On the 2017 International Human Rights Day: #FightTyranny

IPMSDL calls to uphold human rights in the Philippines amid US-Duterte regime’s “terrorist” crackdown in light of IHR Day commemoration

The International Indigenous People’s Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) slams the US-Duterte’s fascist regime and its display of ruthless disrespect to the Filipino people’s rights and civil liberties. The Philippine government is acting as the major human rights violator, waging terroristic attacks against its people, and it is doing so under the auspices of the imperialist US.

The Movement raises grave alarm over Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s rising tyranny, which intensified militarization and human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples, rights defenders, and activists all over the Philippines. The state-perpetrated attacks peaked days before the International Human Rights Day, as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) escalated its counter-insurgency efforts that included civilians and legal organizations critical of the US-Duterte regime as targets.

IPMSDL particularly condemns the recent massacre of indigenous Lumads by military elements last Dec. 3 in Sitio Datalbong, Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, Philippines. The 27th and 33rd Infantry Batallion of the AFP killed eight and wounded two of T’boli and Dulangan Manobo farmers as they were about to harvest their crops from their farmland, which was formerly a 300-hectare coffee plantation for Nestle recently regained from the corporate giant David M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI). Prior to the incident, the military accused on media one of the victims, Datu Victor Danyan, to be a commander of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Aside from that, military offensives caused Lumad communities in Sarangani province and Surigao del Sur in Mindanao to forcibly evacuate. Soldiers have even imposed food blockade to evacuees, alleging that they are supporters of the NPA. Lumad schools also continue to face harassment on ground and even online.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the country, rights defenders and activist leaders are experiencing harassments in various forms due to Duterte’s crackdown order against the militant mass movement. The number of cases documented are rising at the daily. These include the killing of two religious leaders in Luzon and the death threats received by countless activists in major cities.

All these took place less than a month ago since Duterte’s termination of the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) through Presidential Proclamation No. 360, and the branding of the belligerent Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing NPA as terrorists through Presidential Proclamation No. 367. As if these are not enough, the AFP recommended the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao, which Duterte may expand to the whole country.

It is timely now, more than ever, to call for the upholding of human rights in observance of the International Human Rights Day. IPMSDL joins the Filipino people in the demand for land, livelihood, rights, justice, and accountability for all inhumane acts of the US-Duterte regime and the AFP.

 

JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIMS OF LAKE SEBU MASSACRE!

DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES! STOP THE KILLINGS!

FIGHT THE US-DUTERTE REGIME’S TYRANNY! RESIST THE CRACKDOWN!

On the 2017 ASEAN Summit

The imperialist powers are consolidating their control over Asia. This was proven by the recently concluded 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and East Asia Summit held November in Manila, Philippines.

Led by the imperialist US, world leaders discussed the promotion of neoliberal policies and programs to enable further state and private entities. In the face of the worsening global economic crisis, these imperialists attempt to preserve themselves through foreign intervention of underdeveloped and developing nations by having them open up their economies with the help of local puppets. ASEAN’s “development” agenda only favors corporations who only seek to maximize profits.

Under this neoliberal framework, the marginalized especially communities of Indigenous Peoples are being displaced from their ancestral lands and dispossessed of natural resources due to massive land grabbing. Their traditions and identities are degraded, their cultures commercialized, their rights especially to self-determination overstepped and violated. They face rampant discrimination and worsened poverty. The promised “growth” is only of imperialism’s benefit and never represent the peoples’ interests.

IPMSDL particularly decries the silence of these timely gatherings on numerous human rights issues in the region: the IP killings in the Philippines, Indonesian occupation of West Papua, Rohingya persecution in Myanmar, and Chinese land-grabbing and environmental plunder along the Mekong Region.

The Movement also criticizes the absurd misuse of public funds by the Philippine government to hosting a summit that is directed towards further exploitation of its people. A good portion of the PHP 15.5 billion-budget was squandered to quell the mobilizations in response to the event. Police used water cannons, truncheons, and the sonic weapon Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) to violently disperse protesters. Hundreds were injured from both sides.

IPMSDL, along with our allies from the workers, peasants, women, youth, and other marginalized sectors, resolve to continue the struggle against imperialism, state fascism, and all that leads to the oppression of Indigenous Peoples in Southeast Asia and all over the world.

 

SOUTHEAST ASIA NOT FOR SALE!

STOP THE PLUNDER AND MILITARISM IN INDIGENOUS LANDS!

DOWN WITH IMPERIALISM!

Uphold the Native Customary Rights of IP of Sarawak!

UPHOLD THE NATIVE CUSTOMARY RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF SARAWAK!

RESIST ALL FORMS OF EXPLOITATION AND INDIGENOUS RIGHTS VIOLATIONS!

 

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) congratulates the Indigenous Peoples (IP) of Sarawak for a successful protest action calling on their government to uphold and respect the Native Customary Rights (NCR) of Sarawak and resisting all attempts of resource plunder perpetuated by state and corporate actors.

On November 13, 2017, over 3,000 people of Sarawak staged a rally to denounce the recent Federal Court decision that favors various private companies to exploit their land resources at the expense of peoples’ welfare. The rally aimed at raising public awareness and consciousness of IP of Sarawak about their struggle to stop development projects that will push them further to the margins. Moreover, it sought to put pressure on their government to comply with Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and Article 13 and 161E of the Federal Constitution that provide inalienable rights for the IP of Sarawak.

Malaysia, a hotspot for plantation and hydroelectric power projects in the region, has been a target for more investments on extractives and energy projects within the ancestral lands of Sarawak natives. However, the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in the context of their right to self-determination is not guaranteed before any company enters their community. This has lead to conflict, displacement, and rights violations particularly to those who opposes the project. In fact, there were reports that companies hired private gangsters to attack Sarawak natives performing Iban rituals to summon the help of the gods to fight the companies.

Across the world, resource plunder and non-recognition of Indigenous rights have been becoming the norm. Many families in Indigenous communities in Cambodia were displaced due to systematic land grab scheme such as the economic land concession (ELC) and development projects like the Sesan II hydroelectric dam project. The Mapithel dam in Manipur has affected the livelihood of downstream and upstream communities as well as accessibility to water resource.

Amidst growing repression and exploitation, there is always a hope in peoples’ resistance. In Nigeria, the Ogoni community has risen against the attempt of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Shell, and the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to resume its oil production in Ogoniland. The people of West Papua are advancing their struggle for self-determination and liberation.

Now more than ever, we shall continue to arouse, organize, and mobilize our ranks as we expand and broaden our fight for lands and resources among and between Indigenous Peoples. We must strengthen our international solidarity with all the oppressed peoples of the world.

The result of the protest of Sarawakians is a big step forward in building a stronger IP movement which shall be at the forefront of their struggle for lands, rights, and territories. Through collective struggle of Sarawakians, greater victories are possible! ###

Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator, info@ipmsdl.org 

On the Attacks on Women Human Rights Defenders in Cordillera

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) denounce the political assault against women activists of Cordillera in the Philippines.

Sarah Abellon-Alikes, Sherry Mae Soledad, Joanne Villanueva, Rachel Mariano, and Asia Isabella Gepte were alleged to be members of the New People’s Army along with 18 other individuals. They were filed with fabricated charges of frustrated murder and multiple counts of
attempted murder in relation with encounters of the revolutionary armed organization with the 7th Infantry Division units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Ilocos Sur last August.

Around the same time, Shirley Ann Angiwot as well as church workers supportive of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines were tagged as “enemies of the State,” which circulated in social media. Alikes, Soledad, Villanueva, Mariano, Gepte, and Alingot are leaders of the Cordillera people’s movement, whose organizations are actively involved in campaigns for the rights and welfare of the indigenous Cordillerans. Recently, they were in staunch support of a local anti-mining alliance in Kasibu town that has been continually harassed by the 7th ID for their resistance.

IPMSDL expresses its grave concern on the heightening repression against human rights defenders in the Philippines, especially leaders of Indigenous people’s groups. With militarization intensified, state forces have conveniently red-tagged activist-leaders and human rights
defenders to quell dissent of affected communities and indigenous peoples’ groups against government-backed development aggression projects, guised as counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts. This is how Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte exercised his tyrannical rule: empowering fascist forces instead of uplifting the marginalized.

The Movement stands with the women activists of Cordillera and the communities they defend.

 

END STATE FASCISM!

HANDS-OFF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS!

STOP THE PERSECUTION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES!

On Nasako Besingi’s Arrest

 

The International Indigenous People’s Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) condemns the Cameroon government for the arbitrary arrest and detention of environmental activist and human rights defender Nasako Besingi of Cameroon, Central Africa.

On 25 September 2017, authorities arrested Besingi and raided his office in Mundemba, Ndian Division due to undisclosed charges. He was kept out of contact until the Buea Military Tribunal’s questioning on 28 September 2017. The court accused Besingi of insurrection and secession, and ruled his imprisonment at the Buea Central Prison while the preliminary investigation is still ongoing.

Besingi, the executive director of Struggle to Economize Future Environment (SEFE), is known for leading the fight against the land grabbing of Herakles Farms, an American agribusiness company. The company is developing a 20,000-hectare palm oil project that is situated in the Congo basin, the world’s second-largest rainforested area and where Mundemba lies.

Nasako Besingi is just one of many environmental and human rights activists unlawfully arrested in different parts of the world.

In Agusan del Sur, Philippines, rural missionaries staff Julito Otacan and five other Banwaon human rights defenders were arrested in the morning of 27 October 2017. Otacan is a field worker of the project, Protecting and Promoting Indigenous Human Rights in the Philippines, organizing and facilitating the training of community members as human rights defenders, while the other five are members of Tagdumahan – a Banwaon Peoples’ Organization that has long been targeted by the military because of their vocal assertion of their rights to the Banwaon’s ancestral domain targeted by logging and mining companies.

In Sabah, Malaysia, Atama Katama and SM Muthu are being demanded to pay 340,000 USD aside from facing possible detention for defamation against Dr. Herman James Luping, a former Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah as a consequence of speaking out on Luping’s controversial appointment to the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

IPMSDL calls for the immediate release of Besingi and all other political prisoners all over the world. The Movement urges the Cameroon government to drop the unfounded charges against Nasako, and to recognize the rights and freedoms of its people more so of the marginalized. Let the English-speaking regions exercise their constitutionally granted independence and autonomy, in respect of their cultural origins and their right to self-determination, instead of wielding political repression that only worsens the social unrest.

FREE NASAKO BESINGI! FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
STOP THE DISCRIMINATION AND POLITICAL REPRESSION AGAINST THE ENGLISH CAMEROONIANS!
UPHOLD THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND COLLECTIVE ASSEMBLY!
HANDS OFF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS!

On the Violent Dispersal of the August 15, 2017 rallies in Indonesia

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) denounces the violent dispersal of Papuans who rallied for their self-determination and liberation in Indonesia on the 55th year commemoration of the 1968 New York Agreement.

Indonesian police arrested and injured hundreds of rallyists on 15 August 2017 in several of the country’s cities where the protests took place. The demonstrations, which were also held in United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Australia, called for a legitimate UN-administered referendum that would decide West Papua’s independence from Indonesia.

Nonetheless, IPMSDL lauds the militant display of the Papuan peoples to assert for West Papua’s independence. The Movement also congratulates the participation and leadership of the Papuan youth and students in the Indonesia protests. Oppressive states would easily wield repression against peoples’ resistance, denying them their basic rights including freedom of expression and assembly – much like in Indonesia, in order for the government to maintain its hold over West Papua. In today’s trying times, such daring actions give hope to the marginalized and other Indigenous Peoples worldwide to advance their respective struggles brought about by imperialist greed and domination.

We believe the interest and welfare of the Papuan peoples will never be of precedence if West Papua remains its colonized status. Thus, the Movement commits its fervent support West Papua’s struggle and just assertion for self-determination and liberation versus Indonesia’s national oppression and colonization.

MERDEKA FOR WEST PAPUA!
STRUGGLE FOR THE PAPUAN PEOPLES’ SELF-DETERMINATION AND LIBERATION!
LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!

On the 55th Anniversary of the New York Agreement: MERDEKA FOR WEST PAPUA!

On the 55th year of the “Broken Promise,” the Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) and the Merdeka West Papua Support Network reiterate the call to free West Papua. We demand to allow the peoples of West Papua to vote for their independence, which was guaranteed by the New York Agreement of 15 August 1962.

The Papuans’ “act of free choice” never took place. We refuse to recognize the US imperialist-backed bogus referendum of 1969. The landmark agreement only officiated the turnover of West Papua’s colonization from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Indonesia.

This historical betrayal has led to the renewed national oppression and subjugation of West Papua. Its peoples only experienced extreme repression and genocide under the Indonesian colonial rule, whilst the riches of their ancestral lands are plundered. The government of Indonesia never fulfilled its “administrative responsibility” mandated by the agreement to advance the social, cultural, and economic development of West Papua.

The Papuans suffered from this grave injustice for more than half a century, and we say enough. It is time: Merdeka for West Papua!

We call the United Nations (UN) to fulfill its obligation to end colonialism and internationally facilitate a genuine referendum on independence among the peoples of West Papua. We also demand the UN to look into and act upon the widespread human rights violations in and territorial degradation of West Papua. The Indonesia government should be held accountable for its transgressions against the Papuan peoples.

Let us show our fervent support and solidarity to the global demonstration today, 15 August 2017, at London and in other parts of the world in commemoration of the “Day of Broken Promise.” Together, let us stand for West Papua’s self-determination and liberation.

MERDEKA FOR WEST PAPUA!
STRUGGLE FOR THE PAPUAN PEOPLES’ SELF-DETERMINATION AND LIBERATION!
US IMPERIALIST AND INDONESIA, OUT OF WEST PAPUA!
END THE COLONIZATION, OCCUPATION, SEVERE REPRESSION, AND GENOCIDE IN WEST PAPUA!
LONG LIVE THE PEOPLES OF WEST PAPUA!

#LetWestPapuaVote #BackTheSwim #FreeWestPapua

Let us also express our solidarity through this global petition addressed to the UN. These names will be delivered at the end of this month in Geneva after being swum 69 km across Lake Geneva by the Swim for West Papua team.

On the 2017 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

Advance the Indigenous Peoples’ movement to greater heights!
Strengthen our solidarity for self-determination and liberation!

As we commemorate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, the Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) challenges all Indigenous Peoples of the world to raise the ante of our campaigns and struggles for self-determination and liberation.

Discrimination, exclusion, poverty, and human rights violations plague our communities as governments and corporations cope with the global crisis through the seizure of our ancestral lands to plunder its riches.

Warring imperialist states have intensified foreign intervention especially of developing nations in order to preserve power amid worldwide economic depression. They make use of military offensives and deceptive political-economic arrangements sugarcoated as aid and development partnerships to impose their might over target territories. The United States, in particular, is using its “war on terror” to profit and get at par with rising superpowers China and Russia, whose international influence is gaining momentum.

This aggression has led to the heightening repression and militarism in marginalized communities including IP. We have witnessed the demolition of our homes, violations of rights, and erosion of identities as governments prioritize support of imperialist interests. Our children encounter threats and harassments more than the uplift of our well-being. Perpetrators point their guns at us; we live in tension and fear.

But that should not be the case. To claim this day as ours is to assert our distinct growth and freedom – in our terms, to our prosperity.

It is thus timely, more than ever, to expand our movement for self-determination and liberation in order to defeat all attempts to our marginalization and oppression. The difficult times attest the greater necessity of building the unity between and among Indigenous Peoples. We should arouse, organize, and mobilize our ranks as we consolidate our solidarity with non-IP allies to broaden our efforts and step up our battles for our lands and lives.

Let us take inspiration of the bravery and determination of fellow IP who scored feats in their respective historic disputes this year. In Africa, the Ogiek people in Kenya regained their legal rights over their ancestral Mau Forest after the continental Court on Human and People’s Rights ruled to their favor – a decade’s worth of arduous struggle (1). The same goes for the Júba Wajiín people of Mexico, with the federal court granting them judicial protection from government-conceded mining projects at the mountain region of Guerrero state (2).

We should also embody the same resolve of other IP groups who relentlessly carry on despite the odds. The people of West Papua are advancing their struggle for self-determination and liberation with a successfully concluded study conference in March. Meanwhile, Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines are embarking on another Lakbayan to the country’s capital to call the end of their communities’ militarization brought by Martial Law – notwithstanding the president’s threat to bomb their schools.

IPMSDL believes that through our collective struggle, greater victories are ours!

_______________________

(1) http://www.aljazeera.com/…/kenya-ogiek-win-land-case-govern…

(2) http://earthfirstjournal.org/…/juba-wajiin-community-prote…/

Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator, info@ipmsdl.org

We Stand With Standing Rock! Stop Attacking Water Protectors!

A Joint Statement by
International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL)
Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)
International Organization for Self Determination and Equality (IOSDE)
23 November 2016

On the night of November 20, 2016, over 400 Water Protectors gathered on a bridge near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, United States and were violently dispersed by police forces in the name of the corporate-owned Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The security forces were in riot gear and used water cannons, concussion grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas and sound cannons against the Water Protectors, who were weaponless and praying, singing and seeking to create access to and through the bridge in order to ensure connection to a nearby town for supplies, support and health care.

In this horrific incident, police forces indiscriminately aimed water cannons at everyone on the site, and targeted people’s heads and legs with their bullets. Tear gas was also used against the Water Protectors. Around 300 were injured and 26 had to be hospitalized, including one arm amputation case, one for cardiac arrest, and another for seizures. Because of the near-freezing temperature in the area, the water from the cannons used by the police caused early signs of hypothermia. Police also illegally detained 16 protesters one day after the incident.

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, has continued construction of the USD 3.7 billion project despite a request from the US government to temporarily cease construction. The US Army Corps of Engineers, with capacity to implement this request into order, has in fact done nothing to stop ETP from continuing construction. The 1,170-mile pipeline will threaten the water supplies and waterways, and continue to desecrate Native American burial grounds and sacred sites. ETP has already landgrabbed from private US landowners as well as Native Americans in the course of construction. At least 500 activists and supporters have been slapped with trumped-up charges for resisting the project.

The International Indigenous Peoples’ Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), and the International Organization for Self Determination and Equality (IOSDE) condemn in the strongest possible terms this violent dispersal of Water Protectors by government security forces. Instead of protecting its own people against plunder, environmental degradation and human rights violations, the US government has chosen to side with big corporations such as ETP. It has done nothing to uphold its international obligations to protect human rights, and its continued support of the DPAL construction clearly shows its bias to protect corporate interests and outright disregard of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and other oppressed groups not only in its own country but in the whole world.

We from the IPMSDL, AIPP and IOSDE strongly reiterate our solidarity with the Sioux peoples in their fight against corporate encroachment, plunder and militarization of their ancestral lands. We continue to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux peoples and all Indigenous Peoples in the world in our common struggle for self determination, the defense of our lands, territories and resources, and the protection of our cultural heritage. Global attention and actions are urgently needed to resolve the historical injustices committed against Indigenous Peoples, which is the source of many of the conflicts around the world.

Reference:

Ms. Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator, IPMSDL, info@ipmsdl.org, ipmsdl@gmail.com
Ms. Joan Carling, Secretary General, AIPP, aippmail@aippnet.org
Ms. India Reed Bowers, Director, IOSDE, info@iosde.org

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Attacks against Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh by government forces must stop!

Bangladeshi police stand and do nothing while private goons torch the homes of indigenous Santal and Bengali faarmers. (photo from Dhaka Tribune)
Bangladeshi police stand and do nothing while private goons torch the homes of indigenous Santal and Bengali faarmers. (photo from Dhaka Tribune)

The International Indigenous Peoples’ Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) condemns in the strongest possible terms the ongoing attacks against the indigenous Santal people and Bengali farmers in Bangladesh by government security forces and private gunmen. To date, these continuing attacks have resulted in 3 deaths and 30 injured. 1,200 families have been forcibly displaced as a result of these actions.

On the morning of November 6, 2016, Bangladeshi police and local gunmen hired by the Rangpur Sugar Mills Authority attacked thousands of indigenous Santal and Bengali peoples in the Shahebgan Bagda farm of Rangpur Sugar Mills in Gaibanda district in Bangladesh. This bloody attack was an effort by the Bangladeshi government and greedy corporations to forcibly evict the Santals from their ancestral lands. 2 died and 30 were injured while another 3 were illegally arrested.

Later that evening government forces and private goons set fire to the houses of the Santals and Bengalis and shot to death another Santal, forcing 1,200 families to flee from their ancestral lands. Unconfirmed reports say another four (4) people were killed by the police and their bodies are being held in the Bagda farm. Following these incidents the Bangladeshi police then slapped more than 400 Santals and Bengalis with trumped-up charges.

Since 2014 the indigenous Santals and Bengali farmers have been demanding the return of over 700 hectares of their ancestral lands from the government and the Rangpur Sugar Mills Authority. The Santals and Bengalis accused the government and the company of violating the previous agreement they had made, wherein the Indigenous Peoples will allow only sugarcane to be planted on their ancestral lands. On July 2016 the indigenous Santals and Bengali farmers occupied over 40 hectares of land and built makeshift homes and a school. This makeshift community was also attacked by government security forces that same month by government forces in an effort to evict the Santals and the Bengali.

These continuing attacks and the refusal of the government and the Rangpur Sugar Mills to honor past agreements with the Santal peoples is a gross violation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples to determine the development of their ancestral lands. IPMSDL strongly demands that the government cease and desist further attacks on the Santal people and Bengali farmers and honor previous agreements made with Indigenous Peoples, and their ancestral lands be immediately returned. Furthermore, we demand that all trumped up charges against the Santal people and Bengali farmers be dropped immediately, and that the government immediately arrest State security forces and hired gunmen responsible for the bloody attacks.

The IPMSDL stands united with the Santal people of Bangladesh in the fight to reclaim and defend their ancestral territories, and we are one with the Santal people in condemning these vicious attacks by the Bangladeshi government on the right of the Santals to self determination.

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