Nonviolent action around the world – 30 September 2009 (Part 2)

September 30, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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ASIA/SOUTH ASIA
Burma: Jetstar denies propping up junta
By: ABC News, September 28, 2009
Budget airline Jetstar has rejected claims that airport fees paid to Burmese authorities are helping to support the country’s military junta. The company’s subsidiary, Jetstar Asia, has been criticized by human rights campaigners for running four flights a week into Rangoon. Burma Campaign Australia’s Zetty Brake says Jetstar effectively provides income to the regime by landing planes. And the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) says Jetstar is being immoral and fuelling the military dictatorship by continuing to fly into the country.
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Burma: Monks silent and simmering two years after revolt
By: Larry Jagan, IPS, September 28, 2009
Although Rangoon, the South-east Asian state’s former capital, is relatively quiet at the moment, there is widespread simmering discontent that could erupt again at any time into anti-government protests. “While we cannot say anything in public, in the privacy of our own homes, we remember how the army treated the monks two years ago,” said Aye Win, a retired school teacher in Rangoon. “We were shocked. The monks are the most trusted and revered people in our society, so we can never forget how the military treated them with such utter disdain,” he added.
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Burma opposition unsure on election boycott
By: AFP, September 27, 2009
Myanmar’s junta has not yet fixed the dates for elections in 2010 but the opposition is already debating whether to boycott them and lose all influence or take part in what critics say is a sham. The military regime forced through a new constitution in 2008 — just days after Cyclone Nargis devastated the country leaving 138,000 people dead — under which the first national polls for 20 years will be held. Critics say the sole aim of the elections is to legitimize the generals’ grip on power and entrench their proxies in parliament.
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Burma: The second anniversary of the Saffron Revolution
By: Peacerunning, Democracy for Burma, September 27, 2009
The International Burmese Monks Organization observed the second anniversary of the Saffron Revolution in Dhaka, Bangladesh on September 26 by staging a demonstration against the Burmese military junta. U Thila Wantha, Secretary of the group, said, “Today is the second anniversary of the Saffron Revolution. So we came here to voice our concern about the current political imbroglio in Burma. We demand that the military junta release all political prisoners including Aung Sann Suu Kyi, monk Gambira and U Ithariya.”
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Security tight in Burma on protest anniversary
By: CTV News, September 27, 2009
Riot police manned the main roads in Burma’s biggest city Sunday in an apparent attempt to prevent unrest on the second anniversary of a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. Dozens of police and security officers were also deployed near the Rangoon headquarters of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, which held a ceremony to mark the 21st anniversary of the party’s founding. No unrest was reported in the city. In 2007, monk-led demonstrations attracted up to 100,000 people. The junta put down the protests with force, killing at least 31 people and detaining thousands, some of whom remain in jail.
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India: What have we done to democracy?
By: Arundhati Roy, Mother Jones, September 27, 2009
While we’re still arguing about whether there’s life after death, can we add another question to the cart? Is there life after democracy? What sort of life will it be? By “democracy” I don’t mean democracy as an ideal or an aspiration. I mean the working model: Western liberal democracy, and its variants, such as they are. So, is there life after democracy? Attempts to answer this question often turn into a comparison of different systems of governance, and end with a somewhat prickly, combative defense of democracy.
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China says resolving ethnic issues will be arduous
By: Taiwan News, September 27, 2009
China needs to do more to improve the lives of its minority groups, a senior government official said Sunday, but he showed little sign that Beijing was preparing a rethink in policy after recent bouts of bloody ethnic rioting. Yang Jing, director of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, said China was “soberly aware” that gaps in economic and cultural development among ethnic groups in China will “remain for a long time to come.” “Resolving ethnic issues in China will take a long and arduous course,” Yang told reporters. The past two years have seen violent clashes in both Tibet and the far western region of Xinjiang.
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China bars dissident writer from attending event in Berlin

By: DW World, September 27, 2009
“Massacre” is the name of the poem written by Liao Yiwu that sent him to prison for four years. In it, he condemned the 1989 killings in Tiananmen Square. In his book “The Corpse Walker” – that’s just been published in German – he tells the stories of people from the bottom-rung of Chinese society – from a village teacher to a blind street musician – left behind in the country’s economic boom. The fifty-year-old Chinese musician, reporter, and author, was supposed to travel to Berlin next month to participate in a panel discussion at the Berlin House of World Cultures. But, he says, Chinese authorities have banned him from traveling.
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Taiwan to show Uighur dissident film in festival
By: Asia-Pacific News, September 27, 2009
City authorities in Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second largest city will show a controversial documentary about Uighur dissident Rebiya Kadeer next month, days after they had attempted to diffuse a row by cancelling it. The announcement came two days after the government of China-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou decided to ban a visit to Taiwan by the exiled dissident. The organizer said because of the political dispute over the showing of the documentary, the city authorities retracted the film from the October 16-29 festival and showed it last Tuesday and Wednesday instead to try to end the dispute.
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Taiwan stops Uighur activist trip
By: BBC News, September 25, 2009
Taiwan will not allow exiled Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer to visit the island as she had planned, a government official has said. Ms Kadeer had been invited by an entertainer close to the opposition. China has accused Ms Kadeer of orchestrating recent violence in Xinjiang – a charge she denies. In July about 200 people were killed in ethnic riots between Uighurs and Han Chinese, in which mostly Han were killed. Taiwan is self-ruled after breaking away from China at the end of the civil war in 1949. Beijing considers the island part of its territory.
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Burma: Buddhist monks face continuing repression
By: Human Rights Watch, September 24, 2009
The 99-page report, ” The Resistance of the Monks: Buddhism and Protest in Burma  ,” written by longtime Burma watcher Bertil Lintner, tells the stories of individual monks who were arrested, beaten and detained. Two years after Buddhist monks marched down the street of the detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, left, hundreds of monks are in prison and thousands remain fearful of military repression. Many have left their monasteries and returned to their villages or sought refuge abroad, while those who remained in their monasteries live under constant surveillance.
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China: Ban Ki-moon urged to protect Tibetan nomads
By: Human Rights Watch, September 22, 2009
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, is hosting a Climate summit in New York. The International Tibet Support Network, uniting 169 organisations all over the world, launched an campaign calling on Mr Ban “to act to save Tibet, the Earth’s Third Pole and press China to return stewardship of Tibet’s grasslands to Tibet’s nomads”. According to the campaigners, China is permanently removing Tibet’s nomadic herders from the very ecosystems that have defined their culture and livelihood, despite growing scientific evidence which re-affirms that the nomads’ sustainable land-use practices actually enhance and protect the high altitude grassland ecosystems of the Tibetan plateau
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TOP

 

EUROPE
Belarus:  Journalists delivered verdict – no freedom of expression in Belarus
By: Chapter97, September 28, 2009
After the visit to Minsk the international mission of journalists and human rights’ organizations calls upon removing restrictions for work of mass media in Belarus. The mission was created by the International Federation of Journalists and visited Belarus on September 20-24. Following the visit of a joint delegation, the group of international media and press freedom organizations today called upon the Belarus authorities to bring the country’s media environment into accordance with international standards, Radio Svaboda informs.
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Rights activists don’t believe “political” articles to come out of Criminal Code
By: Chapter 97, September 25, 2009
The Belarusian Ministry of Justice says responsibility provided by article 193-1 of the Criminal Code may be changed, but the article will remain. Human rights activists insist on full an unconditional cancelling article 193-1 of the Criminal Code of Belarus providing responsibility for activity on behalf of unregistered organization. Human rights activist Valyantsin Stefanovich told this on September 24 at a briefing dedicated to the situation with NGOs. “We still think this article contradicts the Constitution of Belarus, which guarantees the freedom of assembly, and international legal pacts, in particular, the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by Belarus,” Stefanovich said.
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Palestine-Israel: Struggles of Anarchists Against the Wall initiative
By: Anarkismo, September 27, 2009
AAtW activists continued involvement in the occupied Jerusalem and with the refugees in Tel Aviv. This week comrades increased presence at nights in Bil’in to confront Israeli state forces invasions and efforts to arrest Bil’iners. We participated in the Friday joint demonstrations against occupation and the separation fence together with Palestinian partners and international volunteers in Bil’in, Ma’asara, and Ni’ilin. Saturday we participated in the water coalition act in the South Hebron region to frustrate Israeli state efforts to transfer Palestinians from “choice locations”. One of the activists has been imprisoned for 20 days for refusing to pay a fine for joint action against demolition of houses in the village Harbatha…
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Egypt: Detained blogger assaulted in prison, asked to convert to Islam
By: Noha Atef, Global Voices, September 25, 2009
The lawyer of the arrested blogger Hani Nazeer still not allowed to visit his client. However, the Christian blogger Nazeer managed to contact The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information revealing that he was assaulted and asked to convert to Islam in exchange for his freedom. Nazeer has been arrested for almost a year, as in 1st October 2008 he was taken from his house in Qena (Upper Egypt) with the help of the church and a wide welcome from local Muslims.  The arrested blogger used to criticize both of Muslims and Christians ‘fanatics’ and mixing religion with politics.
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OCEANIA
Film breaks West Papua media ban
By: ABC Radio Australia, September 28, 2009
A new film shows rarely-seen footage of separatist rebels in Indonesia’s Papua province, who have been fighting a low-level insurgency for more than 40 years. The military wing of the Free Papua Movement, or OPM, has control over some remote parts of Papua. The international media and many NGOs are banned from Papua, but that did not stop young film-maker Dominic Brown from visiting and capturing rare video images of some OPM military camps.
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SDL rejects Fiji claim at UN that coup removed terror government
By: RNZI, September 28, 2009
In a speech to the United Nations, Commodore Frank Bainimarama said the Fiji military had been forced to remove the government in 2006. He said politicians, in league with those who employed terror as a tactic to push a racial supremacy and corrupt agenda, had become a threat to the safety and security of the people. But Peceli Kinivuwai, the general secretary of the SDL party, which was ousted in the 2006 coup, says the former government was a multi-party government, and Commodore Bainimarama must produce evidence that politicians instigated racial hatred.
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Fiji troops excluded from UN peacekeeping role
By: Raw Fiji News, September 27, 2009
Pressure from Australia and other concerned countries appears to have led the United Nations to exclude Fijian troops from peacekeeping operations. In a speech to the UN’s General Assembly on Saturday, Fiji’s coup leader and self-appointed Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, complained that his country’s troops had been barred from joining any new UN peacekeeping force.  Peacekeeping has become a significant foreign exchange earner for increasingly isolated Fiji, which has had large numbers of troops stationed in Iraq and elsewhere in recent years.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Heroes of the environment 2009
By: Stephan Faris, Time, September, 2009
Read about the 30 activists, moguls, entrepreneurs, innovators, and visionaries who have worked to change the world for the better in this addition of Time.
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NEWS IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Violente dispersion d’une manifestation anti-Dadis
By: Jeune Afrique, Sepember 28, 2009
Au moins 11 opposants ont été blessés lundi à Conakry, dont trois gravement, lors de la dispersion par les forces de l’ordre d’un rassemblement contre une éventuelle candidature du chef de la junte Moussa Dadis Camara à l’élection présidentielle de janvier, a constaté un journaliste de l’AFP.
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IN PAST NEWS
Burma: Surge in political prisoners
By: Human Rights Watch, September 16, 2009
Burma’s military government has more than doubled the number of political prisoners in the past two years, including more than a hundred imprisoned in recent months, Human Rights Watch said today in a new report. Sentenced to long prison terms for their involvement in peaceful demonstrations in 2007, and for assisting civilians in the wake of the devastating Cyclone Nargis in 2008, the political prisoner population has reached more than 2,200.
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Israeli Arabs call for general strike
By: Jonathan Cook, Counterpunch, September 9, 2009
The increasingly harsh political climate in Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government has prompted the leadership of the country’s 1.3 million Arab citizens to call the first general strike in several years. The one-day stoppage is due to take place on October 1, a date heavy with symbolism because it marks the anniversary of another general strike, in 2000 at the start of the second intifada, when 13 Arab demonstrators were shot dead by Israeli police.
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New charges against Venezuela’s Globovisión – 29 more radio stations to close
By:  Ingrid Bachmann, Knight Center, September 7, 2009
In the latest move that critics consider a crackdown on freedom of expression, Public Works Minister Diosdado Cabello announced a new charge against the private TV broadcaster Globovisión and said 29 more radio stations will be closed soon, CNN reports. Cabello’s announcement came at a rally to counter marchers who protested President Hugo Chavez’s hardline tactics against the media, including the closure of 32 radio stations and two TV broadcasters last month, CNN adds. It is the sixth charge against Globovisión in less than a year, El Universal explains.
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