Top Naxal leaders now have faces

28 06 2008

From: Hindustan Times

They are two of India’s most wanted and between them they command up to 20,000 trained Maoist guerrillas with a presence in nearly 200 districts of the country.

For years Ganapathi, the general secretary of the feared Communist Party of India (Maoist) and his deputy Kishenda, a politburo member, were faceless. Today, Hindustan Times brings them to the public for the first time.

The Maoists, described by PM Manmohan Singh as the country’s single-biggest security challenge, are accused of hundreds of killings, kidnapping and looting in the vast swathes they control. Home Ministry says they were responsible for the killing of 418 civilians and 214 security personnel in 2007. In 2006, the numbers were 501 and 133 respectively.

Ganapathi and Kishenda have been living secret lives for decades, though not always in the huge expanse of jungles under their complete control. Police in different states have had inputs about having spotted them in Cochin, Rourkela, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Raipur.

The security agencies acquired the snaps six months ago either through a mole in the Naxal hierarchy or from a seized computer disk from a Naxal hideout in Bastar forests. The nearly 40,000 sq km expanse of forests on Chhatisgarh’s border with Orissa and Andhra Pradesh is home for most number of Maoists – an estimated 10,000.

A highly placed source in the security establishment, who shared the photographs with HT, said police in Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh verified their authenticity through secondary sources also.

The AP police had a two-decade-old snap of Ganapathi and the latest one matched with it. A Raipur tour operator, who has been a front for Maoists and arrested recently, confessed to have transported both leaders on different occasions to the borders of Bastar jungles.

The snaps were extracted apparently from a video of a party Congress held in the forests of Bihar’s Jamui district in February 2007. Over 100 delegates from 16 states had attended it.

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Top Naxal leaders now have faces

28 06 2008

From: Hindustan Times

They are two of India’s most wanted and between them they command up to 20,000 trained Maoist guerrillas with a presence in nearly 200 districts of the country.

For years Ganapathi, the general secretary of the feared Communist Party of India (Maoist) and his deputy Kishenda, a politburo member, were faceless. Today, Hindustan Times brings them to the public for the first time.

The Maoists, described by PM Manmohan Singh as the country’s single-biggest security challenge, are accused of hundreds of killings, kidnapping and looting in the vast swathes they control. Home Ministry says they were responsible for the killing of 418 civilians and 214 security personnel in 2007. In 2006, the numbers were 501 and 133 respectively.

Ganapathi and Kishenda have been living secret lives for decades, though not always in the huge expanse of jungles under their complete control. Police in different states have had inputs about having spotted them in Cochin, Rourkela, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Raipur.

The security agencies acquired the snaps six months ago either through a mole in the Naxal hierarchy or from a seized computer disk from a Naxal hideout in Bastar forests. The nearly 40,000 sq km expanse of forests on Chhatisgarh’s border with Orissa and Andhra Pradesh is home for most number of Maoists – an estimated 10,000.

A highly placed source in the security establishment, who shared the photographs with HT, said police in Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh verified their authenticity through secondary sources also.

The AP police had a two-decade-old snap of Ganapathi and the latest one matched with it. A Raipur tour operator, who has been a front for Maoists and arrested recently, confessed to have transported both leaders on different occasions to the borders of Bastar jungles.

The snaps were extracted apparently from a video of a party Congress held in the forests of Bihar’s Jamui district in February 2007. Over 100 delegates from 16 states had attended it.





Leftist-Islamist alliance in South Asia

30 05 2008

Amitabh Tripathi

Victory of Maoists in Nepal has two reactions in India. One which portray this victory as an opportunity for Indian government to pursue Nexalites in India to join mainstream and follow the path of their Nepali counterpart.

According to second reaction victory of Maoists in Nepal is going to deteriorate the security interests of Indian and Indian government should work hard to crush Maoist insurgency in Nepal as well preventing Maoists to make king of Nepal irrelevant in political context.

The most dangerous sign which people in Indian media have shown is that they are pleading for Maoists and it has some serious implications as well reasons. Indian media in general and print in particular has dominance of people who are indoctrinated with Leftist ideology and most of them were activists of Left in their college period. They belong to that period when Marxism was fashion for intellectuals and college campuses were full of these people. In India since 1989 social and political change took place. After Economic reform was initiated and some drastic changes came in existence at economic level it has some impact on society as well. In the mean time surgence of Hindu forces was witnessed and leftist ideology sidelined.

After demolition of Babri structure in Ayodhya in 1992 leftists collaborated with several anti Hindu forces in the name of secularism and in this composition they don’t have more say but were surviving in any way.

After 2000 situation has changed to some extent and social division of have’s and have’s not has come in debate again and it has given a chance to leftist to curse American policies as well some agencies as responsible for all this. In Indian context this development is very important because social disparity has created a vacuum in society and provided an opportunity for any organization to woo have-not’s to their side and Naxalites in India exploited this situation in very shrewd manner. They are active in remote part of India which is very poor, illiterate and geographically scattered and made of hills and forests. Because of its geographical conditions these areas are very much terrorism prone.

Two years back I journeyed one of Naxal effected area named Chhatisgarh and met with some Naxalites. They have clear edge on security forces because of geographical structure but most important thing is that Naxalites working on parallel political and social system. They have their own school in which they not only teach children of tribal but also give financial assistance to their parents. I have a chance to visit their schools also they have their text books and these text books teach that Hindus in India are in alliance with imperialistic America and we have to fight both communal and imperialistic forces because both are two faces of same coin. They talk about a new world order where there will be no disparity and there is equality. They also publish a magazine called Mukti Maarg [way of salvation]. In this magazine they have mobilized those writers and acamecians who have left inclination. Islamists also talk of new world order based on Qur’an and shriyat and both ideologies support repression and violence to achieve their goal.

This theme has also been adopted by Islamists in India against Hindu forces as well as America. This is a common point where Islamists and leftists in India come close to each other. After victory of Maoists in Nepal left academia and establishment in Indian see a chance of resurgence of communism in global perspective and this is the reason why they are pursuing Indian people and government to hail the victory of Maoists and take it as a golden opportunity to take Naxalites back in mainstream.

I want to draw your attention on one more important point about which nobody has discussed but it has serious implications on both India and America. In India leftists have very limited electoral appeal and they are confined to only three states West Bengal, Keral and Tripura and in other states their presence is negligible. In new scenario they are thinking about their resurgence with help of Naxalites. Naxalites have big presence in more than 100 districts of India with states, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, TamilNadu, Jharkhnd, Chhatisgarh, Andhra Pradesh. In these states they have more influence in some pockets. When two years back I visited Chhatisgarh and met with some Naxalites and their sympathizers I was told to have a close look on the developments of Nepal and told me about their plan that when they would be able to brought down system of Nepal and construct it with their plan they will sharpen their movement in India. These sympathizers of Naxalites are almost activists of Communists parties in India and with support of Naxalites and intimidation these sympathizers have a plan to broaden the electoral power of Communists in India.

As earlier I said growth of Naxalites in India have some effect on America also. After 911 we have witnessed several left ideologues overtly supporting Islamists but in India new nexus is building and leftists and Islamists have common enemy in India in the name of Hindu and America. If this nexus will get strength in India and south Asia finally it would damage America and West as well.

Four years back In India there were several people in Media with liberal-left inclination who were saying that Al Qaeda has launched a war against America and India has not to worry because Osama Bin Laden has said nothing against India. It was mischievous misrepresentation of facts. These are the people who want to see the victory of communist ideology at any cost and even they don’t hesitate to make an alliance with Islamists for this cause. Victory of Maoists in Nepal has emboldened leftists in India and they are dreaming of the resurgence of communism.

To counter this growing trend we have to take some initiatives. A parallel nationalist socialist movement should be promoted in India to fill the vacuum of dissatisfied people which ultimately culminates in strong anti imperialistic movement. Once nationalist socialist movement will take place Naxalites have no chance to woo dissatisfied people to their side. This is also true with Chinese hegemony in Asia. Coalition government in India of Congress and Left have some common agenda and congress is eyeing for next 10 years to stay in power. President of Congress Party Mrs Sonia Gandhi grooming her son Rahul Gandhi to hold the post of premiership for next 10 years. To make this happen Congress has to rely heavily on Left parties and this is why congress has adopted the policy of submission to leftists and Islamist. In this situation Indian government in near future is going to embolden the Islamist and leftist forces.

Taking into account the global scenario Indian and American interest has become very much common at least at strategic level. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and China could come close with a block in near future and it would have security implications for India. Nexus of Red green alliance as Dr Richard Benkin has predicted could become reality in South Asia. To prevent this India and America should come together and America should consider Hindu nationalists as their ally.





Challenges in extremist-hit areas

30 05 2008

22 May, 2008, 0000 hrs IST, TNN

Growth feeds democracy — this is the essence of the strategy of inclusive growth, in contrast to the conventional wisdom on the Left that growth and prosperity are achieved by preying upon the common people. A recent expert group report on Naxalite violence submitted to the Planning Commission echoes the philosophy of inclusive growth. This is welcome.

But the report presents development essentially as an administrative task, to be carried out by the government through wise policy, sound planning, enlightened legislation and honest implementation. What this leaves out is the political essence of the process of development.

The Planning Commission appointed a 17-member committee, including three former police chiefs and senior administrators, along with social scientists and human rights activists, to submit a report on development challenges in extremist-affected areas.

The committee’s report is available on the Planning Commission’s website. The report calls for departing from a security-centric view of tackling naxalite violence. This is a refreshing break from the mainstream approach to the problem. However, the report can be faulted for not offering a radical enough vision of what is possible when it comes to emancipation of the oppressed.
The fault, in turn, stems from inadequate appreciation of the changes that globalisation has heralded and its immense potential to change lives for the better, particularly for those at the bottom of the economic hierarchy. One crucial change is that the world is awash with savings. Investible resources are available in plenty. What is scarce is availability of profitable avenues for their deployment — the sub-prime crisis shows what happens when unregulated greed mediates the mismatch between bounteous supplies of capital and a paucity of sensible investment opportunities.

And one consequence of this abundance of investible resources is that primitive accumulation of capital, through dispossession and loot, is no longer necessary for businesses to commence and flourish. Try telling the farmers of Singur or the those being evicted from their land for the Posco project this nice story about the historical obsolescence of primitive accumulation of capital, some might sneer. True, dispossession and loot do often take place, but these are far from necessary today.

Another facet of globalised growth that needs to be fully internalised in development thought is its enormous potential for wealth creation, provided people are integrated into the global production process.

Following from this is the need to carry out enormous, sustained research into strategies of creating proactive roles for the rural poor in the process of urbanisation and industrialisation.

The simple point is that it is not enough to give those displaced by new projects from their traditional land and occupations a package of relief and rehabilitation based on the current market value of the land they lose or occupations they give up.

That land use will change extensively across India has to be accepted and welcomed, if India is to build the new roads, railways towns, factories, mines, power plants, ports and airports that would create new prosperity. Millions of people will be uprooted from their traditional habitats, physical as well as economic. It is not enough to offer them ‘compensation’ linked to the current market value of what they lose. Those categorised today as ‘project-affected’ must be transformed into stakeholders in the project. This calls for concerted efforts in skills creation, creating new companies or cooperatives of the ‘project-affected’ to carry out essential services for the new project such as transportation services, construction, maintenance, etc.

But all this cannot happen, merely on account of enlightened policy. The first precondition for any pro-poor policy to work is political mobilisation of the poor, so that they have agency, a sense of entitlement and the will to enforce their rights. This cannot come from government schemes or better planning or honest administrators. Voluntary organisations can help. But there is no substitute for the intervention of a political party with the right vision, when it comes to political mobilisation.

Even today, we read reports of six-year-old girls being thrown into the fire for the crime of overstepping their Dalit boundaries and daring to walk on a road frequented by upper caste Thakurs. Scheduled caste panchayat presidents dare not assume office in some parts of the country. Tribal people are cheated, their lands are sold, they themselves are sold by their social superiors. Such violence and oppression feed the naxalite movement in this country.

Policing can tackle the core activists who preach and practise violence as the only solution. But unless redemptive politics removes the grounds for rural violence, mere policing will only breed more violence.





PRESS RELEASE: Oslo Peace Conference, South Asia

15 04 2008

CONFERENCE ON SOUTH ASIAN CONFLICTS UNDERLINES SPIRITUALITY AND PEACE AS THE WAYS FORWARD

Look at Guruji’s Interview to the Norwegin TV network


Oslo, Norway. April 12, 2008: Bringing together top leaders, senior diplomats and experts from diverse backgrounds, a historic Conference on Peace and Reconciliation in South Asia concluded in the “peace capital” of the world today, calling for peaceful resolution of the unsettled issues and highlighting “spirituality” as a way forward.

The two-day Conference, which focused on the internal armed conflicts in South Asian nations of India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Nepal, was organized by ‘The Art of Living Foundation’ of spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and discussed possible solutions and ways and means to achieve them. Another aim of the initiative was to highlight the need to promote dialogue and evolve a consensus among the stakeholders to deal with the problems, which have together taken millions of lives in the last few decades.
Norway’s Special Envoy for the Peace Process in Sri Lanka Jon Hanssen-Bauer, Members of European Parliament Erika Mann and Nirj Deva and Aud Kvalbein, Deputy Mayor of Oslo were some of the prominent European speakers in the conference.

From Asia, Ramvichar Nitam, Home Minister of the Naxal insurgency-affected state of of Chhattisgarh and MDMK chief Vaiko represented India, while Sri Lankan perspective was presented by Arumugham Thondaman, Minister for Youth Empowerment and Socio-Economic Development ,Jayalath Jayawardhne, MP,Dr Rajiv Wijesinghe( Gen Secy. of the Peace Secretariat) and prominent Buddhist Monks Dr. Brahmanawatte Seevali Nayaka Thero, Deputy Secretary General, Sri Lanka Amarapura Mahanikaya and Dr Maduluvave Sobitha Nayaka Thero, Chief Incumbent of Nagavihara Kotte,. Besides, renowned experts, academics and members of The Art of Living Foundation from various nations also participated in the unique initiative.

“It is a humongous task to find harmony in diversity. We must continue to pursue the path of peace. Conflicts are bound to come and we have to make them a stepping stone to achieve the ultimate goal of global peace,” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the main motivation behind the initiative, said.

”Whether it is inter-religious conflict, or intra-religious conflict, or it is a conflict between communist or capitalist ideology, it all starts in the minds of people, in the hearts of people. When such conflict begins, they shut themselves for reasoning, prejudice overtakes, and communication goes haywire. It’s here we need to build the trust among the communities. Spiritual leaders, religious leaders, can play a bigger role in this” Sri Sri added.

“Through this conference, we appeal to Sri Lankan government, Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam (LTTE), Buddhist monks in China, Chinese government, Myanmar regime…everyone for peace and restraint, and to have a preference for coming to the table for resolution of issues,” the globally known Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said in his concluding remarks.

During the course of the conference, a host of subjects such as ‘the role of civil society and the governments in conflict resolution’,’role of media in the conflict resolution’ and ‘Peace building in South Asia’ were discussed in detail. Separately, workshops on the Naxal insurgency problem in India, ethic Tamil strife in Sri Lanka and Burma were also conducted.

Deliberating upon the Tamil problem in Sri Lanka, top Norwegian peace negotiator Jon Hanssen-Bauer said: “The common understanding between the government and the LTTE has been that talks are aimed at finding a political solution that are acceptable to all communities in Sri Lanka. For Norway, any solution endorsed by the Sri Lankan people is of course acceptable to us.”
Participants also expressed concern at the existing situation in Sri Lanka . Mr Thondaman, minister from Sri Lanka said,”I am strongly of the opinion that there is no military solution. His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been preaching the attainment of inner peace for years, through yoga, meditation and stress relief. An individual at peace, within himself, he obviously influences the inner peace of other individuals around him.”

Buddhist Master Seevali Nayaka Thero said that today there is so much conflict happening and this is the time to think for both the Government and LTTE about how many lives are being lost because of this war. “In any place, in any country, only by war you cannot solve the problems. Only peace talks, and reconciliation, can solve the problem,” he added.

MDMK leader Vaiko speaking about Sri Lanka said,”a whole ancient race is about to be wiped out. I would appeal to the European Union to put pressure on the Sinhalese government to end its military offensive on the LTTE, ” ”Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has done a commendable job by convening this conference of this scale” he added.

Meanwhile, the conference also zeroed down on the problem of ‘Naxalism’, which has been identified as “the single largest threat to the internal security of the country” by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the past. The ultra-Left Naxal movement, which started in late 60s, today affects one-third of the total districts of India and has been responsible for killings of thousands of people in states battling the menace.

Explaining the government’s perspective, Home Minister of Chhattisgarh Ramvichar Nitam said that the problem also had a serious socio-economic aspect to it. He outlined various steps taken by the state government to bring the Naxal youth into the mainstream and counter the insurgency militarily.

On its part, the Art of Living Foundation has also taken a lot of initiative in educating youth in the affected districts about the importance of spirituality. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has also persuaded the Naxalites for dialogue, and called upon them to give up violent means. Nirj Deva, Member of European Parliament, who conducted the workshop on Naxalism, said that he would take up the issue with fellow Parliamentarians and work towards increasing awareness and action in this regard.

Among other prominent participants were Khin Maung Win, Deputy Executive Director, Democratic Voice of Burma, Francois Gautier, Editor-in-chief, La Revue de I’lnde, Brahma Chellaney, Centre for Policy Research, India, Wasim Zaman, Director, CST for South and West Asia, United Nations Populations Fund and Sashi Raj Pandey from Nepal.




Naxal Exhibition: Preview

8 04 2008
FACT India
Naxalism: A Threat to Unified India

Click here for a miniature view of the exhib
Opens :::
April 10th and 11th Oslo, during the Conference on Peace and Reconciliation http://www.sap2008.org/

Ingeniørenes Hus Møtesenter, Kronprinsens gate 17, 0251 Oslo – Norway, http://www.ingeniorenesh

The Exhibition is a reflection of the Left wing insurgency in India, a blend of photographs, statistics and an analysis that forms the presentation of FACTS. The exhibition travels through the lives of the victims in Naxal infested states and present their lives as well as the lives of those valiant fighters both civilian and from the government. It is a fight against, the act of killing just because ideologies differ. The ideology of Intolerance and disharmony aided by violence, is taking a toll on the very same people, the ideology claims to be fighting for. Here we have been working on a series of issues on Naxalism and the havoc it has created over the years on the Indian populace and threat it poses to the unity of India.

“Its (Maoism’s) purpose is to destroy an existing society and its institutions and to replace them with a completely new structure.” – Mao Tse-Tung

Well-educated Naxalites leaders have taken advantage of the dissatisfaction among the poor and uneducated population by offering them an alternative way to growth and development.

After fighting each other and splitting like an amoeba, today there are many Maoist parties and organizations that either predate the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) or emerged from factions when the CPI-ML split after the death of Charu Mazumdar. Communist Party of India (Maoist) is the consolidated destructive form of the Leftwing extremism that has been creating more problems to the poor than fighting them on their behalf.

Maoist rebels have been attacking innocent villagers without reason and destroying public facilities like Hospitals, Schools, rail, road transport, power transmission and communication facilities which are crucial for the local communities. Armed naxals have denied the basic amenities to the poor and under privileged in the name of liberating them.

The Left wing terror has lead to massacre of politicians in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Andhra Pradesh apart from killing innocent civilians. Human rights violations have become a part of their daily routine with women being raped, children taken away as child soldiers and couriers while pushing interior areas into a humanitarian crisis and away from development. While their resolutions claim and boast of a free and egalitarian society the Left wing terror group has itself been plagued with caste differences and inequality.

In the name of “supporting oppressed nationalities” the communist terrorists now have developed nexus with extremist organizations in Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and abroad. In the name of a “UF (United Front) of all secular forces” they have been trying to create divisions among Muslims, Christians and Sikhs. While many of the cadres have been deserting the party, frustrated and realizing what a hollow ideology of hate they have been blindly following, the terror perpetrators are hounding those who have left the so-called “movement”.

This Exhibition has been brought to you by FACT India through an extensive field study, and thanks to extensive media coverage of the problem and we would like to acknowledge the sources websites of Ministry of Home affairs and South Asia terrorism Portal.

FACT India is a Registered Trust. Contributions are welcome and donations are exempt under Section 80 G of the IT Act.

FACT India
41, Jor Bagh, New Delhi 110 003, India.

The world should stand beside Tibet

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/09/EDE11024F5.DTL

As a Tibetan, it is bittersweet to see Tibet on the front pages. The world is finally seeing Beijing’s repressive rule there, but the tragedy is that it has required such bloodshed. As Chinese forces now attempt to crush the protests, the crisis in Tibet has laid bare two important issues: the Tibetan people’s unresolved demands, and how these aspirations impact Tibet, the world and China itself.

For more than 50 years, Tibet has been a land of simmering resentment. Tibetans have various grievances, but the common thread is that Tibetans want what all nations want: to control their own lives, society and religion. Tibetans are not simply protesting specific policies; they are demanding their right to self-determination. It is no coincidence that in many protests, Tibetans are attacking symbols of state power, ripping down the Chinese flag and replacing it with the banned Tibetan one.

Unlike the demonstrations in the 1980s, the protests have spread far beyond the capital, Lhasa, to towns and villages across Tibet. Tibetan exiles are staging sympathy protests worldwide, including when Beijing’s Olympic torch comes through San Francisco today. These actions feed off one another, thanks to the Internet, digital cameras, cell phones and shortwave radio. This unity among Tibetans inside and outside Tibet represents a far stronger challenge to Chinese rule than before, and will give Tibetans renewed inspiration regardless of whether the protests in Tibet are temporarily suppressed.

For the international community, it is now impossible to accept Beijing’s narrative that Tibetans are happy as part of China. The economic growth that Beijing touts in Tibet is exposed as a synonym for Chinese colonization. The world now sees that, like East Timor and other former colonies, the Tibetan people’s demand for freedom may be temporarily repressed but is destined to boil over. The only question is whether the world will do anything to support these legitimate aspirations.

China’s self-absorbed myth that it “liberated” grateful Tibetans has also been shattered; its central narrative justifying Tibet’s place in its empire has vanished. Its policy of “Sinicizing” Tibet through immigration of Chinese settlers and vilifying His Holiness the Dalai Lama is just adding fuel to the fire. For the first time, Beijing has actually admitted that the Tibetan protests are widespread and conducted on a large scale.

Beijing has now resorted to a new propaganda tactic, casting Tibetans as violent criminals and Chinese as victims. This is largely because Beijing needed a domestic response to images seeping into China of Chinese forces attacking Tibetan protesters. State-controlled media are now broadcasting images of Tibetans attacking Chinese settlers; ignoring, of course, that the demonstrations in Lhasa were peaceful for days, and that most other Tibetan protests have been wholly nonviolent (the same cannot be said for Chinese forces, who used live ammunition against unarmed Tibetan protesters. The result of China’s new propaganda strategy has been to create an “us versus them” backlash among many Chinese vis-À-vis Tibetans. This is a reckless and potentially dangerous incitement of Chinese nationalism, but also has the effect of changing Chinese perceptions of Tibet. Tibetans are no longer portrayed as colorful if slightly backward “minorities.” Tibetans are now ungrateful colonial subjects in open rebellion. This is significant, because recognition of the difference between Tibetans and Chinese is the first step to recognition that Tibet is not China.

Looking forward, as with many colonized nations, there comes a tipping point when a sufficient number of people rise up and say “enough.” That point has been reached in Tibet. Ngawang Sangdrol, a Tibetan nun who became a political prisoner at age 12, once declared, “There is fire inside our bodies, but we dare not let the smoke out.” Now, the smoke has escaped, and for Tibetans in Tibet and across the Tibetan diaspora, there is a renewed push for freedom. And China? China will resist losing its colony, but then so did France with Algeria, Serbia with Kosovo, and Imperial Japan with Manchukuo.

The magnitude and vociferousness of the protests across Tibet demonstrate that Beijing cannot forever contain Tibetan demands for self-rule. Trying to do so only leads to instability. Through their courage and resilience in the face of a half-century of military occupation and religious and cultural oppression, Tibetans have made it abundantly clear that they want more than ever to determine their own future. The world should stand by their side.

Nima R. Taylor Binara is a member of the board of directors of Tibet Justice Center, a not-for-profit organization based in Berkeley that advocates the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination. www.tibetjustice.org.

This article appeared on page B – 9 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Olympic Protests Focus On Tibet’s Struggle

Learn History Behind Tibet, China’s Troubled Relationship

POSTED: 4:37 pm CDT April 7, 2008
As the eyes of the world begin to turn to the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing, the focus has been straying from the athletic competition.Controversy is swirling around the upcoming international event because of many facets of Chinese policies and politics. But one issue has risen to the forefront: Tibet.Protests and demonstrations have erupted in many countries across the world, speaking out against the cultural repression and violence that has revitalized Tibet’s struggle for independence from China.Tibet, also known by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), is the second-largest province in China. TAR incorporates about half of historical Tibet, consisting of Ü-Tsang and western Kham, while the Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures and Counties are part of Quinghai, Gansu, Yunnan and Sichuan. The borders roughly correspond with the actual zone of governmental control before 1959, when Tibet was self-governing.Tibet’s struggle for independence from China began centuries ago, when the Qing Dynasty put Amdo under Chinese rule in 1724. Four years later, eastern Kham was also incorporated into the neighboring Chinese provinces.However, Tibet as we know it today has been seeking independence from China for nearly a century. After the British invasion of Tibet ended in the early 1900s, Britain acknowledged China’s control over Tibet in the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907, by stating that it would “not to enter into negotiations with Tibet except through the intermediary of the Chinese Government.”

After World War I

After World War I and the decentralization of China’s government, Tibet enjoyed a brief period of self-governance wherein the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, ruled in peace until his death in 1933.Despite this apparent independence, neither the Republic of China nor the PRC ever renounced China’s sovereignty over Tibet and in 1950 the People’s Liberation Army invaded and crushed the ill-equipped Tibetan forces. After the Seventeen Point Agreement was signed in 1951, Tibet was officially incorporated into the PRC.Still, the Tibet outlined in the Seventeen Point Agreement was to be a highly autonomous region ruled by the Dalai Lama, and was confined to the modern borders known today. The rest of historical Tibet was subject to land redistribution, which resulted in the first of many rebellions from monks and Tibetan noblemen.

Rebellions, Protests And Unrest

Though the rebellion had outside support, including the help of the American CIA, it was crushed in 1959. Thousands of Tibetans were killed, and the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, fled to exile in India where he currently resides in Dharamsala.Today, Tibet is nominally governed by the Central Tibetan Administration, also known as the Government of Tibet in Exile, though due to recent unrest, China has tightened its central control.Peaceful protests began on March 10 when hundreds of monks from Drepung monastery called for an end to religious restrictions and the release of imprisoned monks. Protests spread rapidly throughout Tibetan populated areas, and concerns of human rights violations lit up across the globe as the Olympic torch makes its way to Beijing.The protests quickly escalated away from nonviolent displays of dissent and developed into riots, resulting in many arrests and deaths — exact numbers of which are unclear due to conflicting reports from China and the Government of Tibet in Exile.Beijing has blamed the Dalai Lama and his followers for inciting the ongoing violence as an attempt to sabotage the Olympics, an allegation the religious and political leader vehemently denies.The exiled spiritual leader has repeatedly condemned violence, and has pleaded with the international community to instigate an objective probe to discover what really may have happened when the Buddhist monks clashed with the Chinese forces.

An Olympic Boycott?

International powers certainly have shown an interest in the conflict. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has stated that he may boycott the opening ceremony if China continues to crackdown on Tibet, and Prince Charles has said that he would skip the Olympics altogether.Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and members of Congress also drafted a house resolution calling on the PRC to end its arrests of nonviolent Tibetan protests, and its ongoing cultural, religious and economic repression in Tibet. Resolution 1077 calls on the Chinese government to begin dialogue with the Dalai Lama and find a long-term solution that will respect the human rights of Tibetans.China has voiced dissatisfaction over foreign discussions of the situation in Tibet during European Union foreign ministers’ discussion in Slovenia.”The Tibet issue is completely China’s internal affairs. No foreign countries or international organizations have the right to interfere in it,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu, according to the official Xinhua news agency.The Dalai Lama has expressed that he does not seek the separation of Tibet from China, and instead hopes for “meaningful self-rule” while remaining a part of China. The holy man has insisted that he is willing to work with Chinese authorities to achieve peace and stability in the region.

http://www.fact-india.com





Naxal Exhibition: Preview

8 04 2008
FACT India
Naxalism: A Threat to Unified India

Click here for a miniature view of the exhib
Opens :::
April 10th and 11th Oslo, during the Conference on Peace and Reconciliation http://www.sap2008.org/

Ingeniørenes Hus Møtesenter, Kronprinsens gate 17, 0251 Oslo – Norway, http://www.ingeniorenesh

The Exhibition is a reflection of the Left wing insurgency in India, a blend of photographs, statistics and an analysis that forms the presentation of FACTS. The exhibition travels through the lives of the victims in Naxal infested states and present their lives as well as the lives of those valiant fighters both civilian and from the government. It is a fight against, the act of killing just because ideologies differ. The ideology of Intolerance and disharmony aided by violence, is taking a toll on the very same people, the ideology claims to be fighting for. Here we have been working on a series of issues on Naxalism and the havoc it has created over the years on the Indian populace and threat it poses to the unity of India.

“Its (Maoism’s) purpose is to destroy an existing society and its institutions and to replace them with a completely new structure.” – Mao Tse-Tung

Well-educated Naxalites leaders have taken advantage of the dissatisfaction among the poor and uneducated population by offering them an alternative way to growth and development.

After fighting each other and splitting like an amoeba, today there are many Maoist parties and organizations that either predate the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) or emerged from factions when the CPI-ML split after the death of Charu Mazumdar. Communist Party of India (Maoist) is the consolidated destructive form of the Leftwing extremism that has been creating more problems to the poor than fighting them on their behalf.

Maoist rebels have been attacking innocent villagers without reason and destroying public facilities like Hospitals, Schools, rail, road transport, power transmission and communication facilities which are crucial for the local communities. Armed naxals have denied the basic amenities to the poor and under privileged in the name of liberating them.

The Left wing terror has lead to massacre of politicians in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Andhra Pradesh apart from killing innocent civilians. Human rights violations have become a part of their daily routine with women being raped, children taken away as child soldiers and couriers while pushing interior areas into a humanitarian crisis and away from development. While their resolutions claim and boast of a free and egalitarian society the Left wing terror group has itself been plagued with caste differences and inequality.

In the name of “supporting oppressed nationalities” the communist terrorists now have developed nexus with extremist organizations in Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and abroad. In the name of a “UF (United Front) of all secular forces” they have been trying to create divisions among Muslims, Christians and Sikhs. While many of the cadres have been deserting the party, frustrated and realizing what a hollow ideology of hate they have been blindly following, the terror perpetrators are hounding those who have left the so-called “movement”.

This Exhibition has been brought to you by FACT India through an extensive field study, and thanks to extensive media coverage of the problem and we would like to acknowledge the sources websites of Ministry of Home affairs and South Asia terrorism Portal.

FACT India is a Registered Trust. Contributions are welcome and donations are exempt under Section 80 G of the IT Act.

FACT India
41, Jor Bagh, New Delhi 110 003, India.

The world should stand beside Tibet

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/09/EDE11024F5.DTL

As a Tibetan, it is bittersweet to see Tibet on the front pages. The world is finally seeing Beijing’s repressive rule there, but the tragedy is that it has required such bloodshed. As Chinese forces now attempt to crush the protests, the crisis in Tibet has laid bare two important issues: the Tibetan people’s unresolved demands, and how these aspirations impact Tibet, the world and China itself.

For more than 50 years, Tibet has been a land of simmering resentment. Tibetans have various grievances, but the common thread is that Tibetans want what all nations want: to control their own lives, society and religion. Tibetans are not simply protesting specific policies; they are demanding their right to self-determination. It is no coincidence that in many protests, Tibetans are attacking symbols of state power, ripping down the Chinese flag and replacing it with the banned Tibetan one.

Unlike the demonstrations in the 1980s, the protests have spread far beyond the capital, Lhasa, to towns and villages across Tibet. Tibetan exiles are staging sympathy protests worldwide, including when Beijing’s Olympic torch comes through San Francisco today. These actions feed off one another, thanks to the Internet, digital cameras, cell phones and shortwave radio. This unity among Tibetans inside and outside Tibet represents a far stronger challenge to Chinese rule than before, and will give Tibetans renewed inspiration regardless of whether the protests in Tibet are temporarily suppressed.

For the international community, it is now impossible to accept Beijing’s narrative that Tibetans are happy as part of China. The economic growth that Beijing touts in Tibet is exposed as a synonym for Chinese colonization. The world now sees that, like East Timor and other former colonies, the Tibetan people’s demand for freedom may be temporarily repressed but is destined to boil over. The only question is whether the world will do anything to support these legitimate aspirations.

China’s self-absorbed myth that it “liberated” grateful Tibetans has also been shattered; its central narrative justifying Tibet’s place in its empire has vanished. Its policy of “Sinicizing” Tibet through immigration of Chinese settlers and vilifying His Holiness the Dalai Lama is just adding fuel to the fire. For the first time, Beijing has actually admitted that the Tibetan protests are widespread and conducted on a large scale.

Beijing has now resorted to a new propaganda tactic, casting Tibetans as violent criminals and Chinese as victims. This is largely because Beijing needed a domestic response to images seeping into China of Chinese forces attacking Tibetan protesters. State-controlled media are now broadcasting images of Tibetans attacking Chinese settlers; ignoring, of course, that the demonstrations in Lhasa were peaceful for days, and that most other Tibetan protests have been wholly nonviolent (the same cannot be said for Chinese forces, who used live ammunition against unarmed Tibetan protesters. The result of China’s new propaganda strategy has been to create an “us versus them” backlash among many Chinese vis-À-vis Tibetans. This is a reckless and potentially dangerous incitement of Chinese nationalism, but also has the effect of changing Chinese perceptions of Tibet. Tibetans are no longer portrayed as colorful if slightly backward “minorities.” Tibetans are now ungrateful colonial subjects in open rebellion. This is significant, because recognition of the difference between Tibetans and Chinese is the first step to recognition that Tibet is not China.

Looking forward, as with many colonized nations, there comes a tipping point when a sufficient number of people rise up and say “enough.” That point has been reached in Tibet. Ngawang Sangdrol, a Tibetan nun who became a political prisoner at age 12, once declared, “There is fire inside our bodies, but we dare not let the smoke out.” Now, the smoke has escaped, and for Tibetans in Tibet and across the Tibetan diaspora, there is a renewed push for freedom. And China? China will resist losing its colony, but then so did France with Algeria, Serbia with Kosovo, and Imperial Japan with Manchukuo.

The magnitude and vociferousness of the protests across Tibet demonstrate that Beijing cannot forever contain Tibetan demands for self-rule. Trying to do so only leads to instability. Through their courage and resilience in the face of a half-century of military occupation and religious and cultural oppression, Tibetans have made it abundantly clear that they want more than ever to determine their own future. The world should stand by their side.

Nima R. Taylor Binara is a member of the board of directors of Tibet Justice Center, a not-for-profit organization based in Berkeley that advocates the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination. www.tibetjustice.org.

This article appeared on page B – 9 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Olympic Protests Focus On Tibet’s Struggle

Learn History Behind Tibet, China’s Troubled Relationship

POSTED: 4:37 pm CDT April 7, 2008
As the eyes of the world begin to turn to the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing, the focus has been straying from the athletic competition.Controversy is swirling around the upcoming international event because of many facets of Chinese policies and politics. But one issue has risen to the forefront: Tibet.Protests and demonstrations have erupted in many countries across the world, speaking out against the cultural repression and violence that has revitalized Tibet’s struggle for independence from China.Tibet, also known by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), is the second-largest province in China. TAR incorporates about half of historical Tibet, consisting of Ü-Tsang and western Kham, while the Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures and Counties are part of Quinghai, Gansu, Yunnan and Sichuan. The borders roughly correspond with the actual zone of governmental control before 1959, when Tibet was self-governing.Tibet’s struggle for independence from China began centuries ago, when the Qing Dynasty put Amdo under Chinese rule in 1724. Four years later, eastern Kham was also incorporated into the neighboring Chinese provinces.However, Tibet as we know it today has been seeking independence from China for nearly a century. After the British invasion of Tibet ended in the early 1900s, Britain acknowledged China’s control over Tibet in the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907, by stating that it would “not to enter into negotiations with Tibet except through the intermediary of the Chinese Government.”

After World War I

After World War I and the decentralization of China’s government, Tibet enjoyed a brief period of self-governance wherein the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, ruled in peace until his death in 1933.Despite this apparent independence, neither the Republic of China nor the PRC ever renounced China’s sovereignty over Tibet and in 1950 the People’s Liberation Army invaded and crushed the ill-equipped Tibetan forces. After the Seventeen Point Agreement was signed in 1951, Tibet was officially incorporated into the PRC.Still, the Tibet outlined in the Seventeen Point Agreement was to be a highly autonomous region ruled by the Dalai Lama, and was confined to the modern borders known today. The rest of historical Tibet was subject to land redistribution, which resulted in the first of many rebellions from monks and Tibetan noblemen.

Rebellions, Protests And Unrest

Though the rebellion had outside support, including the help of the American CIA, it was crushed in 1959. Thousands of Tibetans were killed, and the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, fled to exile in India where he currently resides in Dharamsala.Today, Tibet is nominally governed by the Central Tibetan Administration, also known as the Government of Tibet in Exile, though due to recent unrest, China has tightened its central control.Peaceful protests began on March 10 when hundreds of monks from Drepung monastery called for an end to religious restrictions and the release of imprisoned monks. Protests spread rapidly throughout Tibetan populated areas, and concerns of human rights violations lit up across the globe as the Olympic torch makes its way to Beijing.The protests quickly escalated away from nonviolent displays of dissent and developed into riots, resulting in many arrests and deaths — exact numbers of which are unclear due to conflicting reports from China and the Government of Tibet in Exile.Beijing has blamed the Dalai Lama and his followers for inciting the ongoing violence as an attempt to sabotage the Olympics, an allegation the religious and political leader vehemently denies.The exiled spiritual leader has repeatedly condemned violence, and has pleaded with the international community to instigate an objective probe to discover what really may have happened when the Buddhist monks clashed with the Chinese forces.

An Olympic Boycott?

International powers certainly have shown an interest in the conflict. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has stated that he may boycott the opening ceremony if China continues to crackdown on Tibet, and Prince Charles has said that he would skip the Olympics altogether.Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and members of Congress also drafted a house resolution calling on the PRC to end its arrests of nonviolent Tibetan protests, and its ongoing cultural, religious and economic repression in Tibet. Resolution 1077 calls on the Chinese government to begin dialogue with the Dalai Lama and find a long-term solution that will respect the human rights of Tibetans.China has voiced dissatisfaction over foreign discussions of the situation in Tibet during European Union foreign ministers’ discussion in Slovenia.”The Tibet issue is completely China’s internal affairs. No foreign countries or international organizations have the right to interfere in it,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu, according to the official Xinhua news agency.The Dalai Lama has expressed that he does not seek the separation of Tibet from China, and instead hopes for “meaningful self-rule” while remaining a part of China. The holy man has insisted that he is willing to work with Chinese authorities to achieve peace and stability in the region.

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