#Srilanka – The killing of a young 12-year-old boy


CALLUM MACRAE, The Hindu FEb 19.2013

  • CHILLING DETAILS: Digital image analysis by an expert for Channel 4 has confirmed that this photograph showing 12-year-old Balachandran Prabakaran before and after he was shot dead, were taken with the same camera.
    No Fire Zone/Channel 4CHILLING DETAILS: Digital image analysis by an expert for Channel 4 has confirmed that this photograph showing 12-year-old Balachandran Prabakaran before and after he was shot dead, were taken with the same camera.
  • CHILLING DETAILS: Digital image analysis by an expert for Channel 4 has confirmed that these this photograph showing 12-year-old Balachandran Prabakaran before and after he was shot dead, were taken with the same camera.
    No Fire Zone/Channel 4CHILLING DETAILS: Digital image analysis by an expert for Channel 4 has confirmed that these this photograph showing 12-year-old Balachandran Prabakaran before and after he was shot dead, were taken with the same camera.
  • CHILLING DETAILS: Digital image analysis by an expert for Channel 4 has confirmed that this photograph showing 12-year-old Balachandran Prabakaran after he was shot dead, were taken with the same camera.
    No Fire Zone/Channel 4CHILLING DETAILS: Digital image analysis by an expert for Channel 4 has confirmed that this photograph showing 12-year-old Balachandran Prabakaran after he was shot dead, were taken with the same camera.

New photographs of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabakaran’s son just before he was shot dead, obtained by Channel 4 TV, leave more questions for Sri Lanka to answer about war crimes

It is a war that has produced some truly terrible images, but this one is particularly disturbing. A young boy sits looking distressed, like a child who has been lost in a supermarket. He has been given a biscuit or some kind of snack. In the second photograph, he is looking anxiously up, as though hoping to see someone he recognises.

The boy is Balachandran Prabakaran, the 12-year-old son of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabakaran.

These photographs, which we are releasing today, form part of the new evidence in the forthcoming feature documentary “No War Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka,” the culmination of three years of research which will be shown for the first time next month in Geneva, to coincide with the U.N. Human Rights Council meeting. The new evidence in the film is certain to increase pressure on the Indian government not only to support a resolution on Sri Lanka and accountability, but also to ensure that it is robustly worded, and that it outlines an effective plan for international action to end impunity in Sri Lanka.

The new photographs tell a chilling story. This child is not been lost of course: he has been captured and is being held in a sandbag bunker, apparently guarded by a Sri Lankan Army soldier. In less than two hours he will be taken, executed in cold blood — and then photographed again.

Forensic pathologist’s opinion

In these photographs, which digital image analysis indicates were taken with the same camera, we can see he has been shot five times in the chest. Separate video footage, also apparently filmed as a war trophy by government soldiers, shows that alongside him lie the bodies of five men. They appear to have been Tamil Tiger fighters, probably his bodyguards. They have been stripped, bound, blindfolded and then shot in the head.

The new photographs are particularly important evidentially, because they prove that Balachandran was not killed in crossfire, or in a battle. His death was deliberate and calculated. The pictures fill in chilling details on the circumstances of his murder — and leave the Sri Lankan government with yet more questions to answer about just how systematic the executions at the end of the war appear to have been. Last year, we first revealed video footage and stills which showed Balachandran’s body shortly after his execution. These were analysed for us by a respected forensic pathologist, Professor Derrick Pounder, to assess the cause of death.

The professor identified what he thinks is the first of the shots to be fired at the boy: “There is a speckling (on the skin) from propellant tattooing, indicating that the distance of the muzzle of the weapon to this boy’s chest was two to three feet or less. He could have reached out with his hand and touched the gun that killed him.”

The professor said the angle of the shots suggested that after that bullet was fired, the boy fell backwards and was then shot four more times. Unlike the men around him, there was no indication that the boy had been blindfolded or bound, so it was possible that the boy may have been made to watch the execution of his guards before the gun was turned on him.

The new photographs released today give us a chilling insight into what happened before that. They appear to demonstrate that the situation was calm and orderly. Balachandran was given a snack and some water. There was time to take photographs while he was held in the bunker and again afterwards. The forensic analysis report on the photographs concludes that there is “no evidence to indicate fabrication, manipulation or the use of effects to create the images” and concludes that the photographs “appear to be an accurate representation of the events depicted.”

From the separate video sequence recorded later (which has also been authenticated by both digital video analysis), it is clear that there were several military personnel in the area.

Where the trail leads to

It is difficult to imagine the mindset of an army in which a child can be executed in cold blood with apparent impunity. It also raises extremely difficult questions for the Sri Lankan military. With every month that passes, the evidence of systematic execution of prisoners grows. The pattern of apparent sexual violence against female fighters is disturbing in the extreme.

As the respected international human rights lawyer, Professor William A. Schabas, says in our film: “If you look at what looks like the mass execution of naked prisoners, these all add up to possibly the claim that this was in fact systematic — and that could point to the highest levels in the military authority of Sri Lanka as being responsible for war crimes of summary execution, killing and torture.”

India’s role

And in Sri Lanka, of course, the highest levels of the military are virtually the same as the highest levels of the government. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, have some very difficult questions to answer.

They may well continue to simply deny the evidence and cite the undoubted crimes of the Tamil Tigers. But as a defence, it is becoming increasingly threadbare. The crimes of one side do not justify the crimes of another. A government which claims to adhere to international humanitarian law cannot hide behind the brutal suicide bombings or the brutalised child soldiers of the Tigers. But for India there is a dilemma too. Because it matters not just what the answers to these questions are. It also matters who asks these questions. India is central to this.

It has been said before, but it is true, and worth repeating. Without justice there can be no peace and reconciliation, and without truth there can be no justice.

This is not an academic exercise in historical accountability. The men responsible for these crimes are still in charge. They are continuing to brutally repress Tamils in the north and persecute anyone who criticises the government including, as we have seen with the impeachment of the Chief Justice, their own judiciary.

If there is no attempt to address these issues and to bring justice to those who suffered, the fear is that in the short term, political repression in Sri Lanka will increase and that in the long term, history is destined to repeat itself with yet more bloodshed and regional instability.

It seems to most human rights defenders around the world, including those in India, that the only way ahead in this situation is for the creation of a credible, independent, international inquiry into these events, as called for by the U.N.’s Panel of Experts. That inquiry should examine all the crimes committed by both sides.

If India was to declare its support for such an inquiry, many hope it could mark the start of the long, delayed movement towards peace, reconciliation and political justice in Sri Lanka.

(Callum Macrae is director, “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka.” nofirezone.org)

 

Sunita Bhuyan performs at #1billionrising -Mumbai #Vaw


Submitted by AT News on Sat, 16/02/2013 – 12:20

Violinist Sunita Bhuyan , the cultural Ambassador to the South Asia Women’s Fund, Sri Lanka performs at Bandstand amphitheatre, Mumbai during the celebration ofOne Billion Rising – Mumbai on February 14, 2013.

Categories:

 

#Srilanka- #Gangrape – Peoples’ sovereignty and the absence of protest #Vaw


 #India- Chastity, Virginity, Marriageability, and Rape Sentencing #Vaw  #Justice #mustread

A 45 year-old woman was gang raped in the early hours of January 23 in Wijerama, Nugegoda (some reports give her age as 47). This gruesome incident only received a few lines in some of the newspapers and in the media. Yet a similar incident that occurred in New Delhi, India, when a medical student was gang raped on a bus, provoked a nation-wide protest for several days and, in fact, the protests continue internationally even up to now. This protest caused the Indian Prime Minister to intervene and take action, not only to ensure medical treatment and justice for the young girl but also to take steps towards bringing in speedy legislation to prevent the re-occurrence of similar incidents. Protests took place also in Nepal when a similar case came to the notice of the public. There too, heavy demands have been made of the government, not only to bring legislation but also to achieve other reforms needed to protect women.

The media and the active participation of the people and women’s movements, including local politicians, both in India and Nepal reflected the active participation of the people to ensure protection and to express outrage at the malfunctioning of the law enforcement agencies which are duty bound to protect the public.

In both countries, the media responded to these protests and ensured that the unfortunate event came to be an occasion for the whole nation to introspect and to discuss the crisis of the law enforcement agencies and the failure of the government to ensure that these agencies act with the required diligence in future. On the one hand, the role of the media represented the problems of the conscience of the public. On the other hand, the media also created a discussion among the people in order to express concern as well as to critically discuss the deficiencies of the government that make it possible for such crimes to occur.

According to the short reports that appeared in the Sri Lankan media, the police reported that the woman who became the victim of the gang rape had gone to the market and having lost her way, made some inquiries as to directions from a three-wheeler driver. Under the pretext of offering help, the driver took her into the three-wheeler and then, against her will, took her near a well and threatened her. Thereafter, several persons who came in another three-wheeler, gang raped her. She is said to be taking treatment at the Kalubowila Hospital. The items discovered from the three-wheelers include some condoms which, according to observers, suggest that the attackers may have been engaged in such activities on a regular basis.

New approach to scandal management under peoples’ sovereignty 

In recent times when such scandals occurred, the police filed reports of arrest and this appeased the public by creating the impression that the law was being enforced. However, shortly after arrest, these matters were forgotten. Through all kinds of negotiations and bribery exchanges, or by the intervention of politicians, the process of justice was subverted. The cases of the murder of several persons, together with a government politician, Baratha Lakhsman Premachandra and the recent murder of an elected local government official in Kelaniya are public events which demonstrate this quite strikingly. The murder of a British national and the rape and assault of his Russian companion at Tangalle, allegedly by the Urban Council Chairman of Tangalle and others, was also hushed up. The gang rape of a child by several local area politicians in another rural locality in the South underwent a similar fate. Similarly there were allegations of rape against government member of parliament, Duminda Silva which too, came to nothing. In fact, the list of crimes that have been followed by no real consequences is quite long.

It will not be surprising, if one of these days, the rape victim of this present incident and her family are called to Temple Trees and given some money from the President’s Fund. Such examples of so-called mercy have been evidenced many times, when such scandals happen. After neglecting Rizana Nafeek’s case resulting in her beheading in Saudi Arabia, her mother was called to the palace and some money was given.

Lawlessness and public apathy

In Sri Lanka while there is a public acknowledgement of the existence of widespread lawlessness involving particularly shocking offenses against women, the public itself reacts to these events apathetically. There is no energetic pursuit of justice or demands for accountability from the government.

Such apathy that prevails amongst the public regarding heinous crimes as well as the criminal negligence on the part of the government to resolve the problems of the law enforcement agencies is indicative of the deeper malaise in the Sri Lankan society and the Sri Lankan system of justice.

The collapse of the policing system has been acknowledged. This was the direct result of the politicisation process which in turn is a product of the total control of the state by the executive president which has paralysed the bureaucratic apparatus in Sri Lanka. Naturally, it is not within the capacity of the Sri Lankan president to enquire into all crimes and to deal with them. The task of controlling crime could only take place through the functioning of the law enforcement agencies within the framework of the law. The duty of the president and the government is to ensure that these agencies function and deliver the necessary services to the public. However, the nature of the Sri Lankan system at present is such that the president and the government do not have a reliable bureaucratic apparatus through which law enforcement as well as other aspects of the running of governance can be effected.

The result is crimes that re-occur and the gimmicks that are played by politicians to create the impression of law enforcement while there is no real attempt to ensure protection to the people. This situation has resulted in the creation of a sense of apathy in the society as a whole, even in the face of gruesome crimes such as the gang rape of this woman.

As an independent media is suppressed, there is apathy, widespread cynicism and shameless manipulation of news in the state media which is the only media that is allowed to function without hindrance.

While the rest of the south Asian countries are rising to demand better performance from their governments and the creation of efficiently functioning law enforcement agencies to protect all citizens with particular emphasis on the more vulnerable groups such as women, in Sri Lanka crimes continue to take place with impunity.

 

source- http://www.humanrights.asia

 

Open letter to DG, WHO regarding Pentavalent vaccine


English: Margaret Chan, director-general of th...

English: Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

ALL INDIA DRUG ACTION NETWORK,

 

  • 57, Tejaswinagar, Dharwad 580002,
    Tel & fax 0836-2461722
  • A-60, Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110016,
    Tel: 91-11-26512385,

http://aidanindia.wordpress.com/

———————————————————————

Date 16th January 2013

OPEN LETTER TO THE DIRECTOR GENERAL, WHO

To

Dr. Margaret Chan,

The Director General,

World Health Organisation,

Geneva.

chanm@who.int
wrindia@searo.who.int

Dear Dr Margaret Chan,

All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) is a network of not-for-profit civil society organisations that has been campaigning and working for rational use of medicines, largely in the Indian context. In March last year some of us sent you as DG, WHO an open letter about deaths from Pentavalent vaccine (DPT + Hib + Hepatitis B) which is supported by WHO.

Last week we had another death in Kerala, India after the vaccine. The 47 day old child Akilesh the son of Mr Anil and Liggy Vadekethil received his first dose of the vaccine. He was found dead in bed at 3 AM that night.

The Vietnam Government has stopped the programme with the vaccine after 3 deaths and they have asked the WHO to investigate[1]. Perhaps this will not come up to you but we thought you should know.

This follows a pattern. The vaccine is harmless for the vast majority but in a few, it causes reactions and death. It is wrongly said to be, Sudden Infant Death (SIDS). This was in fact the explanation given by the WHO experts investigating the deaths in Pakistan showing the experts neither understand the cause of the deaths nor the definition of SIDS.[2] Other deaths have been attributed to be anaphylaxis. In the cases of deaths in Sri Lanka the committee of the WHO said that the deaths were ‘unrelated to the vaccine but they could find no other explanation for the deaths’ – thereby contradicting themselves.

There is no way of testing children before they are given this vaccine to know if they will react adversely. Therefore any healthy baby coming for preventive vaccination may be the next victim. This will likely shake the confidence of the public in the entire immunization regime and the steady progress we have been making with routine immunization may be reversed.

blog in the British Medical Journal has calculated from data gathered from Kerala in the first 6 months of introducing the vaccine in that state, and projected that the vaccine will likely cause 3000 deaths in India each year where a WHO sponsored study showed that the deaths from Hib meningitis is about 175 per year[3].

This pattern of sudden unexpected death has been seen in many Asian countries besides India and Vietnam in Bhutan , Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, so that it no longer possible to suggest that the deaths were just coincidence.

We did not receive any response to our last letter but as an organisation we feel we must place this information to you so it can be viewed in its entirety rather than piecemeal. It is being placed in a publicly accessible website so it may be used by all for rational decision making. We are concerned that these continuing deaths from a vaccine supported by the WHO will erode not only the credibility of this international organization but also of all vaccines.

Looking forward to your early action in the regard.

Yours truly,

1.      Dr Mira Shiva, +91 9810582028, mirashiva(at)gmail(dot)com,

2.      Dr Anant Phadke, +91 9448442142, anant.phadke(at)gmail(dot)com,

3.      Mr Srinivasan S, +91 9448442142, chinusrinivasan.x(at)gmail(dot)com,

4.      Dr Gopal Dabade, +91 9448862270, drdabade(at)gmail(dot)com,

5.      Mr Naveen Thomas, +919342858056, navthom(at)gmail(dot)com,


http://novartisboycott.org/petition

 

 

 

“This is about you and me”: RJ Balaji on Men #mustread #Vaw


Image source: The Hindu

http://orinam.net/rj-balaji-on-men/

RJ Balaji, a radio jockey with the 92.7 BIG FM station in Chennai, has podcast his thoughts on men’s roles in the home and how strong beliefs in and reinforcement of gender roles lead to a range of oppressions including the recent Delhi rape and countless other sexual crimes.

We are including herewith a link to the original podcast.

https://soundcloud.com/balajipatturaj/92-7-big-fm-rj-balaji-being

Our hearty thanks to Mr. Balaji for sharing his progressive views, and to Orinam member KMRamki for the English translation provided below.

Even though the discussion of gender roles is in the context of violence against women it applies equally to violence against LGBT people. Strong notions of how a man and woman should be/behave/look are what result in verbal, physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse of those of us who do not conform to such rigidly gendered expectations of society

– Orinam webteam


Being Hu’man’

(English Translation by KM Ramki)

A humble word, to all my fellow men…

I mean, for us to have pride, to feel proud, that we are men.. I don’t see anything there. I don’t know what’s there (to feel pride). You say we can grow a moustache… is that a superior quality?

Some say, “you talk about this now only because it happened in Delhi… will you talk about it if had happened in Chennai, or Thoothukudi or Sri Lanka?” To them, this is not a Delhi, Mumbai, state-over-state, country-over-country issue.

It’s an issue of you and me: it’s a vulgar revelation of what we think in our hearts about women. These rapes, the violence, have become just that. Even if only one in hundred, or one in a thousand men perform these acts, it is true that the rest of us also have  thoughts that we are ashamed of. We don’t say it aloud.

For the first time, we are angrily protesting against something all over India, about something that affects us, with the intention that there needs to be a solution to it. Meanwhile, how long this anger will last, what the results from these protests will be, what will actually be done, is not in your hands or mine.

However, I want to speak as an ordinary man, about what we usually do, how it can create a better environment. That’s what this podcast is about.

We, men, say we are modern thinking, we are youth, etc. Though we praise ourselves so much, but it is deeply rooted belief even among us, that a woman has to cook for me, press my clothes, etc. Even if both of them work, go to sleep after 11.30 in the night, the woman is expected to wake up at 5 in the morning, make coffee, cook and then go to work. But if the guy occasionally cooks one day, he takes immense pride in it. Even today, we think it’s a thing to be (inordinately) proud of for a guy to say he cooks (occasionally). It’s actually nothing special.

Women don’t take pride in saying I cook daily, I press my husband’s clothes, I get my children ready for school daily, etc. We have impressed on them that it’s their way of living.

Do guys boldly say “I work at home, I cook at home, and I see no shame in it. She and I both work”? If we go to a corporate space, and see four women smoking, what comments do we pass about those smoking women? If we see a girl in a pub at night, we know what comments we make about her. Isn’t it all quite shameful?

What’s so ‘manly’  or ‘womanly’ about these things? We claim to be very modern. If a girl comes to the pub with us, she is good, but if she goes with others, she is bad? Smoking or drinking is going to affect everyone’s body and health. If you take a stand, that smoking or drinking is wrong, whoever does it, there is some fairness to it. But you claim guys can do it, but women should not. If I point [the hypocrisy] out, you challenge me, that I don’t know Indian culture and mores. It’s in this country with these vaunted culture and mores, that we are having all these rapes.

The most important thing is for us to reflect on what thoughts we hold about women. To this day, husbands tease their wives if they skip cooking one day.

There is this claim that all these are happening because women dress the way they do. What a shameful thought! A minister or some politician has said that we should ban skirts that schoolgirls wear. This is crazy. A three year old girl and a sixty year old grandmother have also been raped. Were they also dressed for rape?

This is not about the few rapists. This is about you and me. When we were young adults, how many times have we made jokes or passed comments based on the clothes women are wearing, or their physical parts? Has a woman ever made sexual jokes and harassed a guy based on his clothes? They never have that thought. We guys mostly think cheap thoughts.

We always say women are elegant, graceful and beautiful. I don’t know when these tags and adjectives are going to change. Are women nothing beyond these? Who are we to be moral police, to decide how they can dress, and what their dress says about the sort of a character they are? You and I have no right to to blame them, or tag them. It is also immoral to do that. We should understand that.

People ask why that girl was in a bus at 10 pm. Why shouldn’t she be in a bus at that time? Who are we to ask that question? They say things happened because that girl went to a pub at midnight. No, it did not happen because she went to a pub at midnight. It happened because your thoughts are perverted.

In this same India in which we used to give prominence and pre-eminence to women. But now, every woman is expected to fear and be submissive to a guy. It’s become the norm. If a guy does the chores at home, fears his wife, we make fun of him, and make him a comedy piece in our movies. What is wrong with that? What is shameful in that?

The other day, when I said this on Twitter, some guy replied, “Men should be men, women should be women. That will solve all the problems.” What does it mean, “women should be women”? Why should we define what women should be, how they should be? Who are we to do that? This question is for the menfolk.

If you ask me what qualifies to sermonize on this, I partake in all the chores at my place. I wipe the floor, I bathe our kid, I get him ready for school. I don’t feel ashamed of it. I don’t feel a need to boast about the times I cook at home. It’s just a part of my life. When my son grows up, he will not have the thought that women are beneath him, that they should serve him, that only his mother should get him ready for school. I wash my son’s butt. I get him ready for school. I feed him. So, my son, when he grows up, won’t have such [discriminatory] thoughts, and I am responsible for that, as his father. As a man, I will be responsible for the happiness of the women around me. I don’t know if I can change all the men in my country or change the laws here. But I can guarantee that my son will not have [discriminatory] thoughts in his head.

This is not preaching or advising. I cannot watch my TRP for everything. I could just comment on the latest hits and flops. But I am human. This is something that happened in my country, and affected me deeply. That’s why I am speaking out about it. I might have called fifty people and held a vigil. But that would have ended with those fifty people. I wanted to talk to more people. Lots more men. Change is something that has to start with the individual, in every household.

Using the Internet, Twitter and Facebook alone does not make me a modern man. I become a real modern man – a real man – only when I can respect the women in my society who are equal to, or greater than, me. When I don’t define what their role is, I do whatever they do. And I have no shame in doing the chores, beginning with cleaning the toilet. After all, I am cleaning the toilet in MY house.

This is just what I think. It has not been scripted.

I wish you a happy new year.

This post is also available in: தமிழ் (Tamil)

Press Release-Koodankulam Could Be Another Bhopal Disaster In Waiting: Noam Chomsky


Koodankulam Could Be Another Bhopal Disaster In Waiting: Noam Chomsky

Press Release By Koodankulam Solidarity Group

31 October, 2012
Countercurrents.org

Internationally acclaimed academician Noam Chomsky of Massachussets Institute of Technology of the United States has said that Koodankulam could be another Bhopal disaster in waiting. In a solidarity letter to the struggling people he said `Nuclear energy is a very dangerous initiative, particularly in countries like India, which has had more than its share of industrial disasters, Bhopal being the most famous,’ said Noam Chomsky. ` I would like to express my support for the courageous people’s movement protesting the opening of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant.’

Avram Noam Chomsky is internationally famous linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, historian, political critic and activist. He has worked as a professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT. In addition to his work in linguistics, he has written on war, politics, mass media and a many other areas. Chomsky was cited more often than any other living scholar from 1980 to 1992 and he was voted the “world’s top public intellectual” in a 2005 poll.Described as the “father of modern linguistics, he is most well known for his book called ` Manufacturing Consent’

`The support of Noam Chomsky is a major blessing to the fishing community of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, who are unfortunately the first victims of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant,’ said T.Peter , Secretary, National Fish Workers’ Forum. `We hope more and more groups and individuals will flow now to support the struggle.’

`Chomsky is one of the most leading existing internationally reknowned left intellectuals today. It is surprising that while such a great personality has expressed support to the Koodankulam struggle, the left in India is still confused about their stand on the hazards of nuclear energy,’ said Civic Chandran , activist writer . Chomsky’s response came as a part of the efforts of the anti-nuclear activists to campaign on Koodankulam issue through the internet in a unique manner through a well known website http://www.countercurrents org The site has been publishing posters using statements in support of the the Koodankulam struggle from well known national and international personalities every day along with their photographs from October 11, onwards.

Mairead Maguire, the 1976 nobel peace prize winner and Irish peace activist also expressed her solidarity to the koodankulam struggle. She said the struggle is an inspiration to the world. She also said “I offer my solidarity with the brave people of Koodankulam, as they nonviolently resist the Koodankulam nuclear power plant in their community. The courageous villagers-men and women- who are risking their lives do so to safeguard the lives of their children, the livelihood of all their fishermen,and their environment.We support you all, continue to be brave, refuse to be silent, and you will overcome… your actions are in inspiration to many of us around the world and we join you in spirit…Shanti”

The campaign through posters on the net began with former Chief Minister of Kerala, V.S.Achuthanandan who said: `We do not need this nuclear bomb. The Central Govt. must immediately stop all activities regarding this plant. The Kerala Govt. must wake up with an understanding on the threat from this on the people and act immediately.’

While the stand of Achuthanandan on nuclear energy was being debated, some of the others who expressed their stand on the campaign are the following:

`What the poor people of Koodankulam is doing is what anyone would struggle for the protection of one’s own life and future. It is not surprising that the Government which has become a part of the nuclear lobby could not understand this. Let them learn from the widespread lessons of Chernobyl and Fukushima ‘ – Binoy Viswarm, Former Minster of Kerala & CPI leader.

` We fully support the courageous struggle against the nuclear power station in Koodankulam. In Denmark the resistance against nuclear power was strong and well organized and today Denmark is free of nuclear energy. Our resistance was able to close the nuclear power station Barsebäck in Sweden close to Denmark ‘ – Christian Juhl, Member of Parliament and spokesman, The Red-Green Alliance , Denmark .

`Koodankulam nuclear plant is a Fukushima in the making. It will be another genocide of the Tamils, Sinhalese and Indians waiting to happen. Sri Lanka is just a stone’s throw away from Koodankulam. We the Sri Lankan people, Tamil, Sinhalese and Tamil speaking Muslims oppose it tooth and nail, along side our brothers and sisters of Idinthakarai and Koodankulam – Siritunga Jayasuria, Former Presidential candidate, General Secretary, United Socialist Party, Sri Lanka

`We agree that electricity is needed for development. But the main question is whether we have used all safer options for the production of energy before we think of nuclear option. This question is leading to a lot of suspicions’ – Annie Raja, National Council Member, CPI.

`Public pressure is needed to break the power of the greedy nuclear lobby. Koodankulam struggle is vital and I will do my utmost to spread the word about your struggle within the trade union and anti nuclear movement in Europe ‘ – Reknowned politician Paul Murphy, Member of the European Parliament for the Socialist Party of Ireland .

`Socialist Alternative (SAV) Germany condemn the state terror unleashed on the peaceful protesters of Koodankulam. We demand the immediate withdrawal of the police force. We demand that the government heed to the sane voice of the anti-nuclear movement and immediately stop the killer project which is bound to put the people, flora and fauna, the fragile environment and the other species in irrevocable danger’ – Lucy Redler, Spokesperson of Socialist Alternative (SAV) Germany

` The government must immediately stop the brutal treatment of protesters and shut down the plant without further delay. The investment should be channeled to renewable energy production. All development should be people centric and not for the profits of the few. Tamil Solidarity campaign will continue to support the Koodankulam anti-nuclear struggle and will continue to build support internationally’ – TU Senan, International coordinator for Tamil Solidarity Campaign.

`I am totally in solidarity with people in Koodankulam and elsewhere protesting against nuclear reactors. This we do not need in the world. We do not understand the long term dangers and must ban all new installations’ – Mallika Sarabhai, Indian classical dancer and social activist

`Atomic power is against Humanity. Human beings have not evolved enough to handle atomic power. At source level atomic energy is no different from atomic weapon. Every Nation has a hidden agenda of producing atomic Weapon. Say NO TO ATOMIC POWER!’ – KAVIGNAR Thamarai .

`The Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project will have serious health consequences, not only for the local people, but also for the people of the entire region. This will be accompanied by large scale loss of livelihood for the fisher folk communities of the entire area. The long term risks of a nuclear accident are unpredictable’ – Dr. Binayak Sen, Member, Planning Commission’s Steering Committee on Health.

`Without a fully worked out disaster management plan, Koodankulam or any other nuclear reactor is a sure passport to disaster. This is an unwarranted risk. A nuclear reactor is potentially more dangerous than an ato bomb, because each 1000 MW reactor contains radio active materials equivilant to 200 nagasaki bombs’ – Dr. M.P. Parameswaran, Nuclear Engineer, KSSP.

`Stop Nuclear Menace in Koodankulam. Defend the Planet!’ – Anand Patwardhan, Film Maker .

`I stand in complete solidarity with the villagers of Idinthikkarai who are resisting Koodankulam reactor. I happened to be in Japan in March 2011 when the earthquake damaged the Fukushima reactor. After the disaster, almost every country that used nuclear energy declared that it would change its policy. Every country, except India ‘ – Arundhati Roy, Writer.

The campaign through http://www.CounterCurrents.org is generating more and more national and international support through face book, twitter, e-groups, websites and many other ways of internet sharing. ` The anti-nuclear activists have always used creative ways of campaigning and this poster campaign through the net is certainly a new step,’ said Subramanian, State Convenor of the Koodankulam Solidarity Group. ` What is most important is that we motivated Noam Chomsky himself to respond to this struggle which is situated in the other part of the planet. We are sure it will inspire many significant personalities and organizations to come out strongly against the nuclear power plant to defend life and environment’

Contact: N. Subramanyan :09497881489. nsubrahmanyan@gmail.com

K. Sajeed: 09496827652. sajeedacl@gmail.com

Geo Jose: 09446000701. geojoselily@gmail.com

 

India- Karnataka Court asks #Army not to behave like #Khap Panchayats #VAW #genderjustice


Don’t behave like a khap panchayat, Karnataka HC tells Army

, TNN | Oct 31, 2012, 01.46AM IST

e:Major Vikas Kumar|Karnataka High Court|Army
Don't behave like a khap panchayat, Karnataka HC tells Army
Karnataka high court on Tuesday compared the Army to a khap panchayat for blocking a young officer’s bid to marry a 29-year-old Sri Lankan woman he’s in love with.
BANGALORE: A bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen of the Karnataka high court on Tuesday compared the Army to a khap panchayat for blocking a young officer’s bid to marry a 29-year-old Sri Lankan woman he’s in love with.

Major Vikas Kumar’s dreams of marrying the Bangalore-based 29-year old Sri Lankan student hit a roadblock with the Army ordering an investigation into “the purpose behind him coming in contact with a foreign national”. In response to his plea to quit since service rules bar officers from marrying foreigners, his commanders refused to relieve him, citing a severe staff crunch. The signals corps officer then went to court.

A division bench presided over by Chief Justice Sen Tuesday reserved judgment on an appeal filed by the Union government challenging an order of a single judge bench which had ruled in Maj. Kumar’s favour.

Displeased with the arguments of the government counsel, Justice Sen observed: “This is not a khap panchayat, this is the Army.” He also said, “We can’t understand the Army’s stand at all. This is most unfortunate for the man. One of India’s Presidents, also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, was married to a foreigner.” (A reference to K R Narayanan who was married to Ma Tint Tint of Myanmarese origin).

Maj Kumar won round one of the legal battle this June. A single judge of the high court ruled in his favour saying, “The Army can’t refuse his request for release from the services since he wants to marry a foreign national.” The Union government challenged the order in the division bench.

The government counsel argued, “We have ordered an investigation to find out under what circumstances and for what purpose he has come in contact with a foreign national. Also, his regiment is severely short-staffed, so we cannot relieve him.”

Maj. Kumar’s advocate told the court he filed his second petition after the single judge’s order had been pending with the Army for about four months. “As per the rules, you were expected to decide the application within 120 days either saying Yes or No. Such an inquiry ordered by you is an unknown law,” said Justice Sen.

Case snapshot

* Maj. Vikas Kumar joined the Army in 2000 and underwent a BE course sponsored by the Army

* He’s with the Corps of Signals in the northeast India

* On June 29, 2011, Vikas Kumar filed an application seeking release from the services saying he wanted to marry a foreign national unwilling to give up her nationality

* Application rejected it saying ‘it was incomplete’

* Maj Kumar challenged the order in the high court, where a single judge ruled in his favour

* Union government challenged the order in the division bench

 

#INDIA-Activists, academics take out anti-Kudankulam protest in #Bangalore #nuclear


BANGALORE, October 25, 2012

Staff Reporter

Safety first:Anti-nuclear activists and members of the New Socialist Alternative protesting at the Town Hall in Bangalore on Wednesday.— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Safety first:Anti-nuclear activists and members of the New Socialist Alternative protesting at the Town Hall in Bangalore on Wednesday.— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Academics, activists and students gathered at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening to express solidarity with residents of Kudankulam, who have been resisting the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project.

Organised by the New Socialist Alternative, the demonstration saw participation from various anti-nuclear activist groups and organisations that have been campaigning for the rights of the Tamil-speaking population in Sri Lanka.

Protesters spoke about the repression of people in Kudankulam, and on the perils of nuclear energy and plants in the wake of the massive nuclear meltdown of reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011.

“With such nuclear plants, there is always a possibility of great accidents. We need to look at other possible alternatives such as solar energy,” said Atul Chokshi, professor from the Indian Institute of Science. Prof. Chokshi emphasised that the consent of residents should be taken before any such development plans.

Ambrose Pinto, principal of St. Josephs’ College of Arts and Sciences, said the government’s role in and response to the Kudankulam issue has been “entirely disappointing”.

“This is a very strong example of being anti-democratic. There are so many people living close to the plant. The radiation will affect them,” he said.

Condemned

The protesters singled out the former president A.P.J Abdul Kalam, and condemned his call for support for the nuclear project. They demanded that all existing and future nuclear projects be suspended.

 

ATTN #London-Stop Koodankulam protest,@24th Oct #Aldwych


Join us at Stop Koodankulam protest, Wednesday 24th October

Thosands rally against Kodankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu

Protest outside Indian high commission.
This protest is part of the international day of action.
Protests will also take place on the same date in Belgium, Germnay, Malaysia,India, Sri Lanka.

Wednesday 24 October
4pm to 7pm
India House Aldwych
WC2B 4NA
Nearest tube: Holborn
  • Stop the project to build a nuclear power station at Koodankulam immediately
  • Stop police brutality against Koodankulam campaigners. Defend the democratic right to protest
  • Abolish all nuclear projects in Tamil Nadu and all Indian states. We demand massive public investment into renewable energy, the sources for which are abundant in India, and in millions of green jobs, with decent pay and health and safety legislation
  • End western government investment in Indian nuclear projects. Solidarity with all those fighting big corporates involved in energy across the planet – people and planet – not big business profit – must be the priorities
  • Header image alt text

Solidarity For Koodankulam Struggle From UK

Thousands demonstrate at Koodankulam nuclear power plant, Tamil Nadu
20 October, 2012, http://www.foilvedanta.org/

A number of Foil Vedanta members were represented at this meeting in the House of Commons. We send our solidarity to those affected and fighting this dirty and dangerous technology being forced upon them.

Doctors, academics, legal workers and activists at a packed meeting in the House of Commons in London last night (18 October) declared their solidarity with the protesters against the nuclear power plants at Koodankulam, India and Hinkley Point, Somerset, UK and their opposition to nuclear power as a source of energy. The meeting was hosted by MP Caroline Lucas and organized jointly by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and South Asia Solidarity Group .

Caroline Lucas M.P. told the meeting that she was deeply worried about the situation in Koodankulam – both in terms of the nuclear plant and the treatment of local opponents. She also condemned David Cameron’s policy of exporting civil nuclear technology to India.

She said “In agreeing to lift a ban on the export of nuclear technology and components to India, Prime Minister David Cameron ignored official recommendations and shunned concerns that India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. The government also seems untroubled by the fact that the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, the organisation in charge of safety in all of India’s nuclear facilities, shares staff with, and is funded by, the organisations it is supposed to be regulating. This clearly compromises its ability to act independently and to enforce vigorous safety regulations. The fact that the nuclear establishment in India is under no obligation to disclose information on the nuclear power sector to citizens, nor does the country have a long-term radioactive waste disposal policy only adds to the concerns. I pay tribute to the campaign against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant, which is standing up for local people in the face of human rights abuses by the police and the authorities. By standing in solidarity together, we can send a clear and strong message that nuclear power is not a welcome solution to our energy needs.”

Poste

#India-Police harassment and slow judicial proceedings leading to suicidal tendency among terror accused


 

By Tariq Abdul Muhaimin10/20/12

 

Two different cases of alleged police harassment in relation to terror accused, one languishing in jail and another released on bail, have sparked a sense of frustration and distrust in the Muslim community.

The Jamia Teacher’s Solidarity Association (JTSA) recently released a report ‘Framed, Damned, Acquitted: Dossiers of a Very Special Cell’ highlighting the plight of 16 Muslim youth who were arrested on various terror charges by the Delhi Special Cell and later acquitted by the court due to lack of evidence. Simultaneously, the tales of two other terror accused have aggravated this sense of anxiety within the community.

The tale of Abdul Razzaq alias Masood:

Abdul Razzaq alias Masood, one of the accused in Dilsukhnagar Sai Baba temple blast case, committed suicide at his house in Mehdipatnam on 10th October 2012. Being a native of Malapally, Nizamabad district, he was residing at Mehdipatnam in Hyderabad after being released on bail in 2007. In the suicide note which was found at the spot, he cited police harassment and slow proceedings as the reason behind his decision.

Speaking to Newzfirst, Khalid Saifullah, one of the defence counsels in the Sai Baba temple blast case said “I reached the spot immediately after the suicide took place. Although I did not get a chance to read the suicide note myself, the person (neighbour) who read the note to the police spoke to me and told me what was written in it”.

Recollecting the exact words told by the neighbour, he said “In the suicide note it was written – ‘I am undergoing intense police harassment since I have been released on bail… For more than 3 years I was in jail and since the last 4 years I am outside with many restrictions imposed, but my case is not moving towards any conclusion… The state police and the intelligence agencies are all harassing me; I want to make this known to everyone… I am innocent and have stayed in Jail; I don’t want to go again… I am also being implicated for Mumbai blasts… I advise all the youths who are booked under false cases to never surrender to the police… I want to make this known to everyone, so I am committing suicide…”

While his father said “My son can never commit suicide”, the post-mortem report is eagerly awaited.

“There is no question of him committing suicide. Only the police knows how he died, but he cannot commit suicide; this much I know and I can say,” said Muqeet (brother of Abdul Razzaq) who is also a corporator in Nizamabad, while speaking to Newzfirst.

“The police have carried out many fake encounters till now. The Batla house encounter is the best example for you; it not difficult for them to finish him off in this manner,” Muqeet said in frustration.

“It is not the question of one person committing suicide, there may be many others in peril. The question is – why does a person end up taking this decision even when his religion strictly prohibits it. It is a strategy of the police to implicate one person with so many cases that even if he is acquitted in one of them, he is still under immense pressure because of the other pending cases. The law and order situation in this country continues to fail us,” said Khalid Saifullah.

Abdul Razzaq’s case 835/2002 was registered at Saroor Nagar police station and investigation was carried out by Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Dated 21 November 2002, the charge sheet filed against him includes charges under sections 302, 307, 153A and 120B of Indian Penal Code (IPC), sections 3, 4 and 5 of Explosive Substances Act (ESA) and section 3 (3) of Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

“During the blast in 2002, my brother was in Dubai. He did not even know that he was accused in the case. When he went to renew his passport in Dubai, they said that there is a case against his name and he will have to go to the Indian Embassy in Delhi. So he came here to surrender and get his passport renewed. When he arrived here, the police arrested him from the airport but they said that he was found with explosives at a house in Delhi,” Muqeet said.

“Out of the ten accused in this case, two have died in alleged fake encounters by the police,” said advocate Khalid.

Disheartened over the slow and unresponsive criminal justice system in India, when asked whether the family was planning any further legal action, Muqeet said “We are planning to take a legal action but I am not too hopeful. Even if we go to court and demand an investigation into the matter, the court will hand over the charge to police which will never probe impartially against itself”.

The tale of Tariq Qasmi:

On 1st October, Tariq Qasmi, a terror accused languishing in Lucknow jail, had written a letter to his counsel saying that he and other inmates have no option other than committing suicide.

“I am also a human and an innocent patriotic citizen, who has been falsely accused of terrorism under some nefarious conspiracies. Frustrated with unspeakable torture, at times we even mull committing suicide. After inhuman atrocities that we have been subjected to by jail officials, suicide appears as the only way out,” Qasmiwrote in the letter.

Tariq Qasmi is implicated in three different cases – one in Barabanki (crime no. 1891/2007), another in Lucknow (crime no. 547/2007) and a third one in Faizabad (crime no. 3398/2007). In all the three cases, apart from charges under different sections of IPC, he has been charged under sections 16, 18, 20 and 23 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Explosive Substances Act (ESA).

“On 17th Dec 2007, reports in the media claimed that he was picked up from Rani Ki Sarai in Azamgarh on 12th December. However, his arrest was shown on 22nd December after Chowdhary Chand Pal Singh, a National Loktantrik Party (NLP) leader, threatened to immolate himself if Qasmi is not produced before 22nd Dec,” saidMohammad Shoaib, Qasmi’s advocate, while speaking to Newzfirst.

“When he went missing for 2 days, Qasmi’s grandfather Azhar Ali, filed a missing complaint on 14th Dec at the Rani Ki Sarai police station. He had also sent applications to the NHRC, state government, CM and Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court on the same day,” Shoaib added.

Due to massive protests by the people of Uttar Pradesh against his arrest, the then Mayawati government had formed a Commission to probe the arrests. Though the Commission has submitted its report to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on 3rd September 2012, the Government is yet to make the findings public.

“In a high security jail of Lucknow, they only get to see sunlight for 1 hour out of the 24 hours. In the night, the Jailer and deputy jailer come in a drunken state and hurl all kinds of abuses against the prisoners. It is a joke towards the Jail Manual. The letter which Qasmi wrote was on behalf of the other prisoners who asked him if there is a provision in Islam for committing suicide in such cases, and if there is why don’t we embrace it,” said Shoaib in disappointment.

Abdul Razzaq’s suicide note and Tariq Qasmi’s letter are indicative to the torture and mental pressure which most of the accused, especially in terror cases, are experiencing. It is a sad reflection on the Criminal Justice system that prevails.

“It is a strategy of the police that they implicate a person in so many cases that all your life you end up in jail because you are tried for different cases one after the other, which in turn go on for several years because the prosecution keeps extending the trial citing more time to produce witnesses,” a human rights activist belonging to the Forum advocating the release of innocents arrested in the name of terror, told Newzfirst on Anonymity.

 

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