JAPAN: UN panel on racial discrimination to question Japan gov’t over Okinawa policy

A view of Air Station Futenma. (Mainichi)

A view of Air Station Futenma. (Mainichi)

GENEVA — The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has asked the Japanese government about what it’s doing to protect the human rights of Okinawans in light of the contentious plan to relocate a U.S. Marine airfield inside the prefecture.

The Japanese government must respond to the inquiries by July 31. The U.N. panel will then take Japan’s answers into account at an August meeting to examine whether the plan to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko district of Nago infringes on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It is highly likely that the U.N. committee will urge the Japanese government to review the relocation plan in such a way as to protect the rights of the Okinawan people. More

PAPUA: World Council of Churches concerned about human rights violations in Papua

[Abridged in translation by TAPOLBintang Papua, 6 March 2011Photo at head of article: Rev. Dr Sae Nababan, President of the World Council of Churches

Jayapura: The World Council of Churches is very concerned about the violation of human rights  in Papua , said the Rev. Nababan in a discussion with Bintang Papua on Tuesday, 6 March. He said that the WCC was very concerned about the many injustices being suffered by the Papuan people.

The World Council of Churches  has registered its concerns and has informed the Indonesian government of this as well as churches around the world. More

NEPAL: The final countdown in Nepal

March 6, 2012

PRASHANT JHA

Political parties have less than three months to resolve three issues — integration of Maoist combatants, form of government, federalism — that will shape state structure for years to come.

Five years after a peace accord marked the end of a decade long civil war, Nepal’s political transformation has entered its final phase.

On May 27, 2012, the term of the Constituent Assembly — extended four times beyond its original two-year term — will expire. And this time, politicians will not find it easy to give the CA another lease of life due to a judicial stricture. The Supreme Court (SC) has declared that the current extension is final, and if the constitution is not promulgated, there should be another election or referendum. There is also rising popular pressure to wrap up the prolonged transition, which has been accompanied by abysmal service delivery.

That gives the political forces less than three months to wrap up the peace process and write a constitution. Together, this will shape the nature of Nepal’s political institutions and security apparatus. More

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

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