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Saturday, 19 November 2011

Mega Loot & Corruption of Ambanis Since 1999

Mega Loot & Corruption of Ambanis Since 1999

From the very beginning Dhirubhai Ambani and his sons corrupted and manipulated Indian government is explained in ‘The Polyester Prince: The Rise of Dhirubhai Ambani’ by Hamish McDonald and its sequels ‘Mahabharata in Polyester: The Making of the World's Richest Brothers and Their Feud’ and ‘Ambani & Sons’ from 1999 onwards brothers turned in to Multi Head Monster – last year Makesh & Anil Ambani were worth $45b and $42b Consolidating Equity Holdings to over 50% and equity of Indian small shareholders who filled the stadiums reduced to under 10% in RIL companies and Staff costs are not even 2%, but unlike pre 1999 when units performed at near full capacity, Companies are performing poorly or are Hoarding on Licenses, Resources and Real Estate.

CAG, TRAI, DGH & Electricity, Mining Regulators were corrupted. Mukesh Ambanis 4G acquisition is not yet under CAG CBI scanner.
 
$150b invested or Committed by India In Last 12 Yrs on
Ambani Companies yield little benefit.
 
When PSUs were Vertically Split & Only Allowed Horizontal Expansion – Ambanis Were Allowed Unlimited Unrestricted
Vertical & Horizontal Expansions.

RIL Refineries are mainly export oriented contributing little to India, Telecom Companies is under utilized, high cost services are operated, Oil & Gas in spite of 10 times higher capitalization than Petrobras barely contributes 5% of Oil & Gas needs in 12 years. Reliance Wellness or Reliance Retail stores sell most goods at MSP like other shops are mainly Real Estate Investments. Out of 35,000 MW power projects just 600MW has been commissioned by Reliance Power in ten years, out of 95 million tones of Coal Mining projected production there is no production yet from mining leases. 34,000 hectares of SEZ had failed to take off – mainly hoarding program to develop real estate. RIL was caught Re-routing of International Telephone calls as locals, Rigged Electricity Meters programmed to run fast in Delhi. Awarded EPC contracts to China for Power Plants, Gas Pipelines than Indian companies but are still much behind schedule. Consumers are least satisfied with Reliance Electricity Distribution & Telecom Companies. 

Blitz observed: If the allegations against Dhirubhai Ambani and Reliance are proved, whether in the matter of evasion or in the alleged fraud of letters of credit opened with two foreign and three Indian banks for the import of PTA, then the conclusion becomes inescapable that, since 1969, a single industrialist had been literally dictating the government’s tex­tile and import policies and maneuvering import rules to ‘kill’ his rivals and maintain his lead in the market ... The challenge to State Power lies in the accumulated wealth and economic clout in the hands of an individual who is neither an elected representative nor accountable to the people, who could rnanipulate Cabinet ministers as wed as party chiefs. Economic power goes hand in hand with its political counterpart, resulting in manipulating politicians and ministers right to the top of the top. AN this and more has put a new regime seeking to cleanse the Augean stables of the corporate sector in an extremely vulnerable position for its daring to challenge one of the biggest industrial empires with a Rs 27 crore show-cause notice. One can only wish Finance Minister V P Singh good luck with the danda [stick] now that the carrot has been spurned - from Polyester Prince.

1999 onwards Reliance rapidly expanded in to Refineries, Oil & Gas, Power, Telecom, SEZs, Retail, Infrastructure, Insurance, Capital, Healthcare, Entertainment in addition to Textiles, Petrochemicals, etc.  

Reliance consolidated promoters equity, acquired licenses, Hoarded on to land, mining leases, Oil & Gas blocks and invested in foreign countries. 

Oil & Gas - $500b Production Loss

1. RIL Operates 29 Blocks in India and 13 Overseas –Brazil licensed a 13,000 sq.mt block to 13 private companies for off shore exploration RIL acquired 25 blocks by 2001 when it had no off shore experience by engaging hiring NIKO, HEPI and HARDY for the purpose of Acquiring & Hoarding Oil & Gas blocks.

Though it made World’s biggest discovery of 2001 that RIL claimed was 40 times larger than Bombay High of ONGC but still it made no efforts to developed it and instead invested in Two Refineries that were executed speedily than VITAL Offshore 25 Blocks in 2001 to 29 blocks now.

2. GSPC too made Biggest Discovery in 2005 like in RIL case in very first well – but didn’t invest in developing the Oil & Gas at Deendyal Block acquired in NEPL III in 2001 – Gujarat backed down to let RIL monopolize the Oil & Gas operations. This discovery within 20-30 kilometers adjacent to KG D6 could have been directly connected to onshore separation & dehydration process of CNG for pumping it to destinations.

Both RIL & GSPC without drilling rigs commenced exploration two to four years after acquiring blocks in 1999 and 2001 NEPL bids.
 
RIL awarded Turn Key contract to develop KG D6 to Bechtel only in 2006, five years after discovery and seven years after NEPL-I that was commissioned in April2009.

Instead of 200 MSCMD of natural gas and plus some million tones of Crude Oil India get just 41 MSCMD of gas as per latest quarterly report and little crude oil.

India could have been self sufficient in Oil & Gas by 2005 and saved $500b worth petroleum imports.
 
3.  When GAIL out to have laid Common Coastal Gas Pipeline from 1999 onwards, for all the licenses RIL corrupted DGH in to not considering CCGP and let RIL have its own Gas Pipeline that was built by Chinese from 2007, (six years after discovery and 8 years after NEPL I) to be ready by 2009 – this too discouraged other Oil & Gas operators from investing in Oil & Gas blocks.

4. When Brazil operated around 20 Offshore Drilling rigs in a Block leased to 13 companies RIL operated just one Drilling Rig for a while recently and hired just three rigs for 29 blocks December2011 onwards – and these too are Most Expensive over $0.510m per day rent when ONGC hired 7-9 rigs of various sizes at $0.140m average cost. (Copy Attached)

5.  RIL had claimed to have discovered 40 times more gas at KG D6 than ONGC and it shall double Natural Gas production, would supply gas for a Century and shall be operational in 30 months from October31, 2002 but commenced production after 77 months from 2002 or 113 months after NEPL-I. Since RIL was allocated KG D6 in 1999 and till October31, 2002 it had developed just Three Wells but your government allocated 25 Blocs to RIL in NEPL I. II and III.

Four Telecom Companies – High Cost Services,
Low Utilization, Poor Service

1.23m Land Lines, 135m Wireless, 2.1m Internet Subscribers

5.  Ambanis operated two Telecom Companies in 2001-02 itself as per AR Page 44 i.e. Reliance Telecom and Reliance Infocomm, licensed to operate 2G CDMA, GSM, Land Lines, WLL, Internet, Broadband, Optic Fibre, IPTV, VOIP, DTH, Cable TV etc. but it preferred Most Expensive Mobile Phone based services that relied on 97% foreign hardaware. (Secretary Telecom pointed out our hardware content in mobile phones is just 3% while releasing report on Mobile Handsets.) Ambanis, through backdoor acquired SWAN Telecom 2008 and Infotel Broad Band 2010 for 3G and 4G services.

As per detailed TRAI Performance indicator – Reliance operated just 1.23 million land lines out of 34.73m. just 3%, operated 135m wireless subscribers out of 811m, over all served 16.18% of Telephone subscribers.


6.  Reliance Infocomm owned over 2,70,000 kilometers of Optic Fibre terabit network alone capable serving over 200 million Broad Band connections i.e. every household in India but Reliance served just 2173463 internet connections or just 1% of potential out of 19674983, 11% share – just 2m out of 20m. BSNL operated 11316919 Internet connections or 57% in India.

Most of the Optic Fibre network was laid in Metros in 2002 itself or Metros could have World Class broad bank services for 10 years.   
 
‘During the year, RIL acquired a 95% stake in Infotel Broadband Services Limited, which emerged as a successful bidder in all the 22 circles of the auction for Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum conducted
by the Department of Telecommunication, Government of India. RIL has invested Rs. 4,201.64 crore by way of subscription to equity capital issued by Infotel Broadband.’ RIL AR 2010-11 Page 19.

RIL sees the broadband opportunity as a new frontier of knowledge economy in
which it can take a leadership position and provide Indiawith an opportunity to be in the forefront among the countries providing world-class 4G network and services. A single 20 MHz TDD spectrum when used with LTE (Long Term Evolution) has the potential of providing greater capacity when compared to existing communication infrastructure in the country.

7.  CAG Manipulated 2G Loss Figures – is illustrated by two important statements – 4G services across 22 circles for Rs.4500 crores as license fee has greater capacity than prevailing Communications Infrastructure.

8.  CAG maliciously with political motive implicated PM, Home Minister and Finance Minister in recent letters & communications also.
 
Reliance Added Just 600MW of 35,000MW in 10Yrs

9.  RIL tookover BSES (Reliance Power) in 2001 in latest AR2010-11 in a para admits it commissioned just 600MW out of 35,000MW and mining leases with 95 million tones capacity are not producing any coal. “The Company is in the business of setting up and operating power projects and in the development of coal mines associated with such projects. The Company has identified a large portfolio of power projects of more than 35,000 MW and is also developing coal mines with a potential to produce over 95 million tonnes of coal per annum (MTPA). Of the power projects which the Company is developing 600 MW are already operational while the balance capacities are under various stages of development.”

BSES Rs.3000 Cr Loot in 2000-01

10.  BSES in 2000-01 purchased electricity worth Rs.1005 crores and I found out of MERC case at Rs.1.77 per unit (NTPC generation cost then was 0.93p per unit) or 568 crore units, BSES own generation at Dahanu was 362 crore units “so availability was 930 crore units but BSES declared sales of 541 crore units. On sale of 541 crore units input energy required to cover 12% T&D losses, 3% HT losses, auxiliary losses of 6% was around 630 crore units “so clearly BSES UNDER DECLARED 300 crore units sales of electricity that delivered to Industries would be worth Rs.1,800 crores.

This is over and above Profits Declared by BSES that year was Rs.321 crores, so gross LOOT was Rs.2121 crores. Considering NTPC would have supplied 541 crore units at under Rs.800 crores, add Staff cost of Rs.122 crores, Dividend of Rs.60 crores and Rs.112 crores for O&M adds up to Rs.1100 crores but Energy Sales was Rs.2158 crores.

All this adds up to Rs.3000 crores annual loot.

[Source of this Loot was 50% increase in power tariff in Maharashtra State in 1996 primarily for MSEB serving large state with over 30% T&D losses and Agricultural load but BSES applied this tariff to its licensed area when T&D losses in BSES area of Mumbai were 12% and there was no farming load and from 1995 commissioned 500MW own power generation.]  

Energy Imports to Exceed $400b by 2020 Doubling GHG

11.  Private Companies have taken over Coal Mining leases in India & Foreign countries but not working onIndia with potential to produce 300 million tons annual potential leading to critical shortages. Mining cost inIndia is $10 to $20 per tone, imported Coal though superior cost 10 times more – by 2014 India is to import 180 million tones of coal.

Energy Imports Coal, Oil & Gas by 2020 may exceed $400b annually. India required just about $400b to install 200,000MW of Hydro Power projects, having 500 BCM storages on Indian Rivers providing flood protection and irrigation supplies doubling food production and also 60,000MW Nuclear Power.

34,000 Hectare SEZ Loot Program

12.  RIL spear headed SEZ loot prog acquiring prime land in Mumbai and Delhi suburbs – 34,000 Hectares or 85,000 acres at Rs.50 crore per acre developed real estate is Rs. 42,50,000 crore business value – this is Rs.20,00,000 crore loot.

Reliance Power also grabbed 2500 acres of land for Gas Power Project for 3500MW to 10,000 MW that required just about 350 acres of land.
 
Call Re-Routing & Rigged Electricity Meters

13.  Ambani Group Company used Nokia Technology explained in US Patent 7120441 to cheat PSU Telecoms re-routing ISD calls as locals and abused GE technology described in USP 6459258 by installing Programmable Most Expensive Meters purchased on consumers account. GE patent describes technology of installing two programs in computerized meters – one operating and other for reference – whenever Meters developed problems operating program was replaced by reference program but Reliance companies installed two or more programs one accurate and others fast.

25 worse passwords


Text courtesy: TOI Tech 

Your password can be hackers favourite too! Wondering how? Well, by being among the worst passwords. Easy to guess passwords make your computer, smartphone, or especially online bank accounts highly vulnerable to hackers.

The computer security firm Splash Data has released its list of the worst passwords for 2011. SplashData created the rankings based on millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers. Here is the complete list.

1. password

2. 123456

3.12345678

4. qwerty

5. abc123

6. monkey

7. 1234567

8. letmein

9. trustno1

10. dragon

11. baseball

12. 111111

13. iloveyou

14. master

15. sunshine

16. ashley

17. bailey

18. passw0rd

19. shadow

20. 123123

21. 654321

22. superman

23. qazwsx

24. michael

25. football

BCCI should probe Kambli's charge, says Maken

BCCI should probe Kambli's charge, says Maken

2011-11-19 16:40:00
Last Updated: 2011-11-19 18:34:10
 

New Delhi: Sports Minister Ajay Maken Saturday hinted that his ministry will have to probe former India player Vinod Kambli's charge that the controversial 1996 World Cup semifinal between India and Sri Lanka at Kolkata's Eden Gardens could have been fixed, if the cricket board does not do it on its own.
'If there is any truth to this (allegation), then a probe should be conducted. The nation and cricket fans have the right to know the truth. It was a world-cup semifinal and the whole country must have been watching,' Maken told reporters here.
Maken said he was pained by Kambli's allegation and, if true, it is extremely unfortunate for the game.
'Not only as a minister but also as a sports lover, I felt sad to hear that because I saw the match after cancelling a lot of my appointments,' said Maken.
'It should be investigated properly. I think we should go to the root of it so that we can know the truth.
'Cricket lovers have a right to know because the World Cup semifinal must have been seen by everyone and if match-fixing has happened then it is extremely unfortunate,' he added.
Maken said if the BCCI doesn't initiate action, the sports ministry may conduct an inquiry.
'We will see. As you know, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has not come to the sports ministry for any recognition so far, but I would want, whatever agency is there, BCCI should order a probe into it. If the BCCI doesn't conduct a probe, we will look at it,' he said.

Azharuddin's decision to field first in 1996 World Cup semis stunned me: Kambli

'We can't take the charge lightly. The ministry will intervene if the BCCI does not take any action,' he said.
Maken also called for a betting law in the country.
'Time has come to bring in a law on betting in sports.'
'We will see if it (anti-corruption law) has to be enacted by the sports ministry or the home ministry. We will have it examined,' he said.
Maken reiterated that all federations should come under the ambit of the RTI.
'I have always mentioned and believed that all federations should come under the RTI and the BCCI should also come under its ambit. Cricket is also a sport and looking at these incidents my belief has become stronger that these federations should definitely come under RTI,' he said.
Kambli, expressing shock over then captain Mohammad Azharuddin's decision to field first in the semifinal, said something was 'amiss'. The semi-final was eventually awarded to Sri Lanka after fans' rowdy behaviour.
Azharuddin, who was leading the team, rubbished the charge and has been supported by teammates Nayan Mongia, Sanjay Manjrekar, Venkatpathy Raju and then coach Ajit Wadekar, who said the move to field first was a collective decision of the team.

 

Scrap AFSPA! End the Repressive Rule of Armed Forces in the North East and Kashmir!

CPI (ML) HOME Vol. 14, No. 4501 - 07 Nov. 2011
The Weekly News Bulletin of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)(Liberation)
U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi 110092. Tel: (91)O11-22521067. Fax(91)11-22442790
E-mail: mlupdate@cpiml.org

Scrap AFSPA!
End the Repressive Rule of Armed Forces in the North East and Kashmir!
On November 2, 11 years back, a young woman in Manipur, disturbed by the terrible Malom massacre in which the Assam Rifles killed 14 civilians, went on a hunger-fast in mourning and protest. Some days later, on November 5, she decided to begin an indefinite fast – to be broken only when the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 - instrument of the humiliation and repression imposed on Manipur and the North East - was scrapped.
The writ of AFSPA runs in most of the North East states, as well as in Kashmir – in all regions where there is heavy deployment of armed forces in the name of combating insurgency. The very presence of such huge contingents of armed forces in civilian areas, of course, brings severe repression and rights violations in its wake. What the AFSPA does is to provide a cloak of impunity to the armed forces in case of any act of violence meted out by them to civilians. It gives the armed forces a licence to kill civilians on 'suspicion', and it protects the armed forces from prosecution in case of any such acts of violence on civilians.
Irom Sharmila has been virtually imprisoned in hospital in Imphal, to prevent her ongoing fast from reaching the national capital and generating greater awareness among the general public and pressure on the central government. In 2004, following the rape and murder of a young woman, Thangjam Manorama, by jawans of the Assam Rifles, a huge protest movement erupted on the streets of Manipur. The Meira Paibi women of Manipur protested without clothes outside the army headquarters in Imphal, with banners saying, 'Indian Army Rape Us.' In an effort to contain those protests, the UPA Government set up the Justice Jeevan Reddy committee to look into the AFSPA.
The Jeevan Reddy Committee did recommend that the AFSPA be scrapped. But the UPA Government has taken no action on that recommendation. Even now, as the support for Sharmila's fast and the demand for scrapping AFSPA has gained momentum, the UPA Government continues to say that a 'consensus' is required in order to heed the demand. In other words, by 'consensus' the Government means that the Army itself must be willing to do away with the AFSPA! The Government ought to ensure that its laws and its armed forces do not overstep the constitutional boundaries. Instead the Government is retaining the AFSPA – a blatant violation of all constitutionally guaranteed civil rights – and justifying it in the name of the Army's own sentiments and opinions!
In Kashmir, in the wake of an uproar over the discovery of over 2000 mass graves in which it is suspected that victims of custodial 'disappearances' lie buried, and an incident of custodial killing of a worker of the ruling National Conference party, the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has offered to lift AFSPA from some of areas of Kashmir. This is a highly inadequate offer. Not only must the AFSPA be scrapped since its very existence is in violation of constitutional principles; in both Kashmir and the North East, the culture of impunity must be ended and security personnel responsible for custodial or fake 'encounter' killings of civilians must be brought to book.
As we salute the courageous struggle of Irom Sharmila and express solidarity with her ongoing fast, we must demand the immediate scrapping of AFSPA. The scrapping of AFSPA can only be a first step in restoring peace and justice to the North East and Kashmir. The truth about custodial disappearances, rapes and 'encounter' killings must be established and the guilty punished. And above all, the army deployment in civilian areas must be withdrawn so that the people of these regions can breathe free and without fear.
Comrade Ramnaresh Ram's 1st Memorial Day commemorated
CPI(ML) commemorated the first Memorial Day of Comrade Ramnaresh Ram, a veteran of the communist movement in the country and one of the founder leaders of revolutionary peasant movement of Bhojpur, on 26 October 2011. A pledge taking meeting was organised in Arrah on this occasion while his memorial was inaugurated in Sahar. The political prisoners lodged in Arrah Jail under various trumped-up and false charges, also held a programme inside the Jail. A booklet on veteran Comrade's life and works was released at the Pledge Meeting. A minute's silence was observed in the memory of Comrade Ramnaresh Ram.
CPI(ML) Politburo member Swadesh Bhattacharya addressed the meeting in Arrah. He said Comrade Ramnaresh Ram's contribution to the communist movement has added new chapter to the revolutionary history of the Bhojpur region. He organised the poor and toiling masses and transformed them into a formidable political force. His legacy will remain a source of inspiration for the coming generations. He called upon those fighting against corruption and loot, for democracy, to unite and come forward to march ahead on the path lit by Comrade Ramnaresh Ram.
Sudhir Suman described Comrade Ramnaresh Ram's multi-faceted personality while introducing the booklet which was released on the occasion. Comrades Rameshwar Prasad, President AIALA, Dhirendra Jha, Gen. Sec. AIALA, Party CCM Amar, Ex-MLA Arun Singh, Party Bihar State Committee member Sudama Prasad, and many other leaders were present on this occasion. Agrenand Chaudhary of Swami Sahajanand Saraswati Vichar Manch, Prof. Parasnath Singh, Prof. Ramtavkya Singh, Prof. Tungnath Chaudhary, Dr. BK Prasad, Dr. Ashutosh Prasad, Dr. Suniti Prasad and many other prominent citizens of the region were also present.
Comrade Ramnaresh Ram's memorial was inaugurated at the banks of Sone river in Sahar block headquarter, by Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya. The memorial is being built on the land donated by party's activist Manager Thakur who himself hails from the rural poor background. AIALA District President Siddhanath Ram hoisted the flag and addressed the gathering saying Comrade Ramnaresh Ram started his political journey during Quit India Movement and since then never deviated from the revolutionary path and broadened and extended the poor peasants' struggle against oppressive feudals to the hundreds of villages that had started from a single village. He organised movements on different issues of toiling peasants and paved a new way for the revolutionary communists. Kamta Prasad Singh of AIALA said that these struggles completely changed the scenario of Bhojpur which used to be a strong fort of feudal oppression and where poor peasants and Dalits had no right to sit on a cot, or wear clean good cloths, and even women's dignity and respect was not protected. They had no voting right under feudal terror. Comrade Ramnaresh Ram and his Party played a historic role in changing this situation. But now again, those same feudal forces are trying to revive and consolidate themselves under the protection of Nitish government, hence it is now more imperative to carry forward the legacy of Comrade Ramnaresh Ram and his Party. The Nitish model of so called 'development' is primarily meant to attack the rights of toiling peasants, poor and agricultural labourers, and this must be resisted.
Comrade Dhirendra Jha addressed the gathering at the inaugural function and said that Comrade Ramnaresh Ram added new dimensions to the communist movement and struggles for social change. He was a flag bearer of the legacy of people's movements and rich tradition of commitment and sacrifice which is dispersed across a long span of history from first struggle for Indian Independence of 1857, to the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, to the Quit India Movement, and then to the struggles of Telangana and Naxalbari uprising. He will forever remain a guide for us. Comrade Ramnaresh Ram believed that if freedom and equality has not reached to the houses of poor, then such terms will remain empty rhetoric. Even today people are living on wages lower than Rs. 20 day amidst the hype of Bihar Govt's clamour of development. His political views and his Party reoriented lakhs of people towards the struggles of majority of population, which is peasants, workers, youth and unemployed. When Bihar Govt is trying to reverse the achievements of the struggles led by Com. Ramnaresh Ram, a two pronged strategy against pro-imperialist policies on the one hand and against feudal-communal-regressive forces on the other, is needed in order to change the existing regime through a widespread mobilisation of poor and toiling masses. He called upon to make the forthcoming rally to be held on 21 November in Patna a great success.
Peoples' poet Krishna Kumar Nirmohi recited poems in memory of Comrade Ramnaresh Ram. Comrade Ramkishore Rai conducted the inauguration meeting.
Nearly 350 prisoners in Arrah jail held a memorial meeting led by Comrades Digree Yadav, Satish, Mahendra Singh and Hareram.
Comrade Ramnaresh Ram breathed his last after a brain hemorrhage last year on 26 October. He had played a pivotal role in building movements of rural poor and agrarian labourers as well as in the expansion of CPI(ML) through many militant struggles on various issues that resulted in increased political assertion of poor and toiling masses. He was born to a poor Dalit family in 1924. Ideas of Bhagat Singh and peasant movement led by Swami Sahajanand Saraswati left a deep impact on him. He joined communist movement in support of Telangana peasant struggle and against the death sentences awarded to the communist revolutionaries, and since then remained committed for the cause of democracy, socialism and communism throughout his life.
Towards AICCTU's 8th National Conference
AICCTU Protests in Delhi
In the wake of ongoing preparations for the All India Conference of AICCTU, a mass campaign is going on for membership by different unions. A mass protest was organised in front of District Commissioner's office involving hundreds of construction workers against the continuous denial by Delhi Govt in giving voter ID-cards and BPL cards to them. The protest was led by AICCTU Delhi President VKS Gautam, Ram Abhilash and OP Sharma. A memo was handed over to DC who assured of guaranteeing voting rights to the poor workers who have no property or any other proof of residence which is made mandatory for issuing the voter I-cards. The AICCTU Delhi has condemned such biased parameters which in all practical terms is only meant to deprive workers of their voting rights and identity that in turn results in further weakening of bargaining power thereby keeping them permanently in inhuman conditions.
Issuing of BPL Cards to all working population was also demanded along with many other demands. This was addressed by CPI(ML) Delhi Secretary Sanjay Sharma, RYA's Aslam Khan and many others.
Another protest was held by the workers of Wazirpur Industrial area at the Labour Commissioner office to reiterate the demands of implementation of Minimum Wages and Industrial safety. Workers are usually paid upto one-third or even one-fourth of the prescribed minimum wage and this is going on under full administrative protection. The workers are made to work in very inhuman and insecure conditions leading to deaths and injuries on a regular basis. These two issues were being raised by the All India General Kamgar Union for quite some time. The protest was led by AICCTU Delhi Vice-President Mathura Paswan, while Munna Yadav, RP Singh, AISA Gen. Sec. Ravi Rai, and many others addressed the gathering.
Workers' convention at Guwahati
In the process of preparation of the forthcoming national conference of AICCTU, a workers' convention was held at Guwahati Press Club on 30 October that discussed present day challenges before the working class and the task before trade unions. A presidium comprising of AICCTU state President Viren Kalita, Anil Sarma of India Carbon and Girish Kalita of United Workmen Union of Guwahati Refinery conducted the convention and CPI(ML) state secretary Com. Rubul Sarma inaugurated the convention. Com Sarma explained different forms of exploitations and attack on working class and he emphasized on organising the huge sections of unorganized and temporary workers along with making them politically conscious. He called upon the workers to develop a strong working class movement with the unorganized workers as its bedrock. AICCTU State Secretary Subhas Sen spoke on the perspective and progress of activities for AICCTU's forthcoming national conference at Bhillai. He also called upon the workers to make the 8th November nationwide workers strike in Assam a grand success.
Leaders of different affiliated trade unions placed their views and opined to develop workers' movement in greater Guwahati and Kamrup district.
Convention also constituted AICCTU's Kamrup District Committee with Com. Anil Sarma of India Carbon Workers' and Employees' Union as the President and Debojit Bhagawati of United Workmen Union of Guwahati Refinery as the secretary.
Party's 1st Garhwal Region, and Udham Singh Nagar District Conference
CPI(ML)'s first Garhwal region Conference (Kumaon is the only other region in Uttarakhand) was held on 23 October 2011 at Srinagar. The conference began by remembering the martyrs.
Central Committee member Comrade Rajendra Pratholi inaugurated the Conference as Chief Guest. Citing the popular protests worldwide against corporates, corruption and despots such as the OWS, he said it is imperative to intensify our efforts for imparting revolutionary temper to the movement against corporate loot and corruption. Comrade Purushottam Sharma, Party's Observer for the Conference noted that both the Congress and BJP have transformed the State into a paradise for the corrupt and the swindlers and a political vacuum kind of situation is prevailing in the State. This situation calls for consistent and intensified efforts on our part towards building strong and deep-rooted Party organisation in Uttarakhand.
The Conference emphasised on increasing Party's membership, strengthening the mass organisations and wider circulation of Party Organs and literature. Some longer term targets are constitution of district committee in Chamoli and town committee in Srinagar. AIKM's Karnaprayag block conference was also decided to be held in December, apart from other decisions and resolutions.
Hitherto existing Garhwal Leading Team was replaced with a seven-member Garhwal Party Committee, that includes- Comrades KP Chandola, Indresh Maikhuri (Secretary), Atul Sati, Lalit Mohan Chaukiyal, Madan Mohan Chamoli, Malti Haldar and Ashish Kandpal.
Udham Singh Nagar
CPI(ML)'s first District Conference of Udham Singh Nagar was held at Dineshpur on 16th October 2011. Comrade Rajendra Pratholi and CPI(ML)'s State incharge Comrade Raja Bahugna were the main speakers at the Conference.
Comrade Raja condemned the communal organizations RSS, BJP and Bajrang Dal and also the Congress which has helped push the situation in Rudrapur to the point of communal riots. Four people (3 Muslims and one Hindu) lost their life in the communal violence. He said the only option before us to counter the communal politics is strengthening the communist organization in the area. He said that in last ten years there has been drastic change in the district with the establishment of SIDCUL (industrial zone). This has resulted in a large increase in the numbers of industrial workers while agricultural labourers and peasant population has gone down relatively. In this scenario AICCTU will have to focus more on organizing the workers' movements here. AISA also need to be organised afresh here.
The Conference elected a 9-member District Committee with Comrade KK Bora as the Secretary. Other members are- Comrades Nishan Singh, Kartik Mandal, Harish Joshi, Virendra Haldar, Ajay Saxena, Rudal Prasad, Vishnupad Sana.
Some important resolutions are- doubling the Party membership in one year, demands for strong action against Congress MLA Tilakraj Behad, BJP's ex-Municipality Chairman Rajkumar Thukral and others who incited and conspired the Rudrapur communal riots, suspension of the DM, proper compensation to the victims, a Convention to be organised on 27 November against the communal riot and demonstrating people's unity, fighting for the implementation of labour laws in SIDCUL, etc.
Panchayat and Local Body Elections in TN
In the Local body elections in Tamil Nadu we contested in 170 places for various posts, from Village Panchayat ward members to Corporation ward members: Pudukottai (34), Kanyakumari (32), Tanjore-Nagappattinam (29), Tiruvallore (15), Tirunelveli (12), Salem (10), Madurai (9), Coimbatore (8), Villupuram (8), Cuddalore(4), Kanchipuram(4), Dindigul(3), Virudunagar(3), Kirshnagiri (1).
Among the 105 Village Panchayat Ward posts we contested, we won at 26 places. We contested in 22 panchayats, for the post of panchayat president, securing nearly 4000 votes in all. We won 2 seats, one from Tiruvallore (at Nerkunram, where a woman candidate has won) and one from Pudukottai (Periyakottai). Apart from these, a woman candidate (a CPIM dissident) supported by us won one panchayat president post from Kanyakumari.
Altogether we contested in 26 Town Panchayat ward member posts, of which we secured 2, one each from Kanyakumari and Dindigul. In two places, one in Kanyakumari (candidate is a leader of fishing community) secured 3984 votes and another one from Pudukkottai, we contested for Town Panchayat President Posts. In Cuddalore district we contested for the post of Virudhachalam Municipal Chairman where we got 366 votes. We contested for 6 Block Council wards, securing between 100 to 600 votes. From Tirunelveli and Salem Corporation we contested 7 Corporation Ward member Posts and secured 550 votes. 31% of the contestants were women.
We won the following seats: at Pudukkottai - one panchayat president post (Periya kottai – reserved, SC post) and 10 panchayat ward members; Kanyakumari - 1 panchayat president (at Nettangode – a woman), 3 panchayat ward members and 2 Town panchayat councilors; Tiruvallore - one panchayat President (Nerkunram- a dalit woman), 3 panchayat ward members; Tanjore-Nagapattinam - 5 panchayat ward members; Dindigul, one TP Councillor and 1 panchayat ward member; Villupuram, 1 panchayat ward member; Tirunelveli - 2 panchayat ward members; Virudhu Nagar - 1 panchayat ward member.
In all, our performance has improved since the last panchayat elections. We secured 26 panchayat ward members (13 in the last elections); 2 panchayat president posts as well as 1 supported by us, while in the last election we won a single post. Whereas the last time we could not get any Town panchayat ward member posts, this time we won three.
OWS Resonates in Kolkata
From Wall Street to Kolkata, we are one in global protest against corporate loot and imperialist attack
On 29th October CPI(ML) organized a mass demonstration in solidarity with the ongoing Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, at metro channel, Dharmatalla in kolkata. Comrades from Kolkata, Hoogly and North 24 Pargans participated in this demonstration.
AISA's State leader Sudip Chakraborty, RYA State President Shouvik Ghoshal, AICCTU State President Atanu Chakraborty, Poshchimbang Gano Sanskriti Parishad Secretary Amit Dasgupta, AIPWA Kolkata Secretary Indrani Dutta, Poschimbanga Krishak Samity Vice President Krishna Pramanik, AIALA leader Sajal Adhikary, Prof. Salil Biswas and CPI(ML) State Secretary Partho Ghosh addressed the gathering. The meeting was presided over by CPI(ML) State Committee member Basudeb Bose. PB member Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya also attended the demonstration.
The demonstrators read the following statement/resolution:
The protest started at the headquarters of global capital- Wall Street, US on 17th September, 2011, has already spread to more than 1500 cities throughout the world. To 'rescue' only 1% of the society, billions are spent from the public money, whereas the other 99% are facing unemployment, poverty, job cuts and even deprived from basic survival needs. In an effort to overcome the deep crisis the US capitalism is continuing its aggressive war strategy. People's resistance against this are facing massive state repression, police harassment and mass arrest. This meeting extends support and solidarity to the spirit of this worldwide protest and assertion of different sections of the people throughout the world. The meeting also condemned the US-NATO attack in Libya.


CRICKET: PETER ROEBUCK At Stumps, Day Five A much-idolised journalist. A tortured soul. A sorrowful end. A look at Peter Roebuck. ROHIT MAHAJAN


COURTESY: VIMAL KUMAR
Roebuck at his Pietermaritzburg home
CRICKET: PETER ROEBUCK
At Stumps, Day Five
A much-idolised journalist. A tortured soul. A sorrowful end. A look at Peter Roebuck.

When authority failed its duty, when tyrants trampled democracy, when cricketers became agents and boards became bullies, Peter Roebuck spoke. Roebuck was universal, his voice was deep and insightful, his arguments forensically incisive, and his style inimitable. When there was strife in the little universe of cricket, you waited for that formidable intelligence to weigh the conflicting possibilities and speak the truth. Sometimes he was wrong—but wrong in such beautiful prose! A philanthropist, an avuncular counsel to young writers, an idealist, and the conscience-keeper of the game—that was Peter Roebuck.
Ironical, then, if the man who stood for everything right in cricket and politics were to be deeply flawed in his private life, who ended it all by jumping out of his hotel window when confronted with the accusation of sexual assault made against him by a 26-year-old man.
 

 

“Him being single seems to justify people painting him in a sinister light...when in a modern society it shouldn’t matter.”Peter English, Journalist

 

 
But each one of us is several people at once. What else was Roebuck behind his public persona? Did the weakness of the flesh overwhelm a man known for his professional rectitude? It behoves us to be careful before accusing the dead. We must presume him innocent until proven guilty—Roebuck won’t mount a defence; he has preferred to exit the game of life. That itself seems damning. Flight is usually seen as a sign of guilt, isn’t it? But suicide is also the last resort of the life-weary. A lot of innocent people commit suicide, do they not?
We’ll never know the truth. The facts that we do know are these: Roebuck let young cricketers into his house in England or Australia or South Africa, for free, sometimes at nominal charges, and coached them. He built a house for underprivileged children in Pietermaritzburg, 70 km from Durban in South Africa. According to Psychology Maziwisa, an orphan who got a chance in life because of Roebuck, his benefactor had spent money “in the region of $5,00,000 of his personal funds to help realise some African dreams”. He was also associated with an Indian charity, Prerna, in Bangalore.
Itai Gondo, 26, an IT student, approached Roebuck for help in funding his education. They met in Cape Town during the recent Australia-South Africa Test. Gondo claims they chatted for two hours in Roebuck’s hotel suite before the writer pinned him down on the bed in a sex attack. He says that the attack ended when Gondo’s phone rang.
 

 

“Peter Roebuck was brooding, defensive, potentially aggressive, suspicious...not a relaxed person.”David Frith, Cricket Historian

 

 
When police arrived to question and possibly detain him, Roebuck urged friend and fellow commentator Jim Maxwell to help. Entering his room, Maxwell found that “Peter was in a state of utter despair”. The two cops allowed Maxwell to remain in the room for two minutes. Roebuck asked him to get him a lawyer and contact the students in Pietermaritzburg. Why did he then jump out of the window, minutes after seeking a lawyer? Mysterious, but then, Roebuck was mysterious. “Given his state of mind, he just had a brain snap—that is all I can assume,” Maxwell says.
In the 1980s, someone had told Roebuck that he’d die by his own hand. In his foreword to David Frith’s seminal book on suicide among cricketers, Silence of the Heart, Roebuck wrote: “It will not be so”. At the end, it did turn out to be so. On Sunday when the news of Roebuck’s death emerged, several people across the world had but one thought—“It must be suicide.”
Certainly Frith himself had this thought, and he was grieved by this latest addition to his book’s subjects. The famous cricket historian says that Roebuck was “dark of spirit”. “He presented himself as brooding, suspicious, defensive, potentially aggressive,” Frith explains. “In other words, anything but a relaxed, free-and-easy person.”
This image of Roebuck, a secretive, probably gay man, suspicious and on the edge, recurs in the otherwise deferential obituaries across British newspapers. Former teammate Vic Marks said he
was a “complex man with a brilliant mind...far more troubled and insecure than he liked to let on”. Peter English, one of the few people who seemed to be able to call him a friend, wondered that Roebuck lasted “so long”, for he had to deal with demons in his mind and the demonising that pursued him over the past decade.

Peter Roebuck (1956-2011)
The “demonising” was the result of his conviction, in 2001, on the charge of common assault, for whacking, in 1999, three 19-year-olds staying with him in Taunton, England. There were hints of the sexual in what Roebuck termed punishment according to house rules. Roebuck never came to terms with that, and left England and made his homes in South Africa and Australia. “That incident, together with the panic these latest charges caused him, are enough to brand the poor fellow,” says Frith. English says his sexual orientation shouldn’t be of anyone’s concern. “Him being single seems to justify people’s terming him sinister, or sniggering about him being straight, gay, asexual or whatever, when it shouldn’t matter a bit,” he says.
 

 

“The western media is fond of a person’s dark side, as if every one is a schizoid, and is overly concerned with sexuality.”Ashis Nandy, Political Psychologist

 

 
The amount of goodwill Roebuck generated, both among his peers and readers, seems utterly paradoxical, given such allegations. But why did he arouse distrust, despite no record of impropriety apart from that 1999 incident? Could it be homophobia, which can be pronounced in sports where players share showers and locker rooms? Or perhaps people know more but aren’t telling?
Writers in England, Australia and South Africa have referred to his “tormented soul”. Journalist Rob Steen recounts how, in 1979, Roebuck spoke at a meeting of the Oxford University Cricket Society. A member of the audience, he remembers thinking, “This is a smart guy but I don’t like him.” A bit of self-deprecation may have made him more likeable in the country of his birth.
Indians, perhaps less suspicious—and more in awe—of his cleverness, took to him. In India, Roebuck was seen as a friend and guide to many journalists. For a man thought to be a genius, he was approachable. “He’d even ask me for information or advice,” remembers IBN 7’s Vimal Kumar. Clayton Murzello of Mid-Day, who first met him in 1987, remembers a friendly man who loved cricket and delivered amazing copy at short notice. V. Balaji of Deccan Chronicle notes that despite his immense knowledge, “he had no ego and would approach even a junior reporter if he had a doubt”. At Outlook, we had similar experiences—when he wrote for us, he dropped or changed paras when advised to.

Southern Sun hotel, Cape Town
Thus there’s a sense of disbelief about the nature of his death. In apartheid South Africa, weren’t many suicides of suspects “police-assisted”? And didn’t Roebuck make enemies in Zimbabwe due to his criticism of Mugabe?
 

 

Writers in England, Australia, South Africa referred to Roebuck’s “tormented soul”. Indians took to him.
 

 
Ashis Nandy, psychologist and social theorist, says it came as a devastating news for him, though they never met. “I’m truly hurt by his death. I don’t think he meant any harm to anyone,” says Nandy. “I suspect that the person who accused him of sexual assault, as opposed to a ‘sexual gesture’, didn’t know that he was sending him to his death.”
Nandy isn’t excited by the western delineation of Roebuck’s split personality. “The western media is very fond of the dark side of a person, as if everyone is a schizoid, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde kind of character,” he says. He says Indians can do better justice to Roebuck, with their “concept of sensitivity, as they have a clue to the transcendental”. Nandy says the West is overly concerned with the part sexuality plays in relationships. He says possibly Roebuck was gay, and perhaps in a moment of indecision, made an assertive demand, and paid with his life.
The truth will perhaps remain elusive—perhaps it’s best to bury the bad, remember the good, and guilty or not, hope justice is done to Peter Roebuck, the voice of cricket, now stilled forever.

Pressure grows on Assad from all sides

Pressure grows on Assad from all sides

 
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
The pressure and isolation on Syria are growing

The growing chorus of disapproval is piling up the pressure on Assad. Following Turkey's threat to cut bilateral projects, the Arab League has given the regime an ultimatum to end the violence or face economic sanctions.

 

The Arab League is increasing its pressure on Syria, saying that the Assad regime had three days to accept a deal to allow Arab observers to enter the country and "immediately" stop violence against civilian protesters or face economic sanctions.
This comes after Turkey this week suspended its joint oil exploration projects with Damascus and threatened to cut off electricity supplies to its neighbor in response to the continued violent suppression of Syria's popular uprising by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
While Turkey's oil project suspension marked the strongest rebuke yet by the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayipp Erdogan, worse was to come when it was announced that Turkey was considering the possibility of imposing a buffer zone on the Syrian side of the border the two nations share to provide a sanctuary for refugees fleeing the onslaught.
Such action, some observers believe, implies a commitment to direct military action by Turkey and the catalyst for a seemingly inevitable conflagration should the Syrian regime fail to halt the spiraling violence.
"Syria cannot withstand an external aggression while it struggles to end the internal conflict," Kristian Ulrichsen, a Middle East and North Africa expert at the London School of Economics, told Deutsche Welle.
Human rights groups have reported increasing numbers of army defections. According to Ulrichsen, this phenomenon seemed to suggest that the regime was losing its grasp on this vital function of state power. However, it was still unclear whether a tipping-point had yet been reached, he said.
"Turkey might attempt to carve out a safe haven in northern Syria for civilians and defecting military personnel," Ulrichsen said. "Were this to happen, it is difficult to see how Syria could resist this."
Erdogan, who has been promoting Turkey's credentials as a leading agent for change in the Islamic World since the Arab Spring began earlier this year, delivered some of his strongest rhetoric yet after a number of Turkish consulates were attacked by pro-Assad protestors across Syria last weekend.
Turkish PM says Syria on 'a knife edge'
Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, meets with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009.Erdogan's trust in Assad's government has evaporated
Ratcheting up the pressure on the Syrian regime, Erdogan announced that he no longer had any confidence in the Assad government, warning that Syria was now "on a knife-edge" and that the regime was looking down "a road of no return, one which leads to the edge of the abyss."
"No regime can survive by killing or jailing," Erdogan said. "Those who fire on their own people will go down in history as leaders who feed on blood."
While the destabilizing violence on Turkey's southern border and the pressure which comes from the consequent refugee situation have certainly contributed to the souring of relations in recent months, regional experts believe there are other factors behind Turkey's U-turn in its dealings with Syria.
"Erdogan is disappointed and probably embarrassed that his personal relationship and trust for Assad couldn't be used to reach a negotiated transition in Syria, and is also doubtless frustrated that in the end Turkey had limited power to facilitate change in Damascus," Hugh Pope, director of the Turkey/Cyprus Project at the International Crisis Group think-tank, told Deutsche Welle.
Pope said the burning of the Turkish flag by Syrian demonstrators, as well as the warming up of Syrian ties to Turkish Kurd insurgents in Turkey were also very important factors in changing Turkish attitudes.
All of this has added to the growing consensus that Turkey has run out of patience with Syria.
Damascus rejects last chance
Turkish soldiers ride in armored vehicles on the Turkish southeastern border Forces have been deployed to Turkey's southern border
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a press conference in the Moroccan capital of Rabat earlier this week that Syria had rejected its last chance to avoid sanctions by stopping its violent repression of anti-government protests. He said that Turkey would stand by the Syrian people in what he called their "rightful struggle" against the Assad government.
"The Syrian regime does not want to listen to the demands of its people," Davutoglu said. "Unfortunately, it still shoots its own people. We have given a last opportunity to the Syrian regime but they didn't want to seize it. Now we cannot afford to sit idle."
With the Arab World in flux, Turkey under Erdogan has moved to position itself at the forefront of a new order by promoting itself as a moderate, secular example of how an Islamic country can succeed under a democratic system of government. Erdogan recently completed an "Arab Spring Tour," pitching Turkey's democratic model to countries such as Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.
More recently, the Turkish prime minister has gone further than most by hosting Syrian opposition groups in Istanbul and overseeing the formation of the Syrian National Council at a meeting where the proposal of a buffer zone was first discussed in a bid to take a lead in dealing with the crisis.
Turkey needs regional support
Despite Erdogan's regional ambitions, the Turks are unlikely to take a unilateral decision. Turkey would need approval from its neighbors, which looks more likely following the Arab League's suspension of Syria from its ranks, before creating such a zone.
Syrian refugees protest against President Bashar Assad, in a camp in Yayladagi, TurkeyTurkey has pledged to protect Syrian refugees who flee there
"The protection of civilians is certainly very important," a foreign policy adviser to the Turkish president, Abdullah Gul, said in a statement on Turkish television. "But what matters is an international resolution on the issue. It seems out of the question for us to do that on our own."
According to Ulrichsen, the failure of the Assad regime to adhere to the Arab League agreement last week may have important ramifications as it had exhausted the Arab League's patience with the Assad regime.

"This may make the Arab League less concerned about the possibility of intervention in Syria, particularly were it to be led by Turkey," he said.

Turkey would most unlikely take any direct action in Syria without full sanction from the international community, Pope said.
"It is unlikely that anything less than a strong UN Security Council resolution will enable Turkey to play any role, and I doubt the Arab League will ask Turkey to lead anything," he said.
Any conflict with Syria could also have repercussions for western nations which have so far been reluctant to do more than verbally condemn the actions of the Assad regime.
Questions for NATO
Turkey, as a NATO member, is covered by the mutual defense agreement which states under Article 5 of the organization's charter that when member countries face an external threat, they can rely on assistance from their NATO partners. While it may not be invoked if Turkey instigates a conflict, should Syria respond, it could put pressure on a NATO leadership which sees Turkey as an important ally as well as a bridge to the Islamic World and the Middle East.
"Technically NATO would be obliged to help, and that would be problematic as the NATO intervention in Libya far exceeded the terms of its UN mandate and caused disquiet among many sections of the international community," said Ulrichsen.

"I suspect that NATO would try to find a way of ensuring that any action was taken by Turkey as a nation-state rather than a member of NATO, although were Turkey to experience serious reversals or blowback that situation might become harder to sustain."

Pope, however, said he believes that the situation is unlikely to develop into one in which NATO is forced to act on Turkey's behalf. "NATO is very unlikely to get involved in Syria, unless there is a Syrian attack on Turkey, which is also very unlikely," he said.

Author: Nick Amies
Editor: Sabina Casagrande

The "Empowered" Whore Archetype Destroying the Feminine



Mass media is too powerful/invasive and has led to the destruction of the feminine aspect of Western culture - which once represented wisdom and nurturing, and replaced it with "empowering" whore archetypes such as the airbrushed, nymphomaniac dregs on shows like Sex and the City. This has derailed Western society away from notions of feminine wisdom towards a completely superficial narcissistic bling-culture-on-herpes-medication in heavy Max Factor packaging. Because this is how the present psychopathic mainstream considers women to be.

Society should be female - currently, society is a psychopathic male in terms of what it delivers to all of us.

This damages both men and women - as most men today expect a woman to be a tart, and many women seek and marry plastic surgeons in the hope of not being discarded. So Western society has become increasingly misogynistic even with the success of women's lib and so. A man can not marry a woman who is intelligent, loving and secure unless she is also "hot" - likewise women are coached to look for men who will finance their media driven delusions of what being beautiful is. The rest of us are discarded for not being superficial enough. Psychopaths control the mass media and this insanity has distorted a lot of the population to emulate this pathology as the new norm.

The male psychopaths in charge are Gaslighting women through the media - while turning men into adult children. The spiritual vacuum (and I am not talking religion here at all) left in many people is filled with a distorted sense of self. If your soul has been made empty, you will seek to fill it with nothing of any value regardless of the price tag, or what pointless social status it furnishes you with.

We need to shut the Psychopathic Control Grid down through awareness and creative non-compliance. Then we will get the society we deserve.

Bridget Jones is not cute, charming or symbolic of modern womanhood. She is a vapid, stupid mess and this is what the ones charge want - makes women easier to control and buy stuff to try and repair the dysfunctionality  mass media has created in the first place.
http://thomassheridanarts.blogspot.com/2011/10/empowered-whore-archetype-destroyed.html

Arab League suspends Syria

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15528504,00.html?maca=en-newsletter_en_Newsline-2356-html-newsletter

ARAB WORLD | 12.11.2011

Arab League suspends Syria

 

The Arab League has suspended Syria's membership. The decision comes after a week of violence in which Syrian troops are said to have killed at least 125 people in the city of Homs.

 
The Arab League has suspended Syria from all meetings in response to Damascus' violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.
Qatar's foreign minister said 18 countries had agreed to the decision, which was taken on Saturday at an emergency meeting of the League in Cairo. He said Lebanon, Yemen and Syria voted against the move, and Iraq abstained.
He said the suspension would begin on Wednesday.
Implementation of sanctions
In a statement, the League said it had also decided to implement "economic and political sanctions against the Syrian government," and called for the withdrawal of Arab ambassadors from Damascus.
The suspension is to continue until Damascus implements a plan to end violence in the country.
International applause
Both the European Union and the United States have welcomed the League's decision.
A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told AFP news agency that the bloc welcomed "the Arab League's offer to end the violence and bring about the reforms that the Syrian people have bravely demanded over the last few months."
US President Barack Obama said in a written statement that his country "join[ed] with the Arab League in its support for the Syrian people, who continue to demand their universal rights in the face of the regime's callous violence."
Syria has called the suspension illegal.
"Crimes against humanity"
The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been carrying out a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests that erupted eight months ago.
Protesters in SyriaProtesters have long called for action by the LeagueThe United Nations says that 3,500 people have so far been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters.
The New York-based group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has also accused Syrian government forces of committing crimes against humanity.
In a report released on Friday calling for a suspension of Syria from the Arab League, HRW said the crimes included torture, killings and forced disappearances in the province of Homs. It said government troops had killed at least 587 civilians in Homs between mid-April and the end of August, and that many hundreds were still missing.
Crackdown "intensified"
HRW said at least 125 people had been killed in the city of Homs since November 2. Homs has emerged as the most restive province in the country since the outbreak of protests in mid-March.
Assad's regime had agreed on November 2 to an Arab League roadmap that called for the release of detainees, the withdrawal of the army from urban areas, free movement for observers and the media, and negotiations with the opposition.
However, human rights groups say the regime has only intensified its crackdown on dissent since then.
Author: Timothy Jones (AFP, dpa, AP, Reuters)
Editor: Andreas Illmer

Condemn the gruesome murder of activist Sr. Valsa John by the mining mafia

Urgent Press Release                                                                                                
18th November 2011

National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM),
National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) &
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW)

Condemn the gruesome murder of activist Sr. Valsa John by the mining mafia

Sr. Valsa, an activist of the Rajmahal Pahad Bachao Andolan (RPBA) and an ordained nun with the Sisters of Charity of Jesus & Mary, who had been working among Santhal Adivasis in the coal rich region of Dhumka, Jharkhand was brutally murdered by a group of about 40 armed men on the night of 15th November 2011. On behalf of Indian peoples’ movements and resistance struggles, NAPMNFF and NFFPFW condemn this heinous and cowardly act, evidently conceived by the powerful mining mafia, aimed at essentially hunting down individuals and movements to silence the voices of resistance by people.

Sr. Valsa John had been working among the Adivasi communities in Jharkhand’s coal rich region of Santal Parganhas, Pachwara, for the last 20 years. Since early 2000’s, Panem Coal Mine Ltd, a project of Punjab State Electricity Board and EMTA (Eastern Minerals and Trading Agency) from West Bengal, has been operating mines in the coal reserves of Pachwara and 32 surrounding villages. To defend their right over their land and its resources, the Santhal Adivasi community formed the Rajmahal Pahad Bachao Andolan. Sr. Valsa along with others such as Majhi Haddam - the traditional administrative headman of the Santhal tribe, worked to organise the community and were in the forefront of the resistance that was building against the exploitation by Panem Coal. Despite the MoU signed between the local community and Panem Coal in 2006, tension has been mounting in the area in recent times, especially with regard to the betrayal by the Company. On 16 November 2011, Sr. Valsa was brutally murdered by a group of about 40 men, believed to be hired goons of the coal mining mafia.

Sr. Valsa had been under constant threat from Panem Coal Ltd. and had voiced the same to friends and family. The Superintendent of Police has confirmed that she had filed an FIR three years ago where she reported that she was facing death threats. Hours before her death, Sr.Valsa had mentioned to her family about threats to life from the mining mafia. It is rather unconvincing that no action was taken by the police to investigate the matter or to provide for her safety, merely because no persons were named in her complaint. The state and some sections of national media have attempted to pass the blame, to discredit Sr.Valsa and to fudge the facts by bringing the ‘Maoists’ into the frame. It is condemnable that the local administration is currently attempting to suppress the truth by intimidating the villagers and andolan activists. It is a matter of national shame that the pervasive nexus between powerful mining companies and the state machinery has cost the precious life of a woman who was working to secure basic rights for the marginalised people.

We demand ordering of judicial enquiry into the murder of Sr.Valsa and the probable linkages between the murder and the death threats she had received from the mining mafia. It is also imperative to investigate the fact that Sr.Valsa was working in an area dominated by right-wing Hindutva forces that enjoyed considerable benefits from the mining corporations. The state should own-up to not only their apathetic nature in which they dealt with a serious death threat from a citizen but also to tolerating a situation in Pachwara where a mining company have overthrown constitutional and democratic structures while gravely violating the basic rights of Adivasis.

We salute the life, struggle and martyrdom of Valsa John, who spent her life working with the Adivasi community to fight for their land, their livelihood, their very existence!

Signed on behalf of the organisations by:

1.      Ashok Choudhury (NFFPFW)
2.      Matanhy Saldanah (NFF)
3.      Medha Patkar (NAPM)

Contacts: 011-26680883 / 9818905316 / 9582862682


-- 
National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai - 400 014;
Ph: 022-24150529

6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316

E-mail: napmindia@gmail.com | napm@napm-india.org
Web : www.napm-india.org