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IP women’s historical participation unreported

BANGKOK, Thailand – The bravery, affirmative actions of indigenous women in the peoples struggles are unheard off in the mainstream media. The coverage of real issues where they wage battle in development aggression and militarization are nil. They are only covered by journalists during festivals and other activities that promote stereotype presentations of their identity. These are some of the challenges faced by the indigenous women in dealing with mainstream media in for coverage of their issues. These points were brought out during the panel discussion on women and media in the Indigenous Voices in Asia (IVA) workshop held in ...

Nepalis IPs movement: Still a long way to go

Photo Courtesy: Dev Kumar Sunuwar

Looking back at the last 18 years in the history of Nepali Indigenous People (IP), also known as Adivasi Janajati, from the very first International Day of World Indigenous People on August 9 in 1995 to 2013, there are stories of both glory and despair. Known as ‘nationalities,’ the government for the first time recognized the concept of ‘Indigenous Nationalities’ in 1997 by promulgating an ordinance thereby creating a National Committee for the Development of Indigenous Nationalities led by Prof. Sant Bahadur Gurung. In 1999, the Committee identified 61 caste/ethnic groups as ‘nationalities.’ In 2002, the government finally approved and ...

West Papua: Indigenous leaders forced to sign away land to major food company

One of Indonesia’s largest consumer goods companies, PT Mayora, has been named by traditional Indigenous leaders from West Papua who say they were forced to sign away their lands under threat of being branded as “OPM/separatists” by the Indonesian police. Ambrosius Laku Kaize, Adat (Customary Chief) of the village of Kampung Yowid, Tubang District, Merauke, Papua, said in a statement from the Marind intellectual group known as Formasi Ssumawoma, that he was forced to sign a document placed in front of him by PT Mayora’s staff. “I was forced to sign, because the villagers of Kampung Yowid had been accused ...

Malaysia: Firmer commitment towards human rights conventions needed, says Suhakam chairman

KUALA LUMPUR: “More needs to be done as Malaysia is behind other countries in terms of being a party to human rights conventions,” says Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam. Hasmy does not want Malaysia to stay in the ‘comfort zone’ when it comes to acceding (becoming a party to) human rights conventions. He says that the ‘comfort zone’ is in fact an uncomfortable one.

Malaysia: Govt forms task force on Orang Asli report

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has set up a national task force to look into the implementation of recommendations made by Suhakam in their national inquiry report concerning Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples that was released today [ on August 5]. The task force will be led by Integrity Institute of Malaysia chairman Mohd Tap Salleh and made up of government and NGO representatives from East and West Malaysia. There is no time frame for the task force at present. Speaking at a press conference after the report handover ceremony, Minister in Prime Minister’s Department, Senator Paul Low said the government ...

Bangladesh: Bengali settlers set fire on Jumma houses in Matiranga of Khagrachari district

On 3 August 2013 around 3:00 pm, Bengali settlers set fire on Jumma houses at Bandarshing Para, Baga Para, Monudas Para and Sorbeswar Para under Taindong union of Matiranga upazila in Khagrachari district. Local sources said that around 50 houses were burnt to ashes. The Jumma villagers fled into the Indian border. Bengali settlers looted and ransacked valuables of more than 200 houses of Jumma villagers. It is also reported that Bengali settlers held three Jummas namely Foni Bhushan Chakma current UP member), Bakul Kanti Chakma (returnee refugee leader) and Bineswar Chakma (former UP member) from Baga Para village of ...

India: Niyamgiri as precedent

The developments in the Niyamgiri hills are nothing short of a revolutionary change in India’s experiment with democracy. Eight out of 12 villages of the Dongria Kondh tribe have opposed the plans of Vedanta and state-run Orissa Mining Corporation to mine the hills, sacred to them, for bauxite. In 2010, the Union environment ministry had denied environmental clearance to the project. Subsequently, the Supreme Court in a landmark order this April, directed India’s smallest unit of governance, the humble gram sabha, to decide the fate of the mighty Vedanta. In the democratic exercise presided over by a district judge, some ...

Philippines: Philex still needs to clean up, pay compensation – indigenous peoples

Indigenous peoples group demand the suspension of Philex’s mining operation, and a probe on environment secretary Ramon Paje for his questionable ‘handling’ of the largest mining disaster in Ph - See more at: http://bulatlat.com/main/2013/08/02/philex-still-needs-to-clean-up-pay-compensation-indigenous-peoples/#sthash.ncsb4iPA.dpuf

MANILA – Bearing mugshots of DENR Secretary Ramon Paje, Philex Mining Corp. chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, and President Noynoy Aquino III, the indigenous peoples and environment activists called the trio ‘criminals’ who should be arrested for crimes against the environment and the indigenous peoples. They picketed the gates of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Aug 1, a year after Philex’s Padcal mines began dumping million tons of minewastes downstream.

Malaysia: Malaysian NGOs form alliance to address palm oil concerns

Seven Malaysia-based NGO’s have banded together to form an alliance to provide a Malaysian civil society perspective on social and environmental issues related to palm oil production. The initiative aims in part to counter Malaysian industry claims that concerns over palm oil are purely driven by Western NGO’s. The alliance, called the Malaysian Palm Oil NGO Coalition (MPONGOC), currently includes the Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA), Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC), Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia (JOAS), Land Empowerment Animals People, (LEAP), Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Sabah branch, Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS) Trust and WWF Malaysia, according to a ...

FAC decision on Tipaimukh Dam a just decision : SIPHRO

The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) disapproval for the diversion of 24,329 hectares of forest land in Manipur and Sinlung Hills, Mizoram for Tipaimukh Multi-purpose Hydro Electric Project is a just decision; upholding and securing the interests and rights of the marginalized tribals that are dictated by a coterie from distant power corridors. The FAC decision will go a long way to save and preserve the land, forests and rivers on which thousands of invisible tribals are dependent for their livelihood.