CRAM letter of condemnation on the killing and brutal dispersal of Farmers and Lumads in Kidapawan

*CRAM is a member-organization of IPMSDL
Ref: COR/Reg-042016                                                  Date: 09th April 2016
To
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, EDSA, Quezon City
Email: osnd@philonline.com, dnd.opla@gmail.com
Secretary, Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila
Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph, lmdelima.doj@gmail.com, lmdelima.doj2@gmail.com
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Ave nue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
E-mail: mmarianomaravill_a@yahoo.com, aelzy.ofreneo@gmail.com
Chairperson, Justice and Human Rights Committee, Philippine
Senate Rm. 512 GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City
Email: kokopimenteloffice@yahoo.com
Subject: Condemnation of the reported violent and merciless repression in Kidapawan to members of small scale farmers and indigenous communities perpetrated the Philippine National Police (PNP) in response to their demand for food and other basic survival needs.
Dear Sir/Madam,
The Centre for Research and Advocacy Manipur (CRAM) would like to express our strong condemnation of the reported violent and merciless repression in Kidapawan to members of small scale farmers and indigenous communities perpetrated by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in response to their demand for food and other basic survival needs. CRAM would like to express our deep concern that the attack reportedly resulted in seven deaths of innocent lives while injuring several others, including women, children and injured, with several reportedly missing. The excessive use of force on more than 6,000 unarmed peasants and Lumad indigenous members of the Kidapawan for demanding their basic right to food aid and immediate relief from drought for the six El Niño-stricken municipalities of the Philippines is highly unfortunate and uncalled for.
CRAM is fully aware that the peasants and Lumad communities had been in negotiations with the provincial Governor, Lala Talino-Mendoza, who responded to their demand with an offer of 3 kilos of Rice per person and to be provided every three months. In the midst of the El Niño drought and the resulting hunger that has spread through the North Cotabato communities, not a single bag of rice had been released, which led to much anger and dissatisfaction among the peasants and Lumad communities. The failure to provide Rice and other livelihood support in the midst of famine and adverse situation constitute absolving responsibility of the Philippines Government to initiate adequate protection measures and to promote the right to life of all marginalized communities in the Philippines.
CRAM calls for a thorough and independent probing of the unfortunate incident of 1st April at Kidapawan which led to loss of lives and injuring several others, and for Governor Talino-Mendoza, the local government units (LGUs), the PNP, and the current administration to be held accountable for their role in the human rights violations. CRAM further demand to respect indigenous Lumad peoples cultural and survival rights over their land and resources. The Right to Life, including provision of adequate food and survival means and other relief materials for communities affected by natural calamities in the Philippines should be upheld. The Government of the Philippines should upheld and adhere to all indigenous human rights and humanitarian laws to protect all fundamental rights of its citizens, primarily the peasants and indigenous communities.
CRAM would like to thank you for your kind consideration of our humble appeal.
Sanaton Laishram President
CENTRE FOR RESEARCH AND ADVOCACY, MANIPUR (CRAM) SEGA ROAD HODAM LEIRAK, IMPHAL, MANIPUR – 795001, INDIA
E-add: mangangmacha@gmail.com; cra.manipur@gmail.com;
Skype ID: cra.manipur
Tele:  + 91 – 385 – 244 4478

COMMON GROUND: SECURING LAND RIGHTS AND SAFEGUARDING THE EARTH

Author/Org: Oxfam, International Land Coalition, Rights and Resources Initiative

March 1, 2016

Up to 2.5 billion people depend on indigenous and community lands, which make up over 50 percent of the land on the planet; they legally own just one-fifth. The remaining land remains unprotected and vulnerable to land grabs from more powerful entities like governments and corporations. There is growing evidence of the vital role played by full legal ownership of land by indigenous peoples and local communities in preserving cultural diversity and in combating poverty and hunger, political instability and climate change. The importance of protecting and expanding indigenous and community ownership of land has been a key element in the negotiations of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change, and is central to their successful implementation.

This report launches a Global Call to Action on Indigenous and Community Land Rights, backed by more than 300 organizations all over the world. It is a manifesto of solidarity with the ongoing struggles of indigenous peoples and local communities seeking to secure their land rights once and for all.

The report can be downloaded from http://www.rightsandresources.org/wp-content/uploads/Global-Call-to-Action_Common-Ground-Report.pdf

International organizations condemn the murder of Indigenous Leader Bertha Cáceres in Honduras

PRESS RELEASE
 
International condemn of the murder of indigenous leader Bertha Cáceres in Honduras
 
4th March 2016, Planet Earth
Berta Cáceres, indigenous leader and spokeperson for more than 20 years of the Civic Council of Popular and Inigenous Organizations of Honduras (Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras – Copinh), was murdered on 3rd March while she was resting in her home in La Esperanza, Intibucá, about 188 km from Tegucigalpa, by “unknown” gunmen.
Bertha Cáceres was a firm defender of small farmers and indigenous peoples’ rights and an inspiring social activist, both at regional and continental level, in defense of social and environmental justice, particularly against mining megaprojects and hydropower plants.
She had warned amny times about Free Trade Agreements as part of the machinery of impunity of transnational corporations. Bertha committed her life to health, land, against patriarchism and violence. She opposed the political golpe of 28th June 2009; COPINH denounced the golpe as an instrument of violence serving transnational corporations to exploit resources and to repress the dissent of social movements. Bertha also opposed US military bases on Lenca territory.
In April 2015, Bertha Cáceres was awarded with Goldman price, one of the most prestigious awards for environmental defenders. She was awarded for her hard work in defense of the Lenca territory against the Agua Zarca Hydropower Project of the Chinese transnational SINOHYDRO and national company Desarrollo Energético Sociedad Anónima (DESA).
Lenca people had been denouncing for years the violation of human right to water as source of life and culture by corporates, military and governmental actors.
Berta Cáceres was mother of four and was assigned precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) which were not accomplished by the state. Bertha has been assassinated by a state who protect the interests of local capital, transnational corporations who have spoiled the territory. Bertha’s commitment in favour of life, of those most in need, was reason of several trials, investigations and threats against her.
The indigenous leader denounced many times death threats against her, and this was happening among a general violent context; 111 environmental activists in Honduras have been killed between 2002 and 2014, according to the 2014 report “¿Cuántos más?” of the ONG Global Witness. This makes Honduras the country with the highest rate of violence among the 17 countries analysed in the report. It also shows the architecture of impunity and violence of the large scale mining, of the hydroelectric business, among other activities in favour of private capital and complicit governments. According to the Honduras-based organization ACI-PARTICIPA (Asociación para la participación ciudadana en Honduras) more than 90% of assassinations and abuses in the country remain unpunished.
We firmly demands to the government of Honduras:
– To put an end to impunity and proper investigation on the murder of Bertha Cáceres, as well as of all other social and environmental justice activists.
– To ensure the integrity, freedom and to respect Human Rights of Gustavo Castro de Soto and of Aureliano Molina.
– To suspend all projects that have been denounced by Human Rights defenders, among which the Hydropower plant Agua Zarca on Rio Blanco and the Blue Energy project on Rio Cangel.
– That corporations and finance institutions withdraw their support and investments from projects that have violated HHRR or where there has been no free prior and informed consultation, according to ILO Convention 169.
– To put an end to persecution and criminalization of Human Rights defenders and to accomplish with all  precautionary measures for the integrity and safety of people.
We express our solidarity and extend our condolences to the family and close friends of Bertha Cáceres, to the Lenca people, and to the people of Honduras who suffer her irreparable loss.
 
Finally, we call for an international peoples’ mobilization and immediate denounce of Bertha’s assassination to the embassies and consulates of Honduras in our respective countries, to express our repudiation of such crimes and our firm demand of justice. 
*Photo courtesy of bbc.co.uk

URGENT APPEAL – Five Lumads hurt as an evacuation camp in UCCP Haran, Davao City set to fire

KARAPATAN URGENT APPEAL FOR ACTION: Five Lumads hurt as an evacuation camp in UCCP Haran, Davao City set to fire

Dear Friends,

Please join us in calling for an independent investigation on the burning of the evacuation camp of Lumad at the compound of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) in Davao City on February 24, 2016. Let us join hands in calling for an end to the harassment of Lumad evacuees and the pullout of military troops in Talaingod, Davao del Norte and Bukidnon where the Lumad evacuees came from.

ACCOUNT OF THE INCIDENT

Jong Monzon, secretary general of PASAKA, a federation of Lumad organizations in the Southern Mindanao region, narrated that at 2:30 a.m. on February 24, 2016, evacuees woke up to the smell of gasoline poured on the canvas roofs of their tents at the evacuation center. Immediately after, the tents were set aflame when a lighted torch was thrown in. Five makeshift houses were already consumed by the fire when it was put out. Monzon said that he and other leaders went out after extinguishing the fire to report to the authorities about the incident. On their way, they saw the gasoline container that was used by the perpetrators.

Monzon and several other leaders immediately called the local 911 to report the incident. Media personnel and police officials responded to the scene and interviewed some of the Lumad evacuees, including Monzon. Monzon recounted that at the middle of the interview, a pedicab driver approached them to report that another fire has started in the dormitories of the UCCP compound, which was roughly 100 meters from the evacuation camp. The dormitory houses Haran workers and students.

Witnesses said that something was thrown into the vicinity of the dormitory which caused the explosion. Later investigations found that two lines of barbed wires were cut by the perpetrators to enter the UCCP compound. A bag containing a 1.5 liters soft drink bottle full of gasoline was also found.

Five were hurt during the incident, with three needing hospitalization, including two children. The children suffered burns when the canvas roofs melted and fell on the children’s feet. Some also had burns in their hands. The victims were sent to a hospital, but were denied attention. Hospital authorities claimed there was no recommendation from the 911 personnel. The injured are now under the care of health workers and medics inside the Haran compound.

The perpetrators were described by those in the evacuation center as three men, aboard a motorcycle. A white cap, which belonged to the one of the perpetrators was even left behind, stuck in the cyclone wires.

Initial reports from the Bureau of Fire Protection in Davao City pointed to arson.

The incident is part of a series of harassments and threats, which are no longer new to the evacuees seeking shelter in UCCP-Haran. Monzon reports that the military and members of the ALAMARA paramilitary group held a rally outside the UCCP once.

Monzon stated that as early as December 17 last year, ALAMARA has already threatened to burn the evacuation center in UCCP.

On July 23, 2015, however, Nancy Catamco, representative of the 2nd district of North Cotabato, brought anti-riot policemen and buses to force the Lumad evacuees to return to their communities. The incident resulted in a skirmish between the evacuees and the police and paramilitay elements.

The more than 700 evacuees started to arrive at the UCCP- Haran, batches, starting February 2015. Most them are from Talaingod and Kapalong, Davao del Norte, while a number came from Kitaotao in Bukidnon province. The Lumad fled their communities when soldiers and military-backed ALAMARA militia forces occupied their communities and forcibly recruited them into the paramilitary group.

The continuing harassment on the Lumad evacuees seeking refuge at the UCCP Haran, and the insistence of state agencies to force them back to their communities, show a lack of understanding of their plight and a lack of concern for their safety and welfare.

Recommended actions:

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:
1. The immediate investigation of the incident to be conducted by an independent body;
2. An end to the continued harassment and intimidation of Lumad in and out of their communities;
3. The immediate pullout of government troops from the Lumad communities;
4. The disbandment of all paramilitary groups;
5. The Philippine Government to withdraw its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which victimizes innocent and unarmed civilians; and
6. The Philippine Government to adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the major Human Rights instruments that it is a party and signatory

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III
President of the Republic
Malacañang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: op@president.gov.ph
Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
7th Floor Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue
Pasig City 1605
Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066
Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216
stqd.papp@opapp.gov.ph

Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600
Fax:+63(2) 982-5600
Email: osnd@philonline.comdnd.opla@gmail.com

Emmanuel L. CaparasSecretary, Department of JusticePadre Faura St., ManilaDirect Line 521-8344; 5213721Trunkline: 523-84-81 loc.214Fax: (+632) 521-1614Email: soj@doj.gov.phJose Luis Martin GasconChairperson, Commission on Human RightsSAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth AvenueDiliman, Quezon City, PhilippinesVoice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188Fax: (+632) 929 0102

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address below:
URGENT ACTION Prepared by:
KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
National Office
2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts., Brgy. Central,
Diliman, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146
Email: urgentaction@karapatan.orgkarapatan@karapatan.org

 

*photo credits to BAYAN-USA

Stop the trade in deadly conflict minerals, SIGN the Petition Now!

Spanish Translation follows by Google Translate/Traducción Español seguido por Google Translate
Our friends from London Mining Network and Stop Mad Mining seek our support to ensure that the EU governments require the companies that import minerals to review their sourcing policies in line with a credible procedure. This might help stop the conflicts in minerals and serious human rights violations in many regions of the EU. 
 
Let us support this initiative by signing the Online Petition by clicking these links:
 
 
 
Kindly read and share to your friends, colleagues and networks
 
In solidarity,
 
June Detayson
IPMSDL Secretariat
 
**********************************************************************
Nuestros amigos de London Mining Network y Parada Mad Minería buscan nuestro apoyo para asegurar que los gobiernos de la UE requieren las empresas que importan minerales para revisar sus políticas de aprovisionamiento de acuerdo con un procedimiento creíble. Esto podría ayudar a detener los conflictos en minerales y violaciónes graves de los derechos humanos en muchas regiones de la UE.
 
Apoyemos a esta iniciativa firmando la petición en línea haciendo clic en estos enlaces:
 
 
 
La amabilidad de leer y compartir con sus amigos, colegas y redes
 
En solidaridad,
 
June Detayson
Secretaría IPMSDL

Fight the Trans-Pacific Partnership, defeat neoliberal trade of monopolies

Published: 22 January 2016

ILPS statement on the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, ILPS International Coordinating Committee

After half a decade of negotiations, parties to the US-conceived Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are set to sign the egregious trade deal on February 4 this year. The TPP is an international ‘free trade’ agreement (FTA) that onesidedly and excessively favors the imperialist countries and their monopoly firms at the expense of the people, especially in the underdeveloped and dependent countries countries. The people’s rights are prejudiced by the TPP imposing stricter rules on intellectual property rights, new standards on state-owned enterprises, government procurement, and provisions on investment protection.

The TPP encompasses 12 countries representing 40% of the global GDP or 25.5% of the world’s total trade volume. It is touted as the largest trade agreement in history binding the United States and 11 Pacific Rim countries (New Zealand, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam) into a 21st century trade pact.

The secretly negotiated 6,000-page treaty released by WikiLeaks last October 2015 reveals treacherous terms and standards designed to further strengthen monopoly capitalist control over the global economy and the world’s resources. Beyond being just a trade deal, the TPP also plays a key role in advancing the geopolitical interests of US imperialism to maintain its hold in the Asia Pacific and contain the rising power of China in the region and beyond.

Indeed, in his final State of the Union address, US President Barack Obama urged Congress to approve the mega-trade deal because, “with TPP, China doesn’t set the rules in that region, we do.” As part of the US pivot to Asia, the TPP serves as the economic counterpart to the heightened military force projection by the US throughout Asia Pacific.

The TPP was born out of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) side meetings back in 2005 with Chile, Singapore, Brunei and New Zealand as its original members. In 2008 however, the US took hold of the negotiations and worked towards expanding the TPP membership to its current roster of member countries.

In 2014, the APEC Business Advisory Council proposed the concept of a Free Trade Area of Asia Pacific (FTAAP) – a mega-regional trade deal that aims to implement World Trade Organization (WTO) standards as well as solve the complex and often overlapping trade rules caused by multiple FTAs and bilateral agreements between and among countries.

However, the FTAAPfailed to gain traction due to major disagreements between China and the US on certain rules and provisions. In order to move forward, the APEC 2010 summit released an official communiquéannouncing to pursue the FTAAP by building on existing regional trade negotiations such as the TPP and its competitor, the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The opportunity to set regional standards on trade and investment, the chance to control almost half of global trade and the massive profits that can be tapped from a mega-region that shares more than half of the global GDP provided rabid motivation for the US and its allies to pursue the TPP. In one of her speeches during an APEC forum in Washington in 2011, Hilary Clinton suggested that the TPP membership must “…grow to include all APEC economies and that the TPPA will provide a foundation for an eventual FTAAP.”

During last year’s APEC summit in Manila, an official statement by the Chilean government announced the signing of the controversial trade deal on February 4 together with New Zealand’s proposal to host the said meeting. Some weeks after negotiating countries reached an agreement on the TPP, several countries in the region immediately announced their intent to join the trade negotiations. South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand have all previously expressed their desire to be part of the TPP.

Following a previous announcement that the country will not join the TPP, Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III also made a turnaround when he declared weeks ahead of the APEC summit in Manila that the country is once again keen to join the trade deal. After being initially silent about the TPP, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia also announced intent to join the TPP adding to the growing list of would-be TPP members.

Like many FTAs, the TPP was negotiated behind closed doors – only corporate advisors and lobbyists were given exclusive access to the text. In fact, TPP member states agreed in 2010 to prohibit any form of public release of the negotiating text until four years after an actual agreement has been made and/or abandoned. The secretive nature of the TPP and other trade deals in the offing attest to its anti-people character – as governments learned that the only way to complete such a deal is to avoid resistance by keeping it hidden from the very people who would have to live with its damaging consequences.

The TPP includes an insidious clause on investment disputes that allow corporations and big businesses to sue entire countries through a corporate tribunal known as the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). The ISDS allows corporations and foreign investors to file legal complaints against entire governments over actions perceived as inimical to profit-making and detrimental to future profits such as raising the minimum wage or increasing the quality of basic social services.

Under TPP conditions, signatory countries would also be obliged to reshape their domestic policies, laws and regulations in accordance with the agreement effectively dismantling any constitutional protection afforded by national laws in order to give way to greater corporate control.

Under the guise of ‘regulatory cooperation,’ enormous pressure is coming from big US corporations that want to ‘level the playing field’ between the private corporations and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) citing the unfair advantage and state subsidy given to the latter.

One of the most dangerous and controversial elements of the TPP is the section on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) that contain far-reaching implications across sectors and communities. For peasants and small food producers, this would entail restrictions in the use of seeds that have patented materials.

IPR rules also extend medicine patent rights for up to 25 years thereby enabling big pharmaceutical companies to monopolize the drug market and keep charging high prices without the competition of generic brands. Lastly, the TPP provision on data privacy severely limits internet freedom by compelling internet service providers to spy on user activity, and cut user access to common-generated content such as Youtube among others.

Mega-regional trade deals such as the TPP serve the current thrusts of imperialist globalization, namely: dismantle remaining labour protections and other measures for the protection of social welfare and the environment; privatize and commercialize sectors of the economy still under public or common ownership; deepen the compradorization and denationalization of third world economies; secure greater protections for monopoly capitalist property and profits. They serve to consolidate monopoly capitalist control by cementing corporate power and rewriting legal protections afforded by country constitutions.

These agreements will further channel the world’s wealth and resources to the hands of the 1% that control the biggest corporations and thus furtherbenefit from greater trade activity and stricter IPR protection as well as investment liberalization schemes.Therefore as the imperialists and their allies gather in the New Zealand’s capital for the signing of the TPPA on 4 February 2016, the ILPS calls on all its members and allied organizations:

  1. To conduct research and mass education on the implications and consequences of the TPP and other imperialist trade deals in different countries and carry out mass education on the people’s alternative to the existing monopoly capitalist system including an alternative framework for international economic cooperation based on solidarity, mutual benefit and respect for people’s sovereignty, and
  2. To intensify people’s protest actions against the TPP, FTAs, and imperialist globalization and mobilize the masses and their organizations, as well as students, academics, professionals, local entrepreneurs, national industrialists, parliamentarians and other affected sectors in underdeveloped and dependent countries against government efforts to ratify or join the TPP, and any attempt to adopt implementing legislation in support of the TPP and similar trade agreements.

Fight the Trans-Pacific Partnership!
Fight the US-instigated Free Trade Agreements under the neoliberal policy of imperialist globalization!
Uphold the sovereign right of underdeveloped and dependent countries to develop and free themselves from monopoly capitalism!

– See more at: http://www.ilps.info/index.php/en/statements/1965-fight-the-trans-pacific-partnership-defeat-neoliberal-trade-of-monopolies#sthash.ji9IuQdL.dpuf

CALL FOR ENDORSEMENTS: Petition to Malaysian authorities to stop judicial harassment against Jannie Lasimbang and other activists

Please find the petition below to Malaysian authorities to stop judicial harassment and intimidation against Jannie Lasimbang, former Secretary General of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP). We need your support and solidarity to fight against this selective prosecution against her and other activists aimed at sanctioning their legitimate human rights activities.

Please read the attached endorsement for more information and send in your endorsement (name of your organization and country) for the petition to our colleagues; Prabindra Shakya (prabin@aippnet.org) and Hpuji Naung (fuji@aippnet.org).

We look forward to receiving as many endorsements as possible. Kindly share this petition in your network as well.

Thank you very much for your support and cooperation.

***********************************************************

24 January 2016
Honorable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak
Prime Minister, Government of Malaysia
Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building
Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62502 Putrajaya
Malaysia

Subject: Petition to stop judicial harassment against Jannie Lasimbang

Honorable Prime Minister,

We, the undersigned organizations, condemn the ongoing judicial harassment and intimidation against Ms. Jannie Lasimbang, a prominent human rights and indigenous rights leader, and call
on the Malaysian Government authorities to immediately drop all charges laid against her. We affirm that the targeted prosecution of Ms. Lasimbang, among other rights activists, is indicative of the closing space for civil society in Malaysia. We urge the Government to put an end to such prosecution and uphold the values of democracy and human rights.

Ms. Lasimbang is one of the former vice-chairpersons of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0), which is a campaign endorsed by over 60 Malaysian NGOs seeking electoral reforms and promotion of democratic rights in Malaysia. She is the first person to be charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA) for her role in organizing the fourth series of peaceful assemblies of (Bersih 4.0). The assemblies were held in major cities in Malaysia, including Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, on 29 and 30 August 2015. There were subsequent assemblies in over 70 cities around the world in support of the main assemblies in Malaysia.

The overnight rally in Kota Kinabalu had more than 3,000 people in attendance but ended two hours shy of its 24-hour target after a police barricade stopped some 1,000 participants of the assembly from walking towards the city. The police had questioned Ms. Lasimbang immediately after the Bersih 4.0 assembly ended, along with along with others for their alleged role in organizing the assembly. She was not arrested; it therefore came as surprise to her to be charged
nearly two months later.

Ms. Lasimbang was charged on 21 October 2015 at the Kota Kinabalu Magistrate Court under Section 9(5) of the PAA 2012 for allegedly organizing the Bersih 4.0 assembly at Likas Bay Park without giving a 10-day notice to the city police chief prior to the event, as required under Article 10(c) of the PAA 2012. T Ms. Maria Chin Abdullah, the Chairperson of Bersih 2.0 was also later also charged under the same section.

We are informed that although Bersih Sabah had submitted the form required for the 10-day notice, the failure to append a consent letter from the owner of the Likas Bay Park (City Hall) was construed as not giving the 10-day notice.

The Kota Kinabalu Magistrate allowed Ms. Lasimbang bail of RM3,000 (approx. USD 697) with a deposit of RM1,000 (USD 232) for the charge and set the court date for 13 November 2015 for case management and 23 and 24 November 2015 to hear the case. The case management has since been rescheduled to 20 January, and the hearing to 26 and 27 January 2016. We are gravely concerned that if convicted, Ms. Lasimbang faces a maximum fine of RM20,000 (USD 4646) for two counts of the same charge, one for each day of the 2-day event. She has pleaded not guilty.

Ms Lasimbang, a former commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) has also served as a member and chairperson of the UN Expert Mechanism on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), established by the Human Rights Council under the United Nations. Former Secretary General of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, she is currently at the forefront of indigenous rights advocacy in Malaysia as the Secretary General of the
Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia, also known as Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS).

We affirm that the selective prosecution of Ms. Lasimbang and other activists in Malaysia constitutes violations of national and international human rights obligations of the State, including under UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The Declaration provides that for
the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels to meet or assemble peacefully (Art. 5(a)). It is the duty of State of Malaysia to “take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone…against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration” (Art. 12).

We believe the ongoing judicial harassment of Ms. Lasimbang and others only aims at sanctioning their legitimate human rights activities. Thus, we call on the Malaysian authorities to immediately drop all charges against them and rather engage constructively with the human
rights activists for advancement of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Malaysia.

Sincerely,

Joan Carling
Secretary General
Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)
www.aippnet.org

On behalf of the organizations listed in the below or annexed
Submitted via email to Hon’ble Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister, Government of Malaysia, Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Main Block, Perdana Putra Building, Federal
Government Administrative Centre, 62502 Putrajaya, Malaysia.
Email: ppm@pmo.gov.my

Copied to
l Mr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Minister of Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Blok D1 & D2, Kompleks D, Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, 62546 Putrajaya, Malaysia.
Email: webmaster@moha.gov.my

l Tan Sri Hasmy Agam, Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia
(SUHAKAM), Tingkat 11, Menara TH Perdana, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia. Email: humanrights@suhakam.org.my; hasmyagam@suhakam.org.my

Statement of Solidarity to the victims of Brazil’s Mining Disaster

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) stands in solidarity with the victims of the Bento Rodrigues iron ore tailings dam[i]that burst last 05 November 2015 in Brazil. The failure of the said dam released a large volume of toxic sludge that swallowed entire communities and poisoned the Doce River in the region of Minas Gerais; and has reached the Atlantic Ocean causing further damage.

Twelve people died, at least 11 are still missing and left more than 500 homeless since the sludge devastated nearby towns. The unprecedented scale of environmental and social damages caused by the mining tragedy compounded by years of severe drought has deprived local communities of the free-flowing waters of Rio Doce – a source of food and livelihood, and making agriculture and livestock impossible to sustain – all of which are conditions necessary for their survival.

As the casualties and destruction mount, we believe that the actions taken by the Brazilian government and the corporations responsible for the disaster – Vale, BHP Bilton, and SamarcoMineração S.A. are grossly insufficient and tantamount to criminal neglect. We further believe that they failed to prevent an otherwise avoidable calamity, including the lethal exposure of communities especially that of Indigenous Peoples, women and children to heavy metals and other toxic chemicals.  Thus, they should be fully accountable for the deaths, damages and destruction from this disaster.

An earlier statement by SamarcoMineração S.A. said that the materials present in the tailings contained only mud and sand and “does not present a danger to human health.” However, based on sample spots taken from the area, the 50 million-ton avalanche of toxic mud unleashed high levels of arsenic, manganese and other toxic metals a thousand times more than acceptable levels. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in a statement said that the residue “contained high levels of toxic heavy metals and other toxic chemicals”.

We call the government of Brazil, and BHP Billiton, Vale and Samarco companies, in the interim, should at least secure adequate supplies of water and food, evacuation centers, means of redress and rehabilitation for all victims of this tragedy of their creation. They should also address the needs and respect the rights of the affected including Indigenous Peoples.

We support the actions of the Krenak Indigenous Peoples to stop and prevent the transfer of iron ore from the mines in protest of the disaster that contaminated their waters and demand for the government and the companies to address substantially the issues of the disaster.

We stand with our brothers and sisters in demanding for the immediate stop and pullout of large-scale mining operations in the vast lands of Brazil especially in lands and territories of Indigenous Peoples that destroys communities and entire cultures in the name of profit.

The Brazil large-scale-mining-created disaster is not an isolated case. Over the years, similar catastrophic disasters occurred in different parts of the globe that also adversely affected Indigenous Peoples. In central BC Canada in 04 August 2014 with the rupture of the Imperial Metals-owned Mount Polley copper and gold mine tailings pond, and in the collapse of the tailings pond of Philex Mining Corporation in Benguet, Philippines from 01 August-13 September in 2012.

The issue of large-scale-mining and tailings ponds should be a worldwide issue and concern. We should be doubly alarmed as there are around 3,500 tailings ponds around the world[ii]operating under similar conditions with the above catastrophes.

STOP LARGE-SCALE MINING OPERATIONS!

DEFEND OUR LAND, LIFE AND RESOURCES!

ASSERT OUR RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION!

LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!

 

Beverly L. Longid

IPMSDL-Coordinator

*Photograph: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters-A rescue worker searches for victims at Bento Rodrigues district that was covered with mud after a dam owned by Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd burst on 8 November 2015. 

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[i]The SamarcoMineração SA controls the tailings dam but BHP Billiton and Vale SA own it through a joint venture to hold the waste from the extraction of iron ore from their mining operations in the area.  The BHP Billiton is an Anglo-Australian multinational mining, metals and petroleum company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and is the world’s largest mining company, and Vale SA., is the third-largest mining company in the world.

 

[ii]http://www.csp2.org/files/reports/Long%20Term%20Risks%20of%20Tailings%20Dam%20Failure%20-%20Chambers%20%26%20Higman%20Oct11-2.pdf (Center for Science in Public Participation, LONG TERM RISKS OF TAILINGS DAM FAILURE, October, 2011)

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Declaración de Solidaridad con las víctimas del desastre minero de Brasil

El Movimiento Internacional de los Pueblos Indígenas para la Autodeterminación y Liberación (IPMSDL) se solidariza con las víctimas del Bento Rodrigues relaves de mineral de hierro presa que irrumpieron el pasado 05 de noviembre 2015 en Brasil. El fracaso de la citada presa dio a conocer un gran volumen de lodos tóxicos que se tragó a comunidades enteras y envenenado el río Doce, en la región de Minas Gerais; y ha llegado el Océano Atlántico causando más daños.

Doce personas murieron, al menos 11 siguen desaparecidos y dejaron más de 500 personas sin hogar ya que el lodo arrasó pueblos cercanos. La magnitud sin precedentes de los daños ambientales y sociales provocados por la tragedia minera agravada por años de sequía severa ha privado a las comunidades locales de las aguas que fluyen libremente de Rio Doce – una fuente de alimentos y medios de vida, y hacer que la agricultura y la ganadería imposible sostener – todo de los cuales son condiciones necesarias para su supervivencia.

A medida que aumentan las bajas y la destrucción, creemos que las acciones tomadas por el gobierno brasileño y las empresas responsables de la catástrofe – Vale, BHP Bilton y SamarcoMineração SA son extremadamente insuficiente y equivale a la negligencia criminal. Además, creemos que no pudieron evitar una calamidad de otro modo evitable, incluyendo la exposición letal de las comunidades, especialmente la de los pueblos indígenas, las mujeres y los niños a los metales pesados y otras sustancias químicas tóxicas. Por lo tanto, deben ser plenamente responsables de las muertes, daños y destrucción de este desastre.

Una declaración anterior de SamarcoMineração SA dijo que los materiales presentes en los residuos contenían solamente el barro y la arena y “no presenta un peligro para la salud humana”. Sin embargo, en base a los puntos de muestra tomadas de la zona, la avalancha de 50 millones de toneladas de tóxicos barro desató altos niveles de arsénico, manganeso y otros metales tóxicos mil veces más que los niveles aceptables. La Oficina del Alto Comisionado para los Derechos Humanos en un comunicado de la ONU dijo que el residuo “contenía altos niveles de metales pesados tóxicos y otros productos químicos tóxicos”.

Hacemos un llamado al gobierno de Brasil, y BHP Billiton, Vale y Samarco empresas, mientras tanto, al menos deberíamos asegurar un suministro adecuado de agua y alimentos, centros de evacuación, medios de reparación y rehabilitación de todas las víctimas de esta tragedia de su creación. También deben atender las necesidades y respetar los derechos de los afectados, incluyendo los Pueblos Indígenas.

Apoyamos las acciones de los Pueblos Indígenas Krenak para detener y prevenir la transferencia de mineral de hierro de las minas en protesta por el desastre que contamina sus aguas y la demanda de que el gobierno y las empresas para hacer frente a la veracidad de los temas de la catástrofe.

Estamos con nuestros hermanos y hermanas en la demanda para el cese inmediato y la retirada de las operaciones mineras a gran escala en las vastas tierras de Brasil, especialmente en las tierras y territorios de los pueblos indígenas que destruye comunidades y culturas enteras en nombre del beneficio.

El desastre a gran escala de minas creadas Brasil no es un caso aislado. Con los años, los desastres catastróficos similares ocurrieron en diferentes partes del mundo que también afectó negativamente a los pueblos indígenas. En el centro de BC Canadá en 04 de agosto 2014 con la ruptura del Monte Polley relaves de cobre y la mina de oro estanque propiedad de Metales Imperiales, y en el colapso de la balsa de residuos de Philex Mining Corporation en Benguet, Filipinas desde 1 ag hasta 13 sept en 2012 .

La cuestión de los estanques de gran escala de la minería y de relaves debe ser un tema y preocupación en todo el mundo. Debemos estar alarmados por partida doble, ya que hay alrededor de 3.500 estanques de relaves de todo el mundo que operan en condiciones similares con las catástrofes anteriores.

PARAR LAS OPERACIONES MINERAS A GRAN ESCALA!

DEFENDER NUESTRA TIERRA, LA VIDA Y RECURSOS!

AFIRMAR NUESTRO DERECHO A LA AUTODETERMINACIÓN!

LARGO DE SOLIDARIDAD INTERNACIONAL EN VIVO!

 

Beverly L. Longid

IPMSDL-Coordinador

*FOTOGRAFÍA : RICARDO MORAES / REUTERS -A RESCATE BÚSQUEDAS TRABAJADOR PARA VÍCTIMAS EN DISTRITO BENTO RODRIGUES que estaba cubierto de barro DESPUÉS DE UNA PRESA DE PROPIEDAD DE VALE SA y BHP Billiton Ltd EXPLOSIÓN El 8 de noviembre de 2015.

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El SamarcoMineração SA controla la presa de relaves, pero BHP Billiton y Vale SA posee a través de una empresa conjunta para mantener los residuos de la extracción de mineral de hierro de sus operaciones mineras en la zona. El BHP Billiton es una empresa de minería, metales y petróleo multinacional anglo-australiana con sede en Melbourne, Australia, y es la compañía minera más grande del mundo, y Vale SA., Es la tercera mayor compañía minera del mundo.

 

[1]http://www.csp2.org/files/reports/Long%20Term%20Risks%20of%20Tailings%20Dam%20Failure%20-%20Chambers%20%26%20Higman%20Oct11-2.pdf (Center for Science in Public Participation, LONG TERM RISKS OF TAILINGS DAM FAILURE, October, 2011)

2013 Declaration- WTO and Indigenous Peoples

DECLARATION

The World Trade Organization (WTO) and Indigenous Peoples: Resisting Globalization, Asserting Self-Determination

We, the Indigenous Peoples of Mother Earth gathered here in Bali, Indonesia on 2-6 December 2013, organizing our own workshop and various events parallel to the World Trade Organization Ninth Ministerial Meeting (WTO MC9), hereby agreed to resist neoliberal globalization and assert our right to Self-Determination.
As Indigenous Peoples of the land and the waters, we have a close relationship to Mother Earth and nature. This relationship tells us that life on Mother Earth is in danger and coming to a time of great transformation. We are accepting the responsibility as the guardians of the earth, which has been designated by our respective Original Instructions woven into our cosmovisions, cultures, languages, and ways of life. We are telling the trade ministers of the world governments that we must all work together to create a new paradigm in global trade instruments and economic systems that fully recognizes the vital life-giving cycles, wellbeing and territorial integrity of Mother Earth.
We reaffirm our responsibilities to protect and defend our lands, water, territories, natural resources, culture and traditional knowledge, all of which are vital to the survival of all of humanity and for future generations. We will persevere in our struggle in reclaiming our inherent rights as Indigenous Peoples and for the well-being of Mother Earth. Until the right to self-determination of Indigenous Peoples and universal laws that recognize Mother Earth as a living being are observed and respected, genuine sustainable development will not be achieved.
We share a common history of colonization and globalization. For centuries, we experienced the colonisation of our lands, territories, air, ice, oceans and waters, mountains and forests. Colonialism institutionalized the oppression and exploitation of Indigenous Peoples up to the current era of globalization, exacerbated by the neoliberal impositions of multilateral trade agreements implemented over six decades through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. In its 9th Ministerial Conference, we believe that the WTO will only push for greater neoliberal policies on globalization, liberalization, privatization, deregulation, and denationalization that will consequently intensify the violation of our inherent rights as Indigenous Peoples and the multiple crises that humanity confronts today.

Thus, with our common problems, aspirations and struggles, we resolved to strengthen our unity as Indigenous Peoples and link our struggles with various democratic sectors and organizations worldwide until our right to self-determination and liberation is achieved.

The World Trade Organization and Violation of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

The WTO is the primary instrument of neoliberal globalization to further economic globalization especially in international trade. It aims to build a unitary system of trade relations of countries around the world governed by various agreements. WTO’s catchphrases of “borderless world”, “leveling the playing field” and “free market democracies”, involves the removal of restrictions or so-called trade barriers that hinder greater corporate profit. While the WTO binds the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to implement the neoliberal policies on trade of goods and services, the few capitalist countries on the other hand, protect their economies from these “free market” policies.
Several WTO Ministerials, such as the Doha Development Round in 2001, collapsed due to continuing disagreements over subsidies on agricultural products, market access, and special safeguard mechanisms, and massive Peoples’ protests. In its 9th Ministerial Conference, the WTO will make decisions on any of the multilateral trade related agreements such as the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMS), and General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and forge new multilateral agreements. The proposed agreement for the MC9 called the Bali Package will push for greater liberalization in agriculture, acceleration of LDCs in the WTO, and expedite trade facilitation through restructuring of GATT articles on imports-exports and trade costs. The Bali Package, along with post-Bali issues on International Technology Agreement (ITA) and Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), are labeled by developed countries as the solution to the stalled Doha Round to pursue intensified trade liberalization.
Indigenous Peoples, especially future generations, will be extremely affected by these decisions and agreements. For over 6 six decades now, since colonization, neoliberal policies have intensified the sufferings of the Indigenous Peoples. Our lands, territories and natural resources have been exploited by unsustainable development projects, such as mono-cultural chemically intensive plantations, extractive industries such as mining, oil drilling, hydro projects and other environmentally destructive “renewable” energy projects. Trade and investment liberalization have resulted in development aggression and plunder of our territories. We have been displaced from our Indigenous lands and territories. Our Indigenous knowledge, values and spirituality have been bastardized. And our rights to selfdetermination, to our own governance and own self-determined development have been violated. While defending our inherent and collective rights, we continue to suffer from militarization and State terrorism, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance, assassination, arbitrary arrests, imprisonment, criminalization of community resistance, harassment and vilification as “terrorists.” All of this has happened for the sake of globalization, and is bound to worsen as the WTO imposes more agreements and policies.
Our experiences show that the removal of tariffs and quantitative restrictions on import goods has led to the influx of foreign products in domestic markets. The AoA has unleashed agricultural liberalisation and imposed the importation of agricultural crops even if locally produced. It has forced many developing countries to favor transnational agricultural companies like Monsanto and compelled impoverished Indigenous Peoples to use high yielding varieties (HYV) seeds without being informed of the negative effects. The AoA pushes for commercial agricultural production, replacing traditional plant varieties with genetically altered species marketed by agriculture companies, and chemical-laden foods.

The AoA eliminates the ability of Indigenous Peoples to produce culturally appropriate and sufficient food. Such trading system is detrimental to Indigenous Peoples’ food security, health and sustainability. It forces dependency to the capitalist market and weakens Indigenous Peoples’ ability to self-determined development and food sovereignty. The WTO demands reduction of subsidies on price support, while capitalist countries refuse to apply this in their own economies. This has damaged livelihoods resulting in bankruptcy of farmers including Indigenous Peoples, as they are unable to compete with subsidized and cheaper imports from abroad. States worsen this situation by failing to protect Indigenous Peoples’ sources of livelihood and food, land and resources.
Through our harmonious relations with nature as part of our spirituality, culture and beliefs, we maintain knowledge and practice of Indigenous medicines from medicinal plants and animals. We, however, are denied rights and control over our Indigenous medicines when these are taken over by big corporations as their intellectual property rights under WTO. Big pharmaceutical corporations race for patents to gain exclusive control for the production, marketing, distribution and sales of products derived from indigenous knowledge and practice. We are also alarmed that the WTO allows the patenting of life forms including extraction of genetic information under its TRIPS. These capitalist monsters treat Indigenous Peoples as valuable and vulnerable targets for medical research and experiments.
Trade agreements on services have further marginalized and impoverished us, with very limited access to basic social and health services, a situation worsened by government neglect and discrimination. Our right to quality and affordable education and health is further violated by GATS which allows foreign corporations to own and operate educational and health institutions leading to profit-oriented and corporate owned services that are available only to the few who have the means to pay. Education is designed to meet the needs and interests of the multinational corporations and the advanced capitalist countries above the social values and needs of Indigenous communities and national development of poor countries. As a result, the youth and the next generations’ futures are bleak and the survival of our Indigenous knowledge is in peril.
Globalisation has even destroyed our biological and cultural diversity, ecosystems, values and traditional knowledge that constitute our existence as humans and as Indigenous Peoples. It is the culprit of the climate crisis, which exacerbates the historical, political, and economic marginalisation of Indigenous Peoples. It puts Indigenous Peoples in a very vulnerable situation, notwithstanding the fact that Indigenous Peoples have contributed the least to the climate crisis.
The dominant world capitalist system under which the WTO and similar trade agreements operate is the culprit to the multiple crises that humanity confronts today. The neoliberal policies of globalization, liberalization, deregulation, privatization and denationalization are the root causes of the protracted economic, financial, political, and climatic crises that have put Indigenous Peoples in more oppressive and exploitative conditions and the planet on the brink of destruction. The WTO MC9 in its Bali Package is hell-bent on pushing and imposing more new deals that would intensify our misery ten-fold, as it demands the acceleration of neoliberal globalization for more profit to the few ruling elite of the advanced capitalist countries and their transnational corporations above the interest of Indigenous Peoples, humanity and Mother Earth. Clearly, the WTO advances the neoliberal globalization framework and violates all the rights of Peoples, including Indigenous Peoples and Nations, to self-determination, life and liberty. The WTO is an instrument that serves the primary interest of the multinational corporations and the few advanced capitalist countries to the detriment of Indigenous Peoples worldwide, humanity, Mother Earth and all life.
Ways Forward
We will persevere in our struggle to gain self-determination and autonomy. Until our right to self-determination is respected, genuine sustainable development will not be achieved.
We are united to oppose and reject the commodification, privatisation and plunder of nature, which includes the green economy, false- or market-based solutions including biodiversity and conservations offsets that put profit above humanity and the planet. We are in solidarity to resist neoliberal globalization. We are united to fight for our rights to self-determination and assert the future we want. We declare to Junk WTO, oppose new deals, and push for an alternative trade agenda appropriate to Indigenous Peoples.
We push for an alternative trade system appropriate for us. We do not just reject trade per se, but push for trade systems that respect and recognise our traditional economies and governance. We envision systems that promote solidarity, mutual cooperation and respect, based on the needs and development of our communities and empowerment of our people. We demand systems that underpin our inherent right to self-determination and our permanent sovereignty over our traditional lands, territories and resources, forests, water, and everything that sustains life for the future generations. We demand systems that reject, and call for the abolition of, all colonial, unequal, and neocolonial trade agreements such as the WTO and other similar trade agreements.
We will continue to strengthen our ranks and further develop and mobilize the capacities of the young generations and women in advancing our struggles against neoliberal globalization and its instruments like the WTO until its removal. We will link our struggles not only with Indigenous Peoples worldwide, but also with other Peoples’ movements, democratic and marginalized sectors and civil society organisations (CSOs) that have common goals and aspirations with that of Indigenous Peoples. We join the worldwide movement to Junk WTO and reject Neoliberal Globalization.
We commit to consolidate our efforts to engage the WTO and other multilateral, regional and bilateral trade syndicates/agreements, and we strongly oppose agreements forged without our knowledge, participation, and consent. In our engagement to these trade agreements, we shall bring to the forefront as main points of assertion our inherent right to selfdetermination, self-determined and sustainable development, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Alta Outcome Document and other declarations on our collective rights as Indigenous Peoples.
We shall strive to achieve gains that go beyond the mechanisms and opportunities in the UN, and of the benevolence of States and governments. Like in other international fora, processes and mechanisms, we shall create our own spaces asserting our rights to lands, territories, and self-determination.
We must take collective control of our natural resources based on the principles of people’s participation, gender equality, environmental and social justice, self-reliant and sustainable management systems and mindful of the needs of the whole of humanity while maintaining a deep respect, responsibility and recognition of the natural laws of Mother Earth and all creatures within. We must regain sovereignty over our lands and resources from multinational corporations and capitalist countries. We focus on building sustainable communities based on indigenous knowledge and peoples’ development, not on capitalist development. We must strive to promote and assert our sustainable ways of life, social and cultural values for the common good and the whole of society, collective interest over individual, service over profit, respect and care for nature and Mother Earth, including our viable solutions as opposed to false solutions to climate change.
While we continue to unite as Indigenous Peoples worldwide, we also uphold the spirit of international solidarity with other sectors, organizations, activists and genuine advocates of our issues. This solidarity advances our global campaign for Indigenous Peoples’ rights to self-determination and liberation. Junk WTO! No New Deals!
Our Immediate Demands
As we conclude our workshop and events parallel to the WTO MC9, we state the following demands to the World Trade Organisation, the States and Corporations:
We demand for focus on new economies based on the principles of living in harmony with nature and governed by the absolute limits and boundaries of ecological sustainability, the carrying capacities of Mother Earth, and in recognition of the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth.
We demand for a stop to the capitalism of nature. All economic frameworks and trade regimes that privatise and financialise the functions of nature through green economy initiatives must be halted. Mother Earth is the source of life which needs to be protected, not a resource to be exploited and commodified as a natural capital. We call for the halt of all policies controlling the reproductive capacity of Mother Earth through market-based mechanisms that allow for the quantification and commodification of the natural processes of Mother Earth being branded as ecosystem services.
We demand for the respect of Indigenous Peoples’ collective rights, such as but not limited to their traditional lands, territories, resources, free prior informed consent (FPIC), selfdetermination, culture and identity, and traditional management systems as enshrined in the UNDRIP and other international standards in negotiations and agreements. All trade agreements on investments, programs and projects affecting our lands, territories, communities, culture and identity without our FPIC must be immediately revoked and cancelled.
We demand for the repeal of all trade agreements affecting us without our meaningful, full and effective participation and FPIC. Likewise, we demand for Indigenous Peoples’ full and active participation in decision-making processes and discourses on trade and other matters affecting us at all levels. Our right to FPIC is fundamental, and thus we continue to assert that this must be respected. Nothing About Us, Without Us!
We demand for the full recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ inherent and inalienable right to self-determination and permanent sovereignty over our lands, territories, resources, air, ice, oceans, waters, mountains and forests.
We demand an end to the militarization of our communities, for States and corporations to be held accountable on human rights violations, and ensured justice to the victims and their families and communities who have experienced such atrocities.
Likewise, States should provide concrete support, such as appropriate technologies and funds, to help us develop for ourselves our own self-determined and sustainable development models ad methods.
Stop the theft and patenting of our traditional seeds, medicines, traditional knowledge, and our identity. Stop the commodification of our sacred culture for megatourism projects and other big businesses.
Stop the criminalization of community resistance and end the culture of impunity. Pull out State armed forces in Indigenous territories, and uphold the responsibility to provide basic social services to Indigenous communities.
Affirmed this 3rd day of December 2013, in Bali, Indonesia.
Signatories:
Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL)

Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN)

Alyansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN)

Barisan Pemuda Adat Nusantara (BPAN)

Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA)

Land is Life Committee for the Protection of Natural Resources-Manipur

Center for Research and Advocacy-Manipur

Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)

International Organisation for Self-Determination and Equality (IOSDE)

Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP)

BAI National Network of Indigenous Women in the Philippines

Innabuyog-Gabriela KALUMARAN Cordillera Women’s Education Action Research Center

20 years of the WTO is enough! Junk WTO!

We call on our members and partners to endorse the statement below beforeDecember 15, 2015 (Tuesday). Kindly send your endorsement to mpascual@iboninternational.orgIPMSDL is an initiator of this statement.
 

20 years of the WTO is enough! Junk WTO!

Over the years, people’s organizations have seen the WTO as an instrument that exploits developing nations. Twenty years of its existence has already forced radical changes in the laws of sovereign states and threatened the lives and livelihood of peoples around the world. Any expansion of its power will lead to more losses of our democratic rights. We urge the public to be vigilant and not be misled by rhetoric on the benefits of neoliberal trade and the WTO.

Please read and sign-on to the full statement before the 10th Ministerial Conference of the WTO on Dec. 15, 2015:
http://peopleresist.net/sign-on-statement-20-years-of-the-wto-is-enough-junk-wto/

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SIGN ON STATEMENT: 20 years of the WTO is enough! Junk WTO!

December 5, 2015

1121269 Hong Kong, China.

It has been two decades since the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO), a successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which created a multilateral trading system encompassing trade in goods, services, agriculture, and intellectual property.

While a trade organization like the WTO supposedly provides members access to each other’s markets on equal terms, developed countries’ interests have dominated the GATT and the WTO from the start. The WTO’s trade policy framework has thusled to more inequality and long-term problems for developing states.

junkWTOThrough the relaxation of restriction on foreign investments under the WTO’s trade liberalization scheme, developed countries and their big companies continue to exploit land, workers and other resources from developing countries for their own gain. This has intensified inequality between and within countries. In 2014, the UN Development Programmereported that 85 of the richest people in the world have wealth equivalent to the wealth of 3.5 billion of the poorest people in the world. In 2010, 25 major American corporations surpassed the 2010 gross domestic product (GDP) of entire countries. An example is Wal-Mart whose 2010 revenue amounted to $421.89 billion,which is larger than Norway’s GDP ($414.46 billion) and 157 smaller countries.This clearly shows that half of the world’s wealth is owned by the richest one percent.

The dismantling of trade barriers that cover basic services in health care, education, environment, sanitation, water and other social services allowed transnational corporations (TNCs) of rich countries to acquire companies and privatize public services within developing nations. Unbridled competition has also resulted to loweringof labor standards and easingof environmental regulations to attract investments,leading to more human rights violations in the workplace, massive land grabbing and environmental degradation.

Since colonization, neoliberal policies intensified the sufferings of indigenous peoples. This shall worsen as the WTO imposes more agreements and policies that shall further encroach, destroy and plunder indigenous lands and territories through unsustainable projects such as mono-cultural chemically intensive plantations, extractive industries like mining and oil drilling, and dams and other environmentally destructive “renewable” energy projects. Those who resist suffer from militarization and State terrorism, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance, assassination, arbitrary arrests, imprisonment, criminalization of community resistance, harassment and vilification as “terrorists.”

The WTO’s enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) hindered developing countries’ access to medicines and medical technology because of the high cost of paying for patent licenses. In the Sub-Saharan African region, an estimated 24.7 million HIV patients cannot access patented anti-retroviral medicines because of prohibitive costs.The WTO also allowed American transnational agribusiness corporation Monsanto to draft a policy under its IPR agreement to place patents on all life forms, from microorganisms to plants. This provided Monsanto an advantage over developing country members of the WTO to control their seeds. TNCs are also attacking indigenous knowledge by patenting plant varieties discovered and cultivated by indigenous peoples for food, medicine and rituals.

In the agriculture sector, the failure of the WTO to reduce the subsidies of developed countries to their farmers has affected the livelihood of cotton farmers in Africa because of the overproduction of cotton in the world market. The cheap price of cotton exported by African farmers led to a decline in production by almost 50% in 12 main African cotton producers between 2005 and 2009.

The expansion of poultry imports from developed countries led to massive rural job loss in Africa. From 1994 to 2003, 110, 000 rural jobs were lost each year in Cameroon. In Ivory Coast, an estimated 1,500 poultry producers ceased production between 2001 and 2003, leaving 15,000 people jobless. In Senegal, 70% of the poultry industry was wiped out because of the poultry expansion of the European Union (EU).

The removal of trade barriers also paved the way for massive importation of food and agricultural products that destroyed the Philippine’s path to self-sufficiency and food security. According to the peasant movement Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, an estimated 2.85 million metric tons of rice was imported by the Philippine government in 2014, leaving a huge drop in farmgate prices of locally produced rice.

The WTO’s policies continue to support corporate control in food systems and trade by altering food safety and price regulations, intellectual property protection and agriculture subsidies. It has also trapped developing countries into exporting cheap raw materials and allowing imported food and agricultural products to their local markets leaving domestic production to decline. Almost 800 million people worldwide continue to suffer from hunger because of corporate control on food.

As if 20 years of the WTO’s stranglehold is not bad enough, the US, EU, Japan and other developed countries want the upcoming 10th Ministerial Conference (MC10) this 15-18 December 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya to commence negotiations on “new issues” – which are really old proposals that these countries have long been seeking to impose as new rules on trade and investments binding on all countries. These would further strengthen the ability of TNCs to operate within and across borders and dictate the prices of goods and services making them unaffordable to the common people. They would also rob developing countries of their remaining policy tools that are necessary for promoting sustainable development and realizing people’s rights.

Over the years, people’s organizations have seen the WTO as an instrument that exploits developing nations. Twenty years of its existence has already forced radical changes in the laws of sovereign states and threatened the lives and livelihood of peoples around the world. Any expansion of its power will lead to more losses of our democratic rights. We urge the public to be vigilant and not be misled by rhetoric on the benefits of neoliberal trade and the WTO.

We call on the public to support people’s organizations and pro-poor advocates pushing fora pro-people trade system that promotes environmental sustainability, genuine economic cooperation, and the right to development. We urge each nation to adopt economic policies and programs that assert their sovereignty over their agriculture and food systems. National and international trade systems should promote policies that will be able to dismantle international cartels and capitalist monopolies that manipulate the prices of commodities in the international market.

As long as the WTO runs world trade, corporate elites and their governments will continue to abuse the people and resources of developing countries. We should not allow this to persist.

20 years of corporate plunder is enough! 20 years of manipulation is enough! 20 years of inequality is enough! 20 years of the WTO is enough!

Now is the time for genuine system change and fair economic cooperation that promotes development for all! Join the fight against WTO! Junk the WTO!