NEPAL: Anti-federalism will lead to confrontation

The way in which the states will be carved, the rights to be allocated to various levels of governance and groups, on the issue of state restructuring, have created heated debates among many sectors. After the State Restructuring Commission’s report failed to bring parties together on the issue, and rather intensify the polarisation, the debates—inside parliament and out—on federalism continue. As Chairman of the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities, Raj Kumar Lekhi has been at the forefront of the debate, speaking on behalf of marginalised communities. Also the Chairman of Tharu Kalyankarini Sabha, Lekhi spoke with Bidushi Dhungel and Gyanu Adhikari about the demands of the marginalised on state-restructuring, the Tharu perspective and the parties’ inability to explain adequately the need for federalism to the people. Excerpts: More

BANGLADESH: Open-pit coal mine project in Bangladesh threatens human rights – UN experts

Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

28 February 2012 –

The construction of an open-pit coal mine in Bangladeshcould displace hundreds of thousands of people and jeopardize their access to basic needs, a group of United Nations independent human rights experts warned today.“The Government of Bangladesh must ensure that any policy concerning open-pit coal mining includes robust safeguards to protect human rights. In the interim, the Phulbari coal mine should not be allowed to proceed because of the massive disruptions it is expected to cause,” the experts said in a statement.The group noted that if opened, the proposed mine would immediately displace an estimated 50,000 to 130,000 people, with up to 220,000 potentially being affected over time as irrigation channels and wells dry up.In addition, the project would reportedly extract 572 million tons of coal over the next 36 years from a site covering nearly 6,000 hectares, and destroy some 12,000 hectares of productive agricultural land. More

PHILIPPINES: ILO and Finnish embassy ink deal helping indigenous peoples

By Jovan Cerda (philstar.com) Updated February 29, 2012 02:12 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Embassy of Finland in Manila signed an agreement last Monday to increase support to indigenous peoples in the Philippines, a statement released Wednesday noted.

The deal between Finnish Ambassador Heikki Hannikainen and Lawrence Jeff Johnson, director of the ILO country office for the Philippines, aims at responding to the needs of the T’boli and Ubo tribes in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, ILO said.

Starting in 2000, ILO said the partnership built a community-based micro-enterprise in Palawan that processes wild honey, cashew nuts, rice and corn. Indigenous people involved in the enterprise also identified and implemented projects like water systems, agricultural development and food production.

“In Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, the T’boli tribe learned about their rights as indigenous peoples. Tribal houses were built to display and sell their products and to host traditional ceremonies, meetings and even as a place to settle conflicts and disputes,” ILO said. More

PHILIPPINES: Appeals bars Department of Agrarian Reform eviction order

Thursday, February 23, 2012

THE Court of Appeals (CA) granted the November 17, 2006 petition filed by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to prohibit the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) from further implementing the eviction order against the heirs of an indigenous tribe in Malalag, Davao del Sur.

In its 40-page decision promulgated on January 31, the CA in Cagayan de Oro City junked the writ of execution issued by DAR Adjudication Board on October 3, 2006 and the notice to vacate premises issued by DAR on October 30, 2006 for the 701.1459-hectare ancestral land of the heirs of Egayan-Gubayan clan.

This developed after the CA found out that the ancestral land of the heirs of Egalan-Gubayan clan of the Tagacaolo tribe was certified and declared to the IPs’ favor pursuant to Section 52 (i) of Indigenous Peoples Right Act (IPRA). More

TAIWAN: Aboriginal activists urge ROC government to right wrongs of the past

  • Publication Date:02/29/2012
  • Source: Taiwan Today
  • By  June Tsai

Aboriginal activists sent up smoke signals Feb. 28 in a symbolic action demanding that the government make amends for wrongful policies against indigenous peoples and create a new constitution that includes all who live in Taiwan.

“Ceremonies memorializing the February 28 Incident are used by Han Chinese members of society to monitor ROC government efforts toward transitional justice, but nothing has been done to redress the 300-year-long persecution of aborigines,” said a spokesman for the Smoke Signals League, organizer of the event. More

%d bloggers like this: