Nonviolent action around the world – 5 March 2010 (Part 1)

March 5, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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ANNOUNCEMENTS
Webinar: Nonviolent Action in the Islamic World
Join us for the webinar, “Nonviolent Action in the Islamic World” next Thursday, March 11th at 12:00pm – 1:00pm EST.  Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, will present on the long history of nonviolent action throughout the Islamic world, in the Middle East and beyond. Professor Zunes will look at case studies including Iran, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Mali, Western Sahara, Indonesia, Pakistan, and others.
Register here…

FSI 2010
ICNC is now accepting applications for the 2010 Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict at Tufts University. This week-long Institute, now in its fifth year, will run from June 20 – 26 and brings together international professionals and journalists from around the world to learn from top practitioners and scholars about strategic concepts and present applications of civil resistance.
The application deadline has been extended to March 15, 2010 !
View the flyer…
Download the application form…
FAQs…

TOP

CENTRAL ASIA
Kyrgyzstan: Activists plan protest on International Women’s Day
By: RFE, March 4, 2010
Women’s rights activists in Kyrgyzstan say they plan a public protest on International Women’s Day next week. They said they would focus on the socio-economic problems faced by Kyrgyz women, the government’s gender policies, and domestic violence.
Read full article…

Uzbekistan’s hidden trials
By: Kamilla Abdullaeva, Institute for War and Peace, March 3, 2010
Human rights defenders in Uzbekistan have discovered that trials of alleged Islamic radicals are taking place across the country in secrecy, with no one allowed access to the courtroom. They fear the tactic is designed to prevent information about abuse in detention leaking out.
Read full article…

Tajikistan: Opposition disputes election of President Rakhmon
By: BBC News, March 3, 2010
The opposition in Tajikistan has said it will mount a legal challenge to the results of parliamentary elections. The election commission said President Imomali Rakhmon’s party won almost all the seats in the lower house of parliament in the election.
Read full article…

Kazakhstan tightens control over Internet
By: AFP, March 2, 2010
Kazakhstan has created a new centre dedicated to cracking down on blacklisted websites ranging from pornography to those deemed to promote political extremism, an official announced yesterday.
Read full article…

Kyrgyzstan: Human rights activist reported missing
By: RFE, March 1, 2010
Kyrgyz human rights activist Nematillo Botakoziev has been reported missing in Dushanbe. Botakoziev, 42, has not been seen since February 26 when he was at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Dushanbe applying for refugee status.
Read full article…

SOUTH ASIA
Indian women peacekeepers hailed in Liberia
By: Moni Basu, CNN, March 2, 2010
They are trained in sophisticated combat tactics and weaponry, crowd and mob control, counter-insurgency. They patrol the streets of the Liberian capital, expected to keep the peace after years of war. Most of them are also mothers and form an all-women unit from India, policing in a country where a 15-year conflict was characterized by sexual violence.
Read full article…

Gunmen shoot Nepal publisher dead in southern town
By: BBC News, March 2, 2010
Unidentified gunmen have shot dead a newspaper publisher in the latest attack on the media in Nepal. Arun Singhaniya was shot at point blank range by four attackers on motorbikes in the southern town of Janakpur near the Indian border.
Read full article…

SOUTHEAST ASIA
Thai premier plans trip to Australia despite mass protests
By: Monster and Critics, March 5, 2010
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Friday he would not cancel a planned trip to Australia and New Zealand next week despite the threat of mass anti-government protests in Bangkok.
Read full article…

Burma: Karen activist wins international acclaim
By: Mizzima, March 4, 2010
A young Karen woman has been included in the list of this year’s recipients of the Young Global Leader award. Zoya Phan, daughter of Padoh Mahn Sha, the assassinated former General Secretary of the Karen National Union, is the sole Burmese recipient of the honorific as recognized by the World Economic Forum.
Read full article…

Vietnam’s religious living in fear
By: Johnny Blade, The Guardian Weekly, March 3, 2010
Johnny Blades looks at religious tensions in a city where the penalties for hosting religious gatherings without government permission can be severe, including lengthy stints in prison and “re-education centres.”
Read full article…

Rights group concerned by Australian bank’s Cambodian army partnerships
By: Liam Cochrane, ABC Radio Australian News, March 3, 2010
A subsidiary of one of Australia’s largest banks, ANZ Royal, has denied it is involved in a scheme to partner up private businesses with Cambodian army units. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the initiative last week and said more than 40 partnerships had already been established to provide food, medicine, tools, buildings and transport for troops and their families.
Read full article…

EAST ASIA
Desperate North Koreans “riot” over food
By: Chosun Ilbo, March 6, 2010
Violence is growing in North Korea amid a worsening food shortage after the disastrous currency revaluation last December, according to sources in the hermit country.
Read full article…

North Korean defector tells of leaders’ luxury
By: Sydney Morning Herald, March 5, 2010
A North Korean colonel who spent two decades going on European shopping sprees for his country’s rulers says the late dictator Kim Il Sung lived in luxury while many people starved in his impoverished communist nation.
Read full article…

Tibet: First he appeared in an Apple advert, now Dalai Lama joins Twitter
By: Haroon Siddique, The Guardian, March 4, 2010
He may wear simple robes and live in the hills of northern India, but never let it be said that the Dalai Lama doesn’t have his finger on the pulse when it comes to technology.
Read full article…

Internet cafe ban call draws Chinese hacker wrath
By: Bangkok Post, March 4, 2010
One woman taking part in China’s annual parliamentary meetings has learned that law-making has its drawbacks — especially when you provoke savvy web users. After Yan Qi, a member of China’s legislative advisory body, said she would propose a nationwide ban on private Internet cafes, hackers paralysed the website of her restaurant chain, state media reported Thursday.
Read full article…

Tibetan rights group condemns China’s launch of “strike hard” campaign ahead of sensitive anniversary
By: Kalsang Rinchen, Phayul, March 4, 2010
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy(TCHRD) said it condemned in “strongest terms” the “Strike Hard” campaign launched by China in the “Tibetan Autonomous Region” ahead of the politically sensitive 50th anniversary of the March 10 Uprising day of 1959.
Read full article…

Irked by Dalai Lama-Obama meeting, China warns world about interfering in Tibet
By: Phayul, March 4, 2010
China on Thursday launched a fresh warning to foreign countries not to interfere in its affairs in Tibet and Taiwan – two issues that have badly strained ties with the United States, AFP reported.
Read full article…

China: Clampdown ahead of parliament
By: RFA, March 1, 2010
Authorities in the Chinese capital are stepping up surveillance of key dissidents and detaining petitioners ahead of two annual parliamentary meetings that begin in Beijing this week.
Read full article…

China: Evicted artists protest after attack in Beijing
By: Andrew Jacobs, NY Times, February 23, 2010
Nearly two dozen artists protesting the forced demolition of their homes and studios marched through the ceremonial heart of the capital before the police intervened and prevented them from reaching Tiananmen Square, the artists said Tuesday.
Read full article…

OCEANIA
Fiji jails eight over plot to kill Bainimarama
By: BBC News, March 5, 2010
Fiji has jailed eight men for between three and seven years for attempting to kill the country’s military leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, in 2007. Sentencing the men, Justice Paul Madigan said had the men’s plot succeeded the consequences for the Pacific island were “unthinkable”.
Read full article…

West Papuan group asks Australian prime minister to press Indonesia
By: Australia West Papua Association, March 1, 2010
The Australia West Papua Association in Sydney has written an open letter to Prime Minister Rudd (below) asking that he raise the human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesian President. Joe Collins of AWPA said “we understand that it is in the interests of the Australian Government to have good relations and friendship with Jakarta and to have a stable region to our north, but good relations with Jakarta should not be at the expense of the West Papuan people who are struggling for their right to self-determination”
Read full article…

West Papuan demands can’t be fulfilled with money
By: Free West Papua, February 27, 2010
After nine years, support by various elements of society for special autonomy is weakening. The problematic nature of the application of special autonomy is closely linked with the failure to implement Law Number 21/2001 on Special Autonomy for Papua along with mistrust between the central government and the Papuan people.
Read full article…

AFRICA
Zimbabwe: Civil society appeals for government protection
By: Charles Tembo, ZimOnline, March 4, 2010
Zimbabwean civic society on Wednesday appealed for protection from President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s unity government in the wake of rising threats and harassment of human rights activists by state security agents.
Read full article…

UK: Brown says too early to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe
By: BBC News, March 4, 2010
Gordon Brown has said sanctions against Zimbabwe should not be lifted until human rights and media censorship concerns are addressed.
Read full article…

Zimbabwe: Dramatizing the constitution
By: Vusumuzi Sifile, IPS, March 3, 2010
A new play, Waiting for Constitution has generated great interest among politicians and civil society groups anxious to get consultations over drafting a new constitution under way.
Read full article…

Zimbabwe: Political and security challenges to the transition
By: International Crisis Group, March 3, 2010
Despite initial scepticism, Zimbabwe’s year-old unity government has achievements to its credit, but the democratic transition remains at risk, especially from hard-line security officials – President Robert Mugabe’s last reliable supporters.
Read full article…

NORTH AMERICA
US: When hate comes to town
By: C. Douglas Smith, Virginia Inter Faith Center, March 4, 2010
Hate is meant to incapacitate righteousness; literally cut its head off. We witnessed hate this week in Virginia when the Westboro Baptist Church came to the Commonwealth. They’re the jewskilledjesus.com and godhatesfags.com crowd. While we rarely use protests to draw attention to an issue, the fact that the Kansas-based anti-Semites sought to protest the Virginia Holocaust Museum motivated us to turn out folks to that sacred space.
Read full article…

US:  Numerous student protests aimed at extensive cutbacks by universities
By: Huffington Post, March 4, 2010
Students, professors, teachers and unions around the country will organize today to protest America’s imperiled education system with more than 100 events in 32 states.
Read full article…

US facing surge in right-wing extremists and militias
By: Chris McGreal, The Guardian, March 4, 2010
The US is facing a surge in anti-government extremist groups and armed militias, driven by deepening hostility on the right to Barack Obama, anger over the economy, and the increasing propagation of conspiracy theories by parts of the mass media such as Fox News.
Read full article…

U.S. floats plan to lift ban on training Indonesia’s Kopassus unit
By: John Pomfret, Washington Post, March 3, 2010
As President Obama prepares to travel to Indonesia, his administration is seeking to reverse a 12-year-old ban on training an elite unit of the Indonesian military whose members have been convicted of beatings, kidnappings and other abuses.
Read full article…

US: Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on internet freedom
By: C-Span, March 3, 2010
Following Google’s announcement that they would no longer abide by the Chinese government’s censorship laws, the Senate Judiciary Subcmte. looked at business practices in China and discussed the issue of global Internet freedom. Google representatives testified on the rights of their business partners and censorship of Google’s online products.  
Watch the video…

CENTRAL AMERICA/CARIBBEAN
Latin America: Clinton’s misstatements
By: Mark Weisbrot, The Guardian, March 5, 2010
Hillary Clinton’s Latin America tour is turning out to be about as successful as George W Bush’s visit in 2005, when he ended up leaving Argentina a day ahead of schedule just to get the hell out of town. The main difference is that she is not being greeted with protests and riots.
Read full article…

Clinton urges Latin America to restore Honduras ties
By: Andrew Quinn, Reuters, March 4, 2010
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday urged reluctant Latin American countries to normalize ties with Honduras, saying it was time to “move forward” after last year’s coup that toppled President Manuel Zelaya.
Read full article…

Cuban dissident on hunger strike rushed to hospital
By: Juan O. Tamayo, Miami Herald, March 4, 2010
Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas, who has refused food and water for a week, was back home Wednesday after he lost consciousness and was rushed to a hospital for intravenous liquids, his doctor said.
Read full article…

Honduran journalist’s murder denounced  
By: IANS, March 4, 2010
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has denounced the murder of Honduran television journalist Joseph Ochoa, who was gunned down earlier this week in Tegucigalpa.
Read full article…

Honduras: Investigate attacks on coup opponents
By: Human Rights Watch, March 3, 2010
Honduran authorities should ensure that recent killings and other attacks on opponents of the 2009 coup are promptly and thoroughly investigated, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Attorney General Luis Alberto Rubí.
Read full article…

Cuba TV report denies government let hunger striker die
By: AP, March 2, 2010
Cuba devoted nearly a third of its official newscast Monday night to denying that state doctors purposely let a jailed dissident die from a hunger strike. It claimed the case, which sparked an international outcry, began because the victim wanted television and other comforts in his prison cell.
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Cuba: Coverage comes with price of self-censorship
By: Juan O. Tamayo, Miami Herald, February 28, 2010
Foreign correspondents covering Cuba admit they soften the critical edges on their stories to keep the government from kicking them out. One Spanish journalist based in Cuba for five years wrote that “rare is the journalist who does not soften his reports, to avoid being expelled from the country.”
Read full article…