Nonviolent action around the world – 26 January 2010 (Part 2)

January 26, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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SOUTH ASIA
Sri Lanka: Political reporter and cartoonist missing on eve of election
By: RSF, January 25, 2010
Reporters Without Borders urges the security forces to assign more personnel to the search for journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, who sent missing last night in Colombo. A senior police official told the press freedom organisation he was too busy with tomorrow’s presidential election to make the case a priority.
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Clock ticks for Nepal to settle its future
By: Jim Yardley, NY Times, January 25, 2010
For anyone living in a country where reforming health care is regarded as an insurmountable challenge, consider the political calendar in the struggling Himalayan republic of Nepal. By May 28, or roughly four months off, the entire country must be reorganized.
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Thousands protest Indian Kashmir killing
By: VOA, January 24, 2010
Thousands of people protested Sunday in the streets of Indian-controlled Kashmir, accusing the Indian army of killing a civilian. Police say Mushtaq Ahmed Mir was killed late Saturday in the crossfire during a clash between Muslim militants and Indian troops.
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TOP

 

SOUTHEAST ASIA
Singapore: Dr. Chee Soon Juan arrested again
By: World Movement for Democracy, January 25, 2010
Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Chairman of the Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia and President of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), has been imprisoned yet again, this time for one week along with his SDP colleague Mr. Ghandi Ambalam.
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Southeast Asia: Region’s media under threat
By: Bangkok Post, January 25, 2010
Southeast Asian media and human rights activists are being increasingly ostracised and threatened, both legally and physically, according to the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (Seapa) annual report. Journalist killings in 2009 illustrate the vulnerability of the press in Southeast Asia, particularly the November massacre in Maguindanao, Philippines, which claimed the lives of 31 journalists, Bangkok-based Seapa said in a statement released at the weekend.
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Burmese junta raises prospect of Suu Kyi release in November
By: Open Democracy, January 25, 2010
The military junta ruling Burma has given many hints in the last year that the pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi will be released soon – mostly provoking scepticism whenever it does. Yet for the first time the Home Minister Maung Oo has placed a prospective date upon her release, citing November of this year as a potential time.
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Burma: AAPP calls for release of poet Saw Wei
By: Myint Maung, Mizzima, January 25, 2010
The Thai based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners – Burma (AAPP-B) has called for the release of poet Saw Wei at the earliest possible date, as his release was set for the 21st of this month. Poet Saw Wei was arrested on the 21st of January 2008 after his poem entitled ‘February 14’ which cryptically included the stanza ‘Power crazy senior general Than Shwe’ appeared in the Love journal.
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Burma: Monks ‘to boycott’ Suu Kyi’s brother
By: Democratic Voice of Burma, Januar 25. 2010
A prominent Burmese monks group will boycott religious services for Aung San Suu Kyi’s estranged brother unless he backs away from a dispute regarding her Rangoon house-cum-prison.
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Burma’s literary community in crisis
By: Mizzima, January 24, 2010
Mizzima reporter Kyaw Kha recently interviewed poet Ko Lay (Inn Wa Gone Yee), asking him about his views on the role of youth in current press and literary circles, press freedom, the definition on journalism under successive military regimes and the manipulation and control of media by the junta.
Read the interview…

Burma: State-backed attacks on activists grow
By: Democratic Voice of Burma, January 21, 2010
A leading rights watchdog has reported a global rise in the number of state-sanctioned abuses against “rights defenders”. In the case of Burma, despite growing calls for the ruling junta to be investigated for war crimes and crimes against humanity in 2009, “no government has yet taken the lead in either initiative at the UN”, HRW said.
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Cambodia: Rights defenders under fire
By: Human Rights Watch, January 21, 2010
Cambodia’s respect for basic rights dramatically deteriorated in 2009 as the government misused the judiciary to silence government critics, attacked human rights defenders, tightened restrictions on press freedom, and abandoned its international obligations to protect refugees, HRW said today in its new World Report 2010.
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Vietnam: Dissidents get stiff sentences
By: RFA, Janaury 20, 2010
A Vietnamese court in Ho Chi Minh City has convicted four pro-democracy campaigners of trying to overthrow the state. The sentenced dissidents were the most high-profile targets of a widespread crackdown that has led to numerous arrests and prompted an international outcry. The best-known defendant, U.S.-trained human rights lawyer Le Cong Dinh, 41, received five years in prison.
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EAST ASIA
Lawyer says Hong Kong mishandled dissident’s arrest
By: Edward Wong, NY Times, January 25, 2010
The longtime girlfriend and the lawyer of an exiled Chinese dissident who was sentenced recently by a court in Sichuan Province on financial fraud charges both said in interviews that they were appealing the ruling. The complex case of the dissident, Zhou Yongjun, has raised questions about whether Hong Kong authorities handed him over to the Chinese police in violation of the “one country, two systems” form of governance.
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Dalai Lama envoys, China to revive Tibet talks after 15 months
By: James Rupert, Bloomberg, January 25, 2010
The Dalai Lama has sent envoys for fresh talks with China on the future of Tibet after suspending negotiations 15 months ago, his spokesman said. The two main negotiators for the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s Buddhist spiritual and political leader, will arrive in China tomorrow and stay until early next month, according to a press statement from the India-based Central Tibetan Administration.
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Five Chinese activists’ websites attacked by hackers
By: Chinese Human Rights Defenders, January 25, 2010
The websites of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), Independent Chinese Pen (ICPC), New Century News, Canyu and Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW) were attacked by hackers of unknown origin between January 23 and 24. The attacks on CHRD’s website started at around 4pm on January 23 and ended at 8am the following day.
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China steps up defence of internet controls
By: Chris Buckley, Reuters, January 25, 2010
China widened its attack against U.S. criticisms of Internet censorship on Monday, raising the stakes in a dispute that has put Google in the middle of a political quarrel between the two global powers.
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China: Crowd protest garbage burning plant
By: Zhao Chunzhe, China Daily, January 25, 2010
More than 400 people wearing masks and chanting slogans protested outside the proposed site of a garbage burning plant yesterday, the Guangzhou Daily reported. The sludge-burning power plant, which is being planned to be built in Nanhai district of Foshan city in Guangdong province, has raised public concern over the surrounding environment both in the surrounding district and nearby Gaoming district.
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Senior Chinese cadres call for dissident’s release
By: Anita Chang, AP, January 24, 2010
Four senior Communist Party officials known for their liberal views are pushing for the release of an imprisoned Chinese dissident who had issued a daring call for political reform, one of the group said Sunday.
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China accuses US of online warfare in Iran
By: Tania Branigan, The Guardian, January 24, 2010
The United States used “online warfare” to stir up unrest in Iran after last year’s elections, the Chinese Communist party newspaper claimed today, hitting back at Hillary Clinton’s speech last week about internet freedom. An editorial in the People’s Daily accused the US of launching a “hacker brigade” and said it had used social media such as Twitter to spread rumours and create trouble.
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China rebuffs Clinton on internet warning
By: Mark Landler and Edward Wong, NY Times, January 22, 2010
Tensions between China and the United States over Internet policy deepened Friday, with the Chinese government accusing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton of jeopardizing relations between the two countries with her criticism of Chinese censorship.
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Stranded for 80 Days, Chinese human rights lawyer meets with Japanese officials
By: Initiatives for China, January 22, 2010
Initiatives for China announced this morning that Mr. Feng Zhenghu, a Chinese human rights lawyer stranded at Narita Airport since November 4, 2009, met with Japanese congressman, Makino Sheishu. Feng expressed regret for any inconvenience he may have caused the Japanese government. Feng Zhenghu vows to stay at Tokyo airport until Chinese government recognizes his right to return home.
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Does China’s big market come with a bigger headache?
By: Steven Mufson and Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post, January 22, 2010
Ever since the 1930s, when a Missouri-born man opened an ad agency in Shanghai and wrote a book called “400 Million Customers,” the Chinese market has beckoned to American companies. And never more so than now, when the number of customers has grown to 1.3 billion and China is poised to surpass Japan to become the world’s second-largest economy.
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OCEANIA
Indonesia: Police killers of Papuan independence leader given special commendations
By: Survival International, January 21, 2010
Fifty Indonesian police officers have received special commendations from the National Police Headquarters for killing the Papuan independence leader, Kelly Kwalik, last month.
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Letters: Why are Papuans still struggling?
By: Free West Papua, January 20, 2010
This is a response to the letter “Kelly Kwalik’s death” (the Post, Jan 14, p. 8). Does B.J.K. Cramer of Rotterdam really believe that the West Papuan people are still listening to (to use his words) “misinformation and false promises from vengeful Dutch colonial types”? Maybe the question he should be asking is, why is it that after 46 years of administration of West Papua by Indonesia, the West Papuan people are still struggling for justice?
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
‘Avatar is real’, say tribal people
By: Survival International, January 25, 2010
Following the film ‘Avatar”s win at the Golden Globes, tribal people have claimed that the film tells the real story of their lives today. A Penan man from Sarawak, in the Malaysian part of Borneo, told Survival, ‘The Penan people cannot live without the rainforest. The forest looks after us, and we look after it.
Read full article…

Photos: Demonstrations across the globe
By: LA Times, January 2010
View photos of demonstrations across the globe in January, from Haiti to Greece to 10 other countries.
View the photos…

 

BOOK REVIEW
Belarus: Love and paranoia
By: Natalia Leshchenko, Open Democracy, January 15, 2010
A Belarusian novel encourages citizens to question their own role in perpetuating the regime that governs them. The authorities’ response suggests it has touched a nerve, says Natalia Leshchenko.
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NOTICES

International Religious Freedom Report
By: State Department, January 2010
In an effort to more broadly distribute information about the status of religious freedom worldwide, the U.S. Department of State recently added 148 translations of its Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, released in October 2009.  
Country reports and available languages complete listing…

Call for applications: Training of trainers in gender and nonviolence for Southern Africa
By: Craig Zelizer, Peace and Collaborative Development Network, January 25, 2010
The Africa Regional Desk of IFOR/ Women Peacemakers Program is a program hosted by West Africa Network for Peace-building (WANEP). The Africa Desk of WPP intends to hold a Training of Trainers (ToT) to enhance participants’ skills in gender and nonviolence approaches and to expand the work of WPP in communities throughout Africa.
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US: Events planned to mark 50th anniversary of Woolworth sit-ins
By: The Pilot, January 24, 2010
Fifty years ago, students from Woman’s College stood for change by sitting with peers from N.C. A&T State University and Bennett College to protest segregation at Woolworth’s lunch counter in downtown Greensboro. On Monday, Feb. 1, the 50th anniversary of the start of the sit-ins, members of the UNCG community will retrace the steps taken by at least two of the three white Woman’s College students who joined the demonstrations on Feb. 4.
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Call for nominations: Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award 2010
By: Craig Zelizer, Peace and Collaborative Development Network, January 23, 2010
Each year, the May 18 Memorial Foundation announces this award in a spirit of solidarity and gratitude to those who helped them in their struggle for democratization.  The award goes to one individual or organization who has contributed to the promotion and advancement of human rights, democracy and peace in their work.
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