Thursday, April 4, 2013

underreported struggles 72

More essential underreported struggles from Ahni at Intercontinental Cry

underreported struggles 72

Representatives of nearly 200 Kreung families in Cambodia’s Ra­tanakkiri province filed a complaint with local rights group Adhoc, accusing a Vietnamese rubber company of clearing their ancestral land. The government however, says that the Kreung no longer have rights to land in question no longer their land, because it was sold to the company. The government went on to ask the villagers to start applying for private land titles; otherwise, they’ll have nowhere to go when the company arrives.

A small delegation of respected Rohingya leaders unexpectedly showed up at a conference at Mahidol University in Bangkok to halt the further degradation of the history of Arakan. None of the Rohingya leaders nor any member of the Rohingya community were invited to the so-called International Conference on the History of Arakan; a conference whose speakers followed the traditional make-believe story that there are no Rohingya in the history and that the term “Rohingya” was created in 1951. The delegation did their best to set the record straight.

The Shuar stepped up their efforts to defend their culture and way of life against the impending threat of the 25,000 acre Mirador mining Project. They initiated a legal action alongside Environmental and human rights using Articles 71-73 on Rights of Nature in the Ecuadorian Constitution. In their case, the plaintiffs have asked the courts to stop the Mirador Project using the precautionary principle. If the project is allowed to go ahead, it would have a severe impact on the Shuar’s culture, their sacred sites, and the very water and land they depend on.

Traditional owners in Arnhem Land, Australia, issued a petition to Darwin and Canberra calling on the Northern Territory and Federal governments not to allow their country to be fracked. More than 80 per cent of the Northern Territory is now under application for the unconventional oil and gas exploration, including most of Arnhem Land. As a public demonstration, Traditional owners also burnt a letter from Paltar Petroleum who was responding to their objections. As they burnt the document the men called out in unison: “Paltar this is what you wrote to us, and we say no!”

The Enxet community of Sawhoyamaxa announced their return to their ancestral lands which they were expelled from more than 20 years ago. Since the forced eviction was carried out, the community has been living along the side of a road, right next to the land they were removed from. Seven years ago, the community won a favourable ruling at the Interamerican Court of Human Rights; however, the Paraguyan government has thus far refused to act on it, leaving the community to roam around like cattle. No longer. The community resolved to occupy their lands in the hopes of compelling the government to do the right thing. As a part of the effort, Sawhoyamaxa called on call to all indigenous brothers and sisters to express solidarity with their struggle.

The Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (MCCN) was taken to court by Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting (Hudbay) after some first nation citizens gathered for a second time at the entrance to the company’s gold, zinc and copper mine. The peaceful effort was aimed at drawing attention to the fact that neither HudBay or the Manitoba government obtained consent before going ahead with development. The company is suing MCCN for millions of dollars in alleged ‘damages’.

Visit Intercontinental Cry to read about these issues and many others.

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