in Jhang District.

When it was time for Akram Lahori’s execution, both Lahori and his militant organisation used the cases of Saqi Shah and Liaquat as bargaining chips. They were successful in getting concessions to delay Lahori’s execution by pleading with the authorities that a compromise was being made with Saqi and Liaquat to exonerate them from execution. But the family members of the six murdered persons did not compromise. (For more details, click here) Their death sentences are the outcome of a poor criminal justice system, wherein the police were forced to implicate Saqi Shah and Liaquat in the murder of Mukhtar, a member of LeJ, as a part of the deal. The case bypassed ordinary trial.

Yours Sincerely, Please sign the online petition to to halt the execution of Saqi Shah, a minor at the time of the incident

Dr B D Sharma : A Life Lived in Struggle for the Rights of Marginals

At Gwalior, Dr Sahab passed away

New Delhi, December 7 : Dr Brahma Dutt Sharma (known to many of us as Dr Sahab), left for passed away on December 6th in Gwalior. He was not keeping well for sometime and was being looked after by his son and daughter-in-law. Narmada Bachao Andolan and NAPM pay its heartfelt condolences to the family and to the Andolan Biradari, of which he was an integral part. He led many battles in his life and worked tirelessly to achieve the constitutional rights of the adivasis, dalits, workers and farmers, over five decades of his working life beginning with the troublesome days in Bastar (1968) and being the last Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (1986-1991). He also served as the Vice Chancellor of NEHU, Central University and in numerous committess of Planning Commission and National Advisory Council.

He was a bureaucrat, a contemporary of late S R Sankaran, B N Yugandhar and others who stood for the people, just a way government servant should. As SC/ST Commissioner, he not only authored seminal reports on empowerment of SC/STs but also played a key role in authorship of the Bhuria Committee report, enactment of PESA and Forest Rights Act. As Secretary in the Minister of Tribal Affairs, he initiated the idea of Tribal Sub Plan. Untill as late as 2014, he continued to collaborate and help Government in its various initiatives with the tribals and adivasis, but also challenged them on every front, for their continued betrayal and non-implementation of various plans and governance failure in the scheduled areas. He was extremely disturbed by the violence and war like situation in the tribal areas, and in a letter, dt May 17, 2010 to the President of India, he wrote :

I am constrained to state at this critical phase of the history of tribal people that the Union Government is guilty of abdicating its Constitutional responsibility by allowing the situation to degenerate from that of stray revolts in 1960s to ‘warlike situation' at the moment. It has remained unconcerned with the simmering discontent from day one with the adoption of the Constitution. It has not issued a single direction to any State in 60 long years. You as head of the nation, at a critical time must ensure that the Union Government accepts unequivocally its Constitutional responsibility with due apologies for the decimated, shattered and disinherited tribal communities whose irretrievable loss- physical, economical and emotional - is an un-washable blot on the fair face of our nation that still stands by equity and justice.

He stood for the rights of the people, for implementation of the self rule in the Gram Sabhas as mandated by the Constitution and championed the cause of the Hamare Gaon me Hamara Raaj. Even while serving as the SC/ST Commmsioner, he filed the first case in the Supreme Court, demanding the implementation of the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal (NWDT) award. SC ordered the implementation of the NWDT award by the governments, which paved the way for allotment of land for land to thousands of the project affected families. Unfortunately violating the SC order and order of numerous Tribunals and Commissions and in face of continued struggle of Narmada Bachao Andolan, the NDA government is pushing ahead the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, leading to submergence of nearly 2 lakh plus people in the Narmada Valley.

Dr Sharma was a visionary and was troubled by the growing inequity in the society in the wake of the neo liberal reforms pushed by the government. He worked tirelessly to implement the laws, policies, programmes and schemes of the government using all the means available with him, but he knew the real swaraj will come only if people themselves organized and fought for it and took control of their own life, means of livelihood, control over natural resources, had a say in the development plan and became a beneficiary in the process of development. He founded Bharat Jan Andolan and lent his voice and support to Narmada Bachao Andolan, National Alliance of People’s Movements, Kisani Pratishtha Manch, Campaign for Survival and Dignity and many more people’s struggles and movements.

He travelled through out the country and propagated his views and solutions to the farmers and workers distress, advocated for their rights and kept stressing the fact that we are headed towards a agrarian crisis and something which stemmed from the fact that farmers and workers were not getting their due. They were not being compensated for their efforts and hard work. He would often ask at the gatehrings, bata mere yaar, meri mehnat kaa mol hai kya ? He wrote extensively and also published for which he set up his publishing unit, Sahyog Kutir Prakashan. He lived frugally and minimally, travelled across the country as a simpleton, wearing his dhoti kurta and remained accessible to every one. Even when he was not keeping well, he joined us all at the completion of 20 years of NAPM at its biennial convention in Pune, last year.

He will be missed for his courage of conviction and dedication to the cause of the marginalized. In his death we all have lost a great teacher and a comrade, who was always there for us in times of crisis and in struggle. Saathi tere sapno ko manzil tak pahunchayenge ! Zindabaad !

Why Arvind Kejrwal is playing with Lokpal?

Nov 28, 2015

Play ! Baby Play !- Cartoon

The proposed Lokpal Bill of Delhi government is a "Jokepal"; a cruel joke with the people One of the reasons of formation of the Aam Aadmi Party was to realize a long standing dream of an independent Lokpal, which would curb corruption and weed out corrupt elements out of the system. The dream seemed to be inching close when the Aam Aadmi Party achieved a resounding mandate in Delhi assembly but over nine months passed without any substantial progress on the promise. Under pressure due to unjustified delay, the Delhi cabinet has now passed a Delhi Janlokpal Bill, 2015 to be presented in the assembly.

The proposed Delhi Janlokpal Bill, 2015 is a cheating with the people of Delhi and the Lokpal movement. Following are the reasons:

Appointment of the Lokpal:

i) The section 3(1)a of the Delhi Janlokpal Bill, 2015 says that the selection committee would consist of High Court Chief Justice, the Chief Minister, Assembly Speaker and leader of Opposition. It makes it very clear that the AAP government wants the appointment of Lokpal to be controlled by political class and would not let any appointment be made without the approval of ruling party. Promise: The Janlokpal bill had envisioned that the appointments be made independent of the will of political class, but the provision in the present bill cheats the spirit of an independent Janlokpal. Out of the four members in selection committee, three would be from the political class. This is completely contrary to what Arvind Kejriwal has had always said about the independence of Lokpal.

Removal of Chairperson or members of the Janlokpal:

ii) As per the provisions mentioned in section 6(1) of the proposed bill, the Lokpal can be removed by a motion passed by the Delhi assembly by 2/3rd majority of the members present and voting in the assembly. Needless to say, if the act sees the light of the day, the Lokpal will be completely at the mercy of AAP government. Promise: We had always argued that the anti-corruption & investigating agencies end up becoming instruments in the hands of ruling governments, so an effective Lokpal needs to be delinked from interference of ruling governments and political control. It is sad to see the AAP bringing a bill which would ultimately leave the Lokpal at the mercy of Delhi government, making it a joke.

No Independent Investigative Machinery

iii) No investigative machinery has been given to or placed under Lokpal as per section 10 in the proposed bill. Without its own independent officers, solely recruited for and dedicated to the institution, the Lokpal would merely be like the various other commissions and tribunals. This effectively means that the Lokpal will have to carry its investigations through officers and machinery provided by governments. Needless to say the investigating officers would obviously be under the control of those governments which provide it. Promise: The Janlokpal movement had always stressed that investigating officers should be free of the influence or control of any government. It was argued that no less than an independent investigative machinery vested with the institution of Lokpal would be effective in curbing corruption.

Jurisdiction of the Lokpal:

iv) As per the present bill, jurisdiction of the Lokpal would be to investigate any corruption offence in Delhi, be it various agencies and functions under the central government. It means that the state Lokpal can investigate the central government as well. Promise: This is totally contrary to what was envisaged in our Jan Lokpal bill where the state Lokayukta were supposed to investigate the corruption of officers of state governments only and the Central Lokpal would investigate the officers from central government. This provision has been introduced with malafide intentions to ensure that the central government does not approve and the bill never gets passed. The AAP will then claim that it tried to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill but the central government obstructed it.

Penalty on false complaints:

v) This bill prescribes 1 yr jail for false complaints, the falsity of which will be decided by this 'sarkari lokpal'. Promise: This is also what we had fought against since it will deter complainants. It is not there in the Uttarakhand bill which Kejriwal said this is modeled on. We can now understand why this draft was not made public, to enable public consultation and comments. The plan was to pass this Maha joke pal bill with a dramatic flourish and then play victim by claiming that the Central govt is obstructing it.

The Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015 is not what the anti-corruption Lokpal movement had fought so deeply for. It is merely an eyewash and not the bill which made thousands and thousands volunteer for a crusade against corruption. The present bill to be tabled in the assembly is no less a cheating with the people of Delhi. In fact, the present bill is worse than the central government's Jan Lokpal Bill, against which the present Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had spoken so vehemently. "Leave alone ministers, not even a rat will go to jail on the basis of this Bill. No proper investigation will be possible under it," Kejriwal had said in December 2013 regarding a proposed legislation by the central government while terming it a "Jokepal Bill"

- We would would like to know what compelled the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to now bring the Jokepal bill, which he had once fought against? - Does he now believe that a corrupt rat will go to jail on the basis of this new bill? - How would he guarantee that the proposed Lokpal will not end up becoming his political instrument against opponents/ for corruption, as is the case with institutions like CBI or CVC?

If at all it passes, which is unlikely, the Lokpal will be no more than an instrument under the control of Delhi government with jurisdiction over central government as well. Thus, the Bill is designed in a way not to be cleared by the central government, so that Arvind Kejriwal can claim that the Central government is obstructing it. It seems a dirty political game between Aam Aadmi Party and BJP is in the offing in the name of Lokpal.

Note - Copy of the original Janlokpal Bill, the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill, the Lokpal & Lokayuktas Act, 2013 and the one slated to be presented in Delhi assembly, for you to compare for yourself how much the Aam Aadmi Party and its supremo has digressed from its promise on Lokpal is available on net. Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan

CNDP Statement against India-UK nuclear cooperation

Oct 16, 2015

Modi’s visit to London

We strongly oppose the joint statement between UK and India signed during PM Modi’s visit to London, which calls for renewed push in the civil nuclear sector. The nuclear cooperation is absurd and dangerous for a number of reasons:

• The nuclear industry is facing terminal crisis in the UK, particularly with Hinkley Point coming under strong criticism for the its staggering cost and environmental impacts. UK itself is embarking on nuclear deals with China to import reactors, a move that has been called disastrous by the energy and safety experts in the country.

• In India, there have been intense protests by farmers and local communities against the proposed reactor sites where nuclear plants imported after the Indo-US nuclear deal are being set up. These protests have raised a wide array of issues – the local issues of livelihoods and environmental damage, the generic problems of nuclear energy and its inherently unsafe nature, the adverse economics of nuclear power and its undesirability for India’s nuclear future, the much worse safety culture in India owing to a non-independent regulator and a totally unaccountable and non-transparent nuclear industry, and the global shift away from nuclear power in the post-Fukushima world which India stands to miss due to its nuclear obsession.

• The joint statement furthers the dangerous myth of nuclear being a clean energy and a solution to climate change. Nothing could be farther from the truth. While nuclear does have substantial carbon foot-print from mining to the fabrication of high-grade concrete and other equipments, it cannot address climate change simply because climate change is a much more immediate challenge and nuclear power plants take typically 12-15 years to be built.

Modi government, ever since assuming power, has only furthered its predecessor’s discredited agenda of a dangerous and anachronistic nuclear policy. On issues like nuclear liability, fresh environmental assessment of Jaitapur and other projects that were hurriedly pushed by the Manmohan Singh government, and taking into account local people during land acquisition for these projects, the Modi govt has made dangerous and blatantly undemocratic u-turns from the stance of BJP itself when it was in opposition. We demand an immediate scrapping of all such nuclear agreements, a moratorium on projects in the pipeline and an open and democratic national debate in India about nuclear energy.

For CNDP - Achin Vanaik, Anil Chaudhary, Lalita Ramdas, Abey George, Kumar Sundaram

U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report describes serious violations of freedom of religion or belief in Vietnam

Ambassador at Large David Saperstein

PARIS, 27 October 2015 (VCHR) – Vo Van Ai, President of the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR) welcomed the annual Report on International Religious Freedom issued by the U.S. State Department on the situation of religious freedom in the world. In the report, made public on 14 October, a 14-page chapter on the situation in Vietnam describes widespread restrictions and abuses of religious communities, especially those not registered with the authorities, ranging from “assault, short term detentions, prosecutions, monitoring, restrictions on travel, and denials of registration and/or other permissions.” Even registered religious communities could not operate freely, the report stated, as “the government continued to restrict their activities in education and health and required authorization for many other activities”. “The U.S. State Department’s report portrays the grave situation of freedom of religion or belief in Vietnam, with abuses against all religious communities. I warmly applaud the efforts of Ambassador-at-Large David Saperstein and the Office of International Religious Freedom in documenting this situation. Given the report’s findings, the State Department’s next step should be to urgently designate Vietnam as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) as recommended by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom in its 2015 report. Otherwise, Vietnam will continue to violate its citizens’ freedoms with impunity” said VCHR President Vo Van Ai.

The International Religious Freedom (IRF) Report depicts a deliberate policy of repression in which “government authorities, particularly at the local level, continued to limit the activities of unregistered religious groups, and members of these and other groups reported convictions, assaults, excessive use of force, detentions, monitoring, hindering of movement, denials of registrations and other permissions, and other harassment”. It also gives cases of religious followers being forced to recant their faith, which is forbidden under Vietnamese law. Under religious legislation such as the 2004 Ordinance on Religion and Belief and Decree 92, religions are subjected to a vast system of control. Religious communities must register with the state in order to carry out their activities, and submit to the systematic control and oversight of the authorities. Groups which cannot, or choose not to register with the authorities, such as the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) are illegal and exposed to arbitrary repression. “Unregistered Buddhist, Cao Dai, Hao Hoa, and Christian religious groups regularly reported some provincial authorities used local registration laws to pressure, intimidate, threaten, extort, harass, and assault their members”, and “some local authorities systematically and openly used the local and national regulatory systems to slow, delegitimize, and suppress religious activities of groups that resisted close management of their leadership structures, training programs, assemblies, and other activities”, said the report.

The IRF Report notes that, whereas the Vietnamese Constitution guarantees religious freedom, it also “has language that prohibits citizens from “taking advantage of a belief or religion in order to violate the law.” “In addition, the penal code establishes penalties for practices that undermine the state’s national unity policy”. This refers to the broadly-defined “national security” crimes in Vietnam’s Penal Code such as “abusing democratic freedoms” (Article 258), “undermining the unity policy; sowing divisions between the religious and non-religious people” (Article 87), which carry harsh prison sentences. Although these provisions have been strongly denounced by the United Nations and the international community, Vietnam continues to invoke them to sanction religious communities for alleged “political activity”. The State Department notes that ethnic Christian minorities are particularly impacted by these laws, as they are accused of “separatism” by the state. Alongside the restrictive legislation cited in the IRF Report, the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights is particularly concerned by the new Law on Belief and Religion under preparation in Vietnam. Currently in its fifth draft, this new law is in many aspects more restrictive than current legislation. If adopted as such, it would impose stricter controls and regulations on religious communities, and reduce the scope of their activities. The draft has been forwarded to the National Assembly for debate.

The IRF Report cites the case of the UBCV leader Thich Quang Do, 87, currently under house arrest without charge at the Thanh Minh Zen Monastery in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), who received a visit from the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Tom Malinowski in August this year. “UBCV Supreme Patriarch Thich Quang Do stated authorities prevented followers from visiting him or regularly questioned them after any such visit, although he could meet diplomats within his pagoda. UBCV leaders said the government continued to restrict their movement. Authorities closely monitored these activities, the leaders said.” Thich Quang Do has been detained for the past 30 years for his advocacy of religious freedom, human rights and democracy. According to the IRF Report, the State Department regularly raises the case of Thich Quang Do with the Vietnamese authorities, and has called for his release.

SRI LANKA: Sense and nonsense on judicial matters - A comment on the approved UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Sri Lanka

Oct 02, 2015

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna uprising

Basil Fernando

Now that the UN Resolution on promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka has been approved by the Human Rights Council, a new page opens up with possibilities of looking into and dealing with grave problems that have crippled the entire justice system in Sri Lanka for several decades. What is meant by the ‘entire justice system’ includes the investigative branches into crimes, the prosecuting agency which is the Attorney General’s Department and also the judiciary. The crisis enveloping these institutions has a direct bearing on the successful implementation of the Resolution.

From that overall point of view, the challenges that the implementation of the Resolution will face within the Sri Lankan context are many - even if we take for granted, that the present Government may have the political will to implement the Resolution which it co-sponsored. One of the major areas of challenge is that the Sri Lankan justice system has been subverted in such a manner as would appear to be nonsensical to anyone who has a serious interest in justice. We may enumerate few such instances to illustrate this problem.

An average judge at any level, a prosecutor, a lawyer, and a criminal investigator in Sri Lanka is seldom outraged by the nonsensical if not absurd delays that inevitably attends the hearing of a case, even if this involves a grave crime. A Psychiatrist who has been attending Courts, to give evidence in many cases, sarcastically mentioned in a televised interview recently, that in one of the child sexual abuse cases, in which he is an expert witness that the incident happened when the child was an 8-year-old.Now this child is a 20-year-old adult, but the case is still being heard in the Courts. There are other cases where a rape incident which took place some 14 years ago is still being heard in the High Court.When the trial is finally scheduled to be over, if the accused is convicted, there will certainly be an appeal against the verdict, which will also take many more years to complete. In such a sea of apathy and absurdity, how could the trials for extremely serious crimes mentioned in the Investigative Report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, be tried? Will a local judge, who may sit with other judges to hear such a trial, have a serious interest in speedy justice? When speedy justice is a concept that does not exist within the local judicial culture, what basis is there to expect that things will be different regarding these trials? Of course, one way out is, to have a farce, like the Criminal Justice Commission on Sri Lanka which heard the case relating to the 1971 JVP ( Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna) uprising. Though judges sat on that Commission, the Commission was not a Court of law, and was not bound to follow due process under the legal procedure of Sri Lanka. Naturally, the Commission was severely condemned internationally. The purpose of that Commission was to arrive at some kind of a political solution, by the appearance of a trial.

If all the trials relating to allegations put forward by the OHCHR Report is to be examined merely by some special courts, how many such special courts would be needed to hear all these cases? In any case, would not the rest of the litigants in Sri Lanka who have to move in a sea of delay, have a right to protest against such special courts which will guarantee a different speed? This certainly is an area that the local and international experts talking about the implementation of this resolution would have to deal with.

Another example of an absurdity would be, the issue relating to torture and ill-treatment, extra judicial executions, and arbitrary deprivation of liberties, under which headings many of the allegations in the OCHR reports are listed. And what about the crimes under these same headings, but which falloutside specific incidents listed in the report? For example there is the CAT (Convention against Torture) Act No 22 of 1994, which has defined the offence of torture and ill-treatment, as a crime. Complaints made by ordinary citizens, of torture and ill-treatment have to be counted in thousands. Torture takes place every day, at every police station, and many officers vow that they cannot do without it. When such a widespread practice goes on, will not the victims of those crimes, have a right to complain that in fact, no justice is being done to them, while there are special trials for these special cases? Their anger will not be for the victims of these special cases being granted justice. Their grievance will be that they are not being treated equally.

The same argument would go regarding endless cases of rape and sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, and extra judicial executions. I have not mentioned here the question of enforced disappearances that have taken place on a very large scale in the past as enforced disappearances is not yet an offence in Sri Lanka. However once it will be made an offence, the family members who have lost their loved ones in previous cases of disappearances, are likely to be aggrieved of their inability to receive justice. The argument against them would be that about the inability to prosecute retrospectively. That in any case, would be the situation even regarding the cases mentioned in the OHCHR Report. A much longer list of such absurdities could be enumerated and would certainly come up in the years to come when the Resolution is being implemented. A further issue is regarding, the selections of outsiders to the proposed Hybrid Courts. There have been some Sri Lankan judges who in the recent times have been sitting in international tribunals hearing war crimes. These judges are not reputed as being impartial in their own country. In fact, some of them were as politically compromised as many others during the sad period when the executive presidential system determined the scope of justice in Sri Lanka. Naturally, Sri Lankans would want to have a guarantee that no such persons would be appointed from outside, to sit in their Courts.

If we are to take for granted that those who would come as expert investigators, prosecutors, and judges, would be those of integrity, and competence then still, there will be further problems. For example, how would a judge who does not tolerate scandalous delays sit together with a local judge who sees no problems with such delay? The problem of the deep collapse of the justice institutions in Sri Lanka, would need to be addressed if a credible outcome is to emerge, from implementation of this Resolution. Mere arrival of experts alone would not suffice. The purpose of this article is to raise the type of discussions on fundamentals and deeper questions of justice that beset Sri Lanka, such discussions should accompany any serious discourse on justice, as envisaged in the co-sponsored Resolution.

What the co-sponsored Resolution offers to Sri Lanka, is a great opportunity to deal with the ‘justice impasse’ that is troubling all people of Sri Lanka. However, that great opportunity would be missed if a serious discourse on the problems besetting the totality of the justice system is not seriously and thoroughly discussed at this early stage. On the other hand, if these matters are discussed and addressed, much of the future criticisms that may arise, regarding the actual implementation of the recommendations in this UN Resolution could be avoided.

Fund Raising for Flood Victims in Myanmar

Aug 2, 2015

A house under flood

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing this letter to you on behalf of my organization. I am a journalist and leader of Burmese in Korea. We are doing fund raising activity. This is to help the land-sliding and flood affected people in Myanmar.

The people who are affected by flood last week need help immediately. That is why we are raising funds to help them. With this collect donations from this fund raising camp, we are going to provide food, clothes, and other necessary things to the victim people.

Thus I hope you will consider our letter and donate fund. It doesn't matter small or big amounts, what yours Samaritan help is the most precious. We assure that your money will be used for a noble cause. Yours sincerely,

John S. Thang (Fund Raising Team) Representative, The Global Digest media, Director, All Ethnics Democracy and Human Rights Network, #402, Cheongpa dong, 3ga 34, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (140-133). Mobile: 010-7615-7708, Email:

Bank account for donation: Bank Name : Shinhan Bank, A/c No. 110-244-015149, Benificial Name: Thang John Smith, SWIFT code: SHBKKRSE

The whole town under flood

Kids in trouble at school

In Korean

미얀마 홍수 피해 재난민들을 위한 모금활동

2015년 8월 2일

Road turned into flood


저는 한국의 Burmese의 대표이자 기자입니다. 저희는 산사태와 홍수로 큰 피해를 입은 미얀마 사람들을 위해 모금활동을 진행할 예정입니다.

지난주 미얀마에서 발생한 홍수로 인해 큰 피해를 입은 사람들은 현재 여러분들의 도움을 필요로 하고 있습니다. 저희는 피해자들을 돕기 위해 모금활동을 하고자 합니다. 모금활동캠프로 인한 수익금으로 피해자들에게 음식, 옷, 여러 가지 생필품 등을 전달할 예정입니다.

이 활동에 관심을 가져주시고 모금활동에 참여해 주시길 부탁 드립니다. 금액이 적고 많음은 중요한 것이 아닙니다. 피해자들을 진심으로 생각하는 여러분들의 그 마음이 가장 중요하다고 생각합니다. 여러분들께서 보내주신 성원은 좋은 일에 쓰여질 것입니다. 감사합니다.

John S. Thang (모금활동팀) Representative, The Global Digest media, Director, All Ethnics Democracy and Human Rights Network, (140-133) 서울 용산구 청파동3가 34 402 연락처: 010-7615-7708, 이메일:

모금을 위한 계좌: 은행명 : 신한은행, 계좌번호: 110-244-015149, 예금주: Thang John Smith

Death toll is increasing

Houses destroyed by land-sliding

More Photos of Flood Victims in Myanmar

Mockery of Right to Education - Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Samalka denied re-admission to Kumari Deepa in Class XI

Jul 22, 2015

Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya

To, Sh. Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister, Government of N.C.T of Delhi, Secretariat, IP Estate, New Delhi-110002,

Dear Sir,

Many times, it has been noticed that H.O.S of the Government schools are not student friendly and act in most arbitrary manner. The present is one of such cases. The girl student wants to continue her studies despite all odds but H.O.S of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Samalka, New Delhi has denied re-admission to Kumari Deepa in Class XI in academic year 2015-16 without any justification.

Kumari Deepa has been studying in Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Samalka, New Delhi. While studying in the said school, she appeared in Class X CBSE Examination 2012-14 and qualified the same. She was to continue her studies in Class XI in the said school in the Academic Year 2014-15 but suddenly her mother suffered leg injury and moved to the village along with her children including Kumari Deepa. That resulted in discontinuation of the studies of Kumari Deepa.

After the family returned to Delhi and as Kumari Deepa wanted to continue her studies in the said school, her mother Kamla Devi (M. 8826474203) approached the said school in the 1st week of July for re-admission in Class XI. Unfortunately, the H.O.S of the school denied re-admission. Thereafter, Ms. Kamla Devi approached the Deputy Director of Education, Najafgarh and the Deputy Directorof Education on 10.07.2015 put remarks in the application to the effect “H.O.S Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, please consider as per rule” and asked the student to go to the school for re-admission. Kumari Deepa along with her mother again approached the H.O.S of the said school on 10.07.2015 and produced the said application dated 10.07.2015 before him and requested for re-admission in Class XI but the H.O.S flatly refused to do so. Copies of the said application dated 10.07.2015 containing endorsement by the DDE and CBSE Certificate of Class X are enclosed hereto for your ready reference.

That since 10.07.2015 Kumari Deepa and her mother Kamla Devi have been repeatedly approaching the H.O.S of the school for re-admission but every time H.O.S has denied re-admission. On 15.07.2015, Kumari Deepa even produced a recommendation letter dated 15.07.2015 from MLA Col. Devinder Sehrawat but of no use.

The aforesaid action on the part of H.O.S of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Samalka, New Delhi is totally illegal, arbitrary, unjust, unethical, anti-child, unconstitutional, violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India and contrary to provisions of Delhi School Education Act, 1973.

You are therefore requested to intervene in this matter on urgent basis and ensure that Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya Samalka, New Delhi grants re-admission to Kumari Deepa in Class XI in the academic year 2015-16.

With regards Ashok Agarwal Advisor, Social Jurist M. 9811101923 Tel. 011-23070026

A genuine democracy for Myanmar and stop Ethnic conflicts

Jun 29, 2015

Members of All Ethnics Democracy and Human Rights Network

Today we are protesting in the front of Myanmar embassy, in memorial of our student leader - a hero ‘Salai Tin Maung Oo’ who was deliberately killed by Myanmar military junta due to his democracy and freedom movement. This is the memorial of 39th anniversary of Salai Tin Maung Oo assassination, that Myanmar’s military junta killed him on June 24, 1976. We “All Ethnic Democracy and Human Rights Network” are strongly condemned for the Myanmar military government’s action for that. We also asked for our democracy and ethnic-civil rights.

Myanmar is remained military ruled and uncertainty of future democracy in the country. The consequence of military rule for several decades, ethnic state has no chance to administering their own region properly, there are ongoing religious and ethnic clashes. Therefore, we demand Myanmar quasi-military government:

(1) Admit and apology for killing Salai Tin Maung Oo. (2) Stop continues civil war and human rights violation. (3) Stop military interfering in civilian government. Remove 25 % military seats at parliament which guaranteed by the constitution, (4) Avoid any law imposing on restriction on religious freedom and persecution minotirty religion (5) Follow democracy principles and provide freedom from political and economic suppression. (6) Release all student prisoners.

Protesters at Myanmar Embassy, Seoul

And we ask South Korean government and International community to support on our course of democracy movement and effort to transform a genuine democracy system in Myanmar. A freedom Myanmar can help regional and international peace and prosperity. Also we ask to support and help-out the ethnic victims in inside the country and asylum seekers around the world.

The Campaign was led by former Kaley University Engineering students' leader Aung Aung.

Solidarity with Awas Haq Satyagrah, Mandala (Mumbai)

Jun 3, 2015

Awas Haq Satyagrah in Mumbai

The on-going Awas Haq Satyagrah in Mumbai has entered its 8th day today, with 2nd day of relay fast, to demand right to housing and basic amenities in the slum of Mandala, Mankhurd. In a brutal demolition drive in 2004-05, more than 3,000 families were forcefully evicted with their homes and property being damaged. During the UPA government, the Ministry of Urban Development had announced a pilot project of the Rajiv Awas Yojna (RAY) and had chosen Mandala to launch it. However, the promise remained unfulfilled. Ten years and several promises later, people are still homeless and continue to face oppression at the hand of corrupt builder-police-politician nexus.

On 26th May, thousands of people from Mandala and supporters from other slums of Mumbai gathered and collectively occupied the land that has been lying vacant since the demolition several years ago to launch the Satyagrah. However, there has been no response from the government so far. The recent news of diluting the RAY to favour the builder corporate lobby is another example of government’s callousness.

To stand in solidarity with the on-going struggle in Mandala (Mumbai) as well as to highlight the need for right to housing, shelter, basic amenities and right of the poor over urban spaces, we call upon the concerned groups and individuals to come in large numbers in front of Maharashtra Sadan (address: K.G. Marg, Next to Baroda House, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001) on 3rd June from 11 am onwards.


Special Contribution
By Roland Watson(dictatorwatch)
May 16, 2015

UWSA (Wa) headquarter Pangsang

“Stick to your guns” is a well-known English saying. It means that you will not compromise. You will continue to demand what you both need and deserve, and not settle for less. For Burma, the country’s ethnic nationalities, who have suffered over fifty years of oppression at the hands of the Burman-dominated military dictatorship, need and deserve freedom and democracy. More immediately, they need relief from the dictatorship’s attacks against them, including its widespread and systematic commission of a wide range of crimes against humanity.

The ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) that defend the people from the dictatorship recently concluded a six day conference, following which they released a statement about the situation in the country and their attempts to reach a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the regime. (A translation of this statement, prepared by Myanmar Peace Monitor, and included in the article Burma Ceasefire Agreement: One step forward, two steps back, by Mark Inkey in Asian Correspondent, May 08, 2015, is included at the end.) The statement’s most pressing demands are that the dictatorship stop its attacks, end its human rights abuses, and that the NCA include all the armed groups. Otherwise, how can it possibly be a “ceasefire,” and “nationwide”?

Of note, these demands, either overt or implied, have been part of all the EAO position statements dating back to the beginning of the ceasefire negotiation. This includes at the UNFC’s ethnic nationalities conference in August 2013; the Laiza meeting in November 2013; the Lawkeelar meeting in January 2014; and the UNFC statement in April 2015. The ethnic nationality demands have never wavered. Similarly, the dictatorship’s aggression and abuse has never ceased.

The EAOs will now meet again, to consider the draft NCA (to which the latest UNFC statement applied). Frankly, given the regime’s intransigence, one wonders why they even bother. They have made their demands, and which are not only just: they are essential. The dictatorship must compromise, otherwise there is no reason even to talk. The pro-democracy organizations for Burma’s ethnic nationality peoples must stick to their guns. This means they should never back down, and also, quite literally, that they should not end their armed struggle. The revolution in Burma must continue until their demands - the legitimate aspirations of their people - are achieved.


1. We reject the use of force. Political problems have to be solved by political means. 2. All ceasefire groups and non-ceasefire groups must have the right to sign the NCA. 3. The fighting in Northern Shan State and Kachin State must stop because it causes distrust. 4. Human rights violations in ethnic areas must stop. 5. The constitution has to be amended to guarantee ethnic rights, self-determination and a federal union. 6. We will not secede from the union

7. Fighting in Northern Burma must stop and the U.N. and China must monitor the ceasefire. 8. There must be all-inclusive political dialogue that includes the government, parliament, the army, political parties, EAOs and civil society organisations. 9. We all live together in the union, so we should have mutual respect and help each other. We need to build unity between Burmese and non-Burmese. 10. A group that includes representatives of all EAO groups should negotiate with the government and participate in political dialogue. 11. Conference participants support the proposal for the formation of a Wa State. 12. The United Wa State Party/Army will organise another EAO leaders conference at a convenient time.

Statement of Zo Re-Unification Organisation (ZoRO)

Special Contribution
By PS Haokip

One of the event organized by ZoRO

Fourteenth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 20 April to 1 May 2015, UN Headquarters, New York

Monday, 27 April 10 AM -1 PM, Item 7 Human rights: (a) Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (with specific focus on economic, social and cultural rights)

Madam Chair, distinguished delegates, fellow-indigenous people, ladies and gentlemen,

The Zo Re-Unification Organisation appreciates the Secretary-General’s affirmation that the United Nations will do everything possible to support indigenous people. We are also encouraged that the Conference Outcome Document of the first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (22-23 September 2014, UN Headquarters, NY) ‘contains action-oriented commitments to bridge the gap between promises and results’, and the 14th Session: Concept Note for Discussion calls for development of a system-wide action plan to ensure a coherent approach to achieving the ends of UNDRIP.

During colonial rule our people were administered under Assam, Bengal and Burma, the provinces of Great Britain. The colonialists’ did conceive a plan to protect our rights over land and resources and passed a resolution to bring our people ‘under one administration’ in the ‘Chin- Lushai Conference’, held at Fort William, Calcutta on 29 January 1892. However, owing to non- implementation of the resolution, our people are dispersed in different countries, namely India, Myanmar (Burma), and Bangladesh, where we are a minority people in each country and are severely disadvantaged socially, culturally and economically. As stated by Ms Carling at the two-day World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in September 2014, ‘Lands, territories and resources were at the heart of the collective survival of indigenous people, who were the peoples of the land, even before States were formed.’ Our resources include vast deposits of oil and natural gas, forests, and precious stones, which are exploited by concerned authorities with precious little benefit to our people because we do not have appropriate rights.

Despite division by international boundaries, the ethnic Zo people’s cultural integrity has remained intact because of a shared past, common culture, customs traditions, and linguistic affinity. Annual events such as Sapang Yawng Manau Poi, Chapchar Kut, Chavang Kut, Khuado Poi, Tharlak Kut and Zofest demonstrate solidarity and cultural integration. ZoRO’s objectives include restoration of our people’s right to be re-unified and exist with dignity. The Zo people’s condition is rather unique in that we are scattered in different countries, where we are a minority people in each country. This condition begs the question, how should our people become a single administrative entity and resolve the problems imposed upon us? Perhaps, the answer to this complex question lies in the Deputy-Secretary General’s words, ‘our collective responsibility - Member States, indigenous peoples, UN agencies, funds and programmes, civil society and others - to transform the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into reality. This requires determination, tenacity, political will, appropriate legal framework, and human and institutional capacities.’

ZoRO’s hope for justice, indeed, lies in ‘collective responsibility’, which requires integrity and commitment on the part of all parties concerned to engage in action that ensures socio, cultural and economic rights to all humanity, including those of the indigenous peoples of the world. Thank you!


Special Contribution
By Roland Watson
Apr 18, 2015

Aung San Suu Kyi

A simple question: If you are considering a deal with someone, such as to buy a car or a house or to make an investment, and you realize they are going to cheat you - you are absolutely 100% positive that they are going to cheat you - would you make the agreement?

The answer of course is “No.” No individual enters into any agreement when they know they are about to be swindled. A second question, then, but this time not so simple, is why if private individuals won’t agree to be cheated, institutions - their representatives - readily do?

For Burma, one example of this is the current nationwide ceasefire negotiation, between the military dictatorship and the ethnic nationality pro-democracy armed organizations (EAOs), where a draft agreement has been prepared and where the EAO leaders are about to meet to consider if they should sign it. Here, it is essential to realize that the agreement settles absolutely nothing. As a “ceasefire,” you would assume that it will actually lead to this, to a cessation of conflict. However, this is not the case. A dictatorship general has even said that clashes will continue, which is obvious given the current level of combat and the Burma Army’s invasion into the ethnic nationality homelands. Moreover, none of the EAOs’ fundamental objectives, including democracy, federalism, and above all else equality, are even touched upon in the deal. They are all to be approached at some future uncertain date.

There is no doubt, at all, that the dictatorship is insincere, no matter the lies that regime propaganda organs continuously spew. There will be no end to the conflict, and certainly no equality or democracy. The dictatorship and the ethnic nationalities, really, all of people of Burma outside of the dictatorship, are oil and water. They can never mix. Therefore, no deal should be signed. It is not merely a matter of waiting for an election to be held, or the ethnic population breakdowns from the census finally to be released. No NCA should be signed simply because the dictatorship is cheating. Only when this stops will any deal become possible, and since the generals will never stop, there should never be a deal.

The EAO leaders still need to to have a strategy for their upcoming conference, though, to counter the regime’s maneuvering. There are two basic arguments not to sign now. First, the EAOs can announce that they will never sign until there are no clashes at all, anywhere in Burma, for one month - or three. (This was foreshadowed in this month’s UNFC statement calling for “required implementation.”) Secondly, for the deal to be “nationwide,” it has to cover ALL the EAOs. Not only should the conference include all the EAOs, they all must sign the NCA as well (which the dictatorship’s generals have stated they will not accept). Related to this, the EAOs should abide by their “one for all, all for one” motto. If any group decides not to sign, for whatever reason, no one else should as well.

These easy steps can end the pressure on the EAOs to sign, such that they can move on to the real matters at hand. The EAOs must abandon their defensive posture, not only on the battlefield but in the negotiations as well. Just as the UNFC last year acted preemptively by proposing a clear and unambiguous Pledge to Implement Federalism, which the dictatorship rejected, instead substituting its worthless Deed of Commitment, so too should the EAOs take the initiative now. The obvious choice is for the conference conclusion to be a call for all the pro-democracy forces in Burma, including student and worker activists as well as the armed resistance, to unite and work together to expel the dictatorship and to achieve freedom and democracy.

The EAO conference is further an excellent opportunity to plan a coordinated military strategy, starting by organizing the Federal Army, if only in private meetings behind the scenes. To this end, one hopes that the conference will last a week! The importance of this type of preparation is obvious. Again and again we read that “both sides must make compromises.” A final question is: What if they don’t? What if the military dictatorship never compromises? It is not enough to “hope for the best”! There has to be a backup plan! The conference is an excellent opportunity to formulate and agree on this plan.

Readers will note that I did not include the NLD among Burma’s pro-democracy forces. No matter the effort and sacrifices of its many members, the NLD is Aung San Suu Kyi, and she has surrendered and joined the dictatorship. Her ONLY strategy is to hope for the best. In her stupidity, she allowed herself to be cheated. She signed the deal (specifically, the election papers to run for MP). And now, because of her vanity and obsession with personal power, she is unwilling to admit and more crucially correct her dreadful and historic mistake. The leaders of Burma’s ethnic nationality peoples must never follow her path. If they do, the country will be doomed to dictatorship for another twenty if not one hundred years.

Kejri -Wall Digs A Hole in People`s Dream

Special Contribution
By Rakesh Manchanda

Note :Courtesy for 1st.Cartons to The Hindu

Partitian and divisions in any united society is painful.History remembers the Independent 1947 India with Pakistan.Many independent states at that time faced a human tension in damage control including Kashmir.In absence of social media unlike today a debate then from road side to powerful business cum politican houses is visible.See the teasing differences in the picture on unity of undivided India. Stakeholders having a conflict of interest including common man was never silent. Casualty loss remains more for the blind supporter including the forced followers of the political decisions including the hard working neutral Aam Admi.

Today the politicians are clever. Media misuse helps to hide from the workers the real intentions. Inner democracy struggle of the stakeholders and blind followers in ugly divisive political movements suffers. Leaders refuse to learn from the collective mistakes like Khalistan, Bodoland, communal and caste riots. Kashmir suffers even today. New Opportunity of power to AAP in Delhi to grow up and learn is evident.Arvind Kejriwal must be given a benefit of doubt. He may revisit Gandhi and his Swaraj concept to understand as to how Gandhi during tough pre-post partition unity days worked tirelessly for the unity and fair communication even with his Muslim comrades who later migrated to Pakistan.

After partition the evidences point out that Gandhi faced anger and hostile hooting by ground supporters and victims by both Hindus-Muslims in the refugee camps.Due to poor media coverage and public perception the Mahatma was blamed by many for the Partition while the foundation was laid in 1935 within the united congress with differences.Arvind Kejriwal today has a historical opportunity to avoid such a bad confused situation inside his own party in a near future. Claiming self perfection and removal of the healthy suggestion makers is like cleaning the mirror and refusing to accept the dirt on yourself.

A Second Chance to repair Damage ?

After 49 day AAP government let us again give a benefit of doubt also to the AAP media spin team after silence and non transparency.In the recent past when Media network informed that Arvind Kejriwal had decided to move for 10 days holidays to Bangalore for Naturepathy.Several well wishers of AAP were happy. Balancing support of all organs of the body instead of a new speedy external English medicine intervention with more side effects for cough and immunity is a matter of trust.The hope was that the holiday cum nathurepathy shall blow a new undivided swaraj ideas to AK-67 high command.AAP is still in a witch hunt mode to remove critics and safe `body swaraj` keepers. The body in Naturepathy at times needs a positive holistic united recharge of the inner interdependent organs. Understanding the organised nature`s gifted unity and role of various organs is essential for a self heal.Application of naturepathy and yoga certainly united the inner organs as claimed by our emotional childish Delhi CM. Refreshed, stronger and a healthier AK reached back home Delhi with a charged body. However as per media footage he failed to blow the 12 months pending unity in the inner divided dirty organisational mess of poltical phenomenon AAP which is still a die hard hope for millions.

Unity Vs Unity from a person to a party.

Swaraj in a united human body gets reminded daily during Nature Pathy for a silent holistic unity of all organs .Childhood stories of organ divisons, motor coordination and arrogance of a solder gun aiming victory on the enemy or terrorist needs to be re- visited again.Such folk tales on unity educate that the soldiers fingers on the trigger in the night killed the terrorist in the village. Success, power and arrogance results in the one upmanship with a `Me First` tag. Revolt of the fingers,eyes,ears and brain of the warrior were articulated in the story.Brain like a neutral umpire is the internal lokpal in absence of which there is a complete threat of a match fixing.

Loyalist and the blind followers of old Governance systems in political parties and corporate will comfortably tag the sacking of Admiral Ramdas-internal AAP Lokpal and his works declared till 2016 `without discussion` with volunteers as a normal routine. However old anti-corruption stream of millions who joined AAP for a real change in system are upset.They are refusing to accept this autocratic behaviour of the high command. The score card in the PAC of 8/11 with minority eight against the expulsion of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan showed a part justice.Why the same score card of 8 members defending same victims remain ineffective in the coup.Evidence point out a match fixing in a bigger group of 300-400 members of Executive Council with or without voting rights ? Dialogue with the alert member instead of blind volunteer beeline with their renewal of power as the body organs is mandatory to avoid further splits and partition in AAP. Contributions, concern and continuous communication of modest members and well wishers of AAP is commendable for all concerned.

Shame lies on the top AAP dream sales/election team. Go Getters are still spilling arrogance in Public each day. AK himself shared few juvenile excuses that he is not a comfortable team player to share the space with advisors in the united AAP and wanted to remove the `originals` with a fresh untested replacement. Recent AAP National Council meet will be remembered for its wrong reasons-Abuses, kicks,slaps, bouncers and stripping of even watches, mobiles and pens to overcome fear.The false fear was that few want AK to be removed as National Coordinator which was a rumour and volunteers ferried in buses had no right to question the reality. Thanks to the awareness environment created by AAP in the past.Masters and voters of Delhi as per AK`s vision of Swaraj willingly wish to see that their hard earned money as funds and energy is put in the unique global phenomenon called AAP and is used judiciously.

Ulta Pulta (Upside Down) Swaraj will harm AAP more then expelling members and adopting hiring and firing company norms.My personal understanding on fund collection even before the birth of AAP remains the same-Allow fund giver a transparency and a track map to question the direction of the fund. Top AAP leaders must patch up faster otherwise the anger of people as voters,supporters and fund givers as seen in the past will be out of control.As per the Swaraj concept the voters,tax players and people at large who work hard to produce more remain the masters and future controllers.The sevaks which includes Arvind Kejriwal, Yogender Yadav and Prashant Bhusan have no right to waste time in each others faults.They must patch up fast or all three top leaders must be equally punished by getting reduced to ordinary AAP members for some time for self analysis.


Special Contribution
By Roland Watson(dictatorwatch)
Mar 24, 2015

KIA soldiers

The 7th round of Burma’s nationwide ceasefire negotiations are over, and a number of participants have said that they are nearing conclusion. This begs the question: What has changed from last September, when the Burma Army repudiated many previous concessions? Is the military dictatorship finally willing to end its attacks against the ethnic nationalities, and allow the country to be at peace?

As the renewed air attacks against the KIA literally the next day illustrate, the answer to this is no. Why then the optimism? The NCCT negotiators have returned to their respective areas to consult with the EAO leaders. But, they intend to go back for yet another round of talks next week, at which they are hopeful that a final deal can be agreed.

There are some important observations that need to be made about this process. Lian Hmung Sakhong, quoted by Myanmar Times, said at a a press conference: “I want to give you a clear message that NCCT members do not have authority to sign an National ceasefire agreement. Our leaders have the power to sign. Even if we conclude the draft, we have to submit it to our leaders individually. And then an ethnic armed groups conference will decide.”

One could take the view that the NCCT members returning to talk to the leaders is simply a normal and natural consultation. However, a cynic might say that if the NCCT representatives can persuade the leaders to accept their deal, then everything else, even the ethnic conference, will be a rubber stamp.

Secondly, in conflict ceasefire negotiations all around the world, if one side attacks again and again, there is - normally, and rightly - no possibility of a ceasefire. For the side being attacked, to agree to any deal is a surrender - to accepting the other side's right to attack, and even more to signing because the other side has attacked. Therefore, for Burma, the EAOs should never sign, unless they truly are defeated, which - obviously - is not the case.

The optimism at the latest round implies that some groups have now joined the KNU in going over to the dictatorship’s side - in expressing an open willingness to sign any deal, no matter how bad it might be for the ethnic nationality peoples. Others, though, are probably just being positive as a signal to their funders and to appease international diplomatic pressure, which is wholly on the regime’s side. The key of course is the KIO/KIA. A Kachin friend commented that the recent KIO/regime meeting was a means to divert the KIA from becoming more involved with the Kokang resistance. It is one thing for the KIO to agree to talk to the military dictatorship. There is, after all, no harm in talking. To go from talking to actually accepting a bad deal, though, is entirely different. One wonders how the Kachin people, not to mention KIA soldiers, might respond to such an action.

Finally, this is being presented as a “nationwide” ceasefire, but as the dictatorship has no intention of including the TNLA, MNDAA, NDAA and UWSA, as well as other armed resistance groups, the word hardly qualifies. We should all beware, though, ANY deal that is signed - any deal that includes the KIO - will be trumpeted as “Nationwide” by the dictatorship, the International Community, and soft-headed media. The facts will be irrelevant. The Burma story will be over. The student protests, even the election, will not matter. The students will be imprisoned - the number of political prisoners will skyrocket, and the election will either be rigged or abandoned. No one from the international community, starting with President Obama, will do anything at all. Destructive and exploitative development on a massive scale, beginning with Dawei, will commence.

Therefore, the EAO leaders should continue to be resolute, to defend their people, and think long and hard before they sign any agreement, and not until it really is a Ceasefire - until the Burma Army stops its attacks and pulls the invading Burman soldiers back from the ethnic nationality homelands.

Safe Democratic & Transparent Holi in AAP is a must for its Health

Special Contribution
By Rakesh Manchanda

Cartoon of APP's leader

AAP is now called as a Boys Club. Boys need to grow up fast and use safe colors of Holi. Many AAP supporters from Delhi and outside called me to share their humour asking as to why this PAC-Political Advisory Committee meet is not held up in a Public gaze in Ramleela grounds. Many feel AAP is not a private asset. Right To Information War to project truth started 6 months ago in the two year old infant AAP. Internal Lokpal Directives followed by a leak of Letters to media was the turning point. Rtd. Navy Admiral Ramdas the independent ombudsman or internal Lokpal of AAP was concerned about the inner administrative in AAP. Instead of patching up serious gaps in inner democracy in line with pending and delayed publicly aired promises, Arvind Kejriwal subordinates in PAC focused on who leaked the letters and why ? Pro-Kejriwal members have shown a `stick` of punishment to AAP valuable critiques engaged in a healthy discussion in Political Advisory Committee.

Result ? Prashant Bhushan and Yogender Yadav two seniors PAC were kicked out or in a `polite` poetic language relieved from their duties in PAC. What is the role of a PAC-Political Advisory Committee? As per Dr.Onkar Mittal-an activist in Trilokpuri, PAC green signal means use of political public pressure tactics like engaging Public attention via posters, campaign, protests and so on.The target is to firefight and to settle governance conflicts including Jansunvai-Peoples Parliament by inviting the police, MCD and other government organs engaged to serve the Public. Political Advisory Committee in AAP can give teeth to AAP to chalk out future map for Police-Public or MCD or Health Ministry engagements. Many works and serious cases in Delhi as summed by me and many others stand freezed. Old excuse remains that Police is not under Delhi Govt. control.

PAC arrogant win with 8/11 votes resulting in forced expulsions of two members gives a clear message- "We can do what we like.". The old system promoters advocate that this act is normal and natural and AAP political party must follow this world wide pattern of politicians dictatorship conduct for speed delivery. Prashant Bhushan views in media on the issue of AAP expansion outside Delhi are bang on target-“Allow State units to decide in line with the Swaraj mindset rather than the centre bulldozing the views.” The excuse of party discipline with speed delivery on the media channels stands weak in absence of inner democracy and needs to be challenged inside politically. What went wrong in PAC on 4th. Feb. ? All members in PAC-AAP unlike traditional parties work hard and are real honest.Original first hand experiences are lacking in the immature Arvind loyalists that voted 11 against 8 and the Lokpal directives still stand ignored.

PAC loaded with ego was not ready to accommodate the healthy competition for AAP betterment as pointed in the news bites spilling over in media. This attitude happened because of misuse of power and fear for each other. Hope remains that the leader AK-67 will filter and resolve the weak habits of his immature colleagues who show weak signs of blame game on AAP national assets. "I am sad and hurt "-attitude of AK will never help to unite as he silently allowed PAC to divide the unity of AAP sevaks. Buzz among the supporters is there that AK has excellent skills to overcome and correct his old style of `pick and choose` functioning. It is unfortunate this event exposes the weak immunity system of few leaders who gave a war cry in media in line with Modi Model vocabulary with words like ultra left, Naxal, Kashmir issue and revolt mongers and so on. Then there are set of election campaign managers who take pride in their RSS tags.

The point which the supporters and fund providers wish to make is when AAP is a party where the ideology tags of ultra left or right are not workable or are claimed to be outdated then why the environment for betterment is not broomed by the top torch bearers for over six months ? “Kindly allow AAP supporters to identify the difference between a volunteer and a worker and help them to strengthen their sense of belonging to AAP”-chips in Ajay Sharma a party worker from Dehradun. Another volunteer Sanjay Bhatt is sad to share that party cares only for those who are self dependent and can spend money on AAP promotion. Dipak Dholakia in East Delhi is sad and concerned. He paid Rs.5000 on 3rd.Feb. in a hope for better AAP and along with Dilip Simeon the collective appeal is as under.

Thanks to AAP churning. Many persons in various traits are coming together on the same wavelength. Sample the signature campaign appeal of Aman Sharma from Okhla- "It is our party, not party of owned by a few people, and we must all control which direction it takes. I just signed the petition "Arvind Kejriwal: AAP Volunteers Seek Proof against Shri Yogendra Yadav & Shri Prashant Bhushan because Of Which They Have Been Expelled From The PAC" . See How Inner Democracy in AK-67 Delhi new empowerment can serve better via following links Note : Above inputs are based on day to day feedback at Ground Zero.

We all know many wounds of Delhi voters are not healing since 49 days last AAP Govt. followed by the forced President (9 month) Rule by Modi Model. Voters want results and no emotional blackmail. Result can only be delivered collectively if the fault lines are patched up with better team responsibilities oiled by an inner democracy which is possible only in AAP like phenomenon. Common people who are not post holders in AAP need to initiate.Delhi wallas are the real masters, tax payers and voters and fund providers. People have a right to see the disha and dasha-State and direction of the political command controlled by PACs of the political parties which they support. Written in Public Interest & Swaraj Awareness by: Rakesh Manchanda, B-5,Gharonda Apartments, Shrestha Vihar,Delhi-92. Phone:011-22145369,+919953540829.

'A Wolf's Bride' verdict to be delivered at the Bangkok Criminal Court at 13:30 on 23 February

Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej

On Monday, 23 February 2015, at 13:30 hours, the Criminal Court is going to deliver a verdict on the Black Case no. 3528/2557 filed by the public prosecutor against Mr. Patiwat (last name withheld) and Mrs. Pornthip (last name withheld), the two accused in a lèse majesté case, as a result of their involvement with the performance of “A Wolf’s Bride”, a theatrical play, during the 40th Commemoration of the 14 October Uprising at the Main Hall of Thammasat University, Tha Phra Chan Campus.

After the performance, a group of people pressed charges against them for “defaming, insulting, or threatening the King”, i.e. violating Article 112, and it led to the arrest of Mr. Patiwat and Mrs. Pornthip on 14-15 August 2014. They were indicted in the Criminal Court on 13 October 2014. Both accused have applied for bail on several occasions. However, the bail application has been rejected by the Court on the grounds that “given the serious circumstances of the case the accused might flee”.

Later, on 29 December 2014, the Court conducted a hearing and both accused pleaded guilty to the charge. The Court then ordered further investigation regarding the background of the two accused to find ground for leniency before making a decision on sentencing. The verdict is due to be delivered on Monday 23 February 2015 at 13:30 hours. Probation officials have investigated the background and behavior of the two accused three times already. Mr. Patiwat is a fourth year student from the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Khon Kaen University. He is a professional traditional singer and performs to provide for his family. He has been recognized as a national outstanding youth and has been a social activist. Mrs. Pornthip graduated from Faculty of Political Science, Ramkhamhaeng University. A social activist, she worked on theatrical performance to raise awareness and empower youth.

In addition, on 22 January 2015, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has issued an opinion that the deprivation of liberty of Mr. Patiwat during the trial is a violation of Articles 9 and 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) and Article 9, paragraph 3, and Article 19, paragraph 2, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Thailand is a state party and is obliged to follow. Therefore, the detention is unlawful, since the actions have stemmed from a peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression and Mr. Patiwat must be immediately released and given compensation as per Article 9, paragraph 5, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

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