Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 3-9, 2009: Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues

Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues for the Week of June 3 - June 9, 2009

Peru: Masacre In The Amazon: Abya Yala North: Solidarity Actions With The Indigenous Peoples Of Peru

....a military action against our relatives of the Peruvian Amazon who have been in resistance against presidential decrees of expropriation of the natural resources of their territories has resulted in a number of casualties and accelerated the crisis of the US-Peru trade agreements as instrument of collusion in the genocide of the Indigenous Peoples.

IEN Condemns Violence in the Peruvian Amazon

The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) condemns the violent attacks on peaceful indigenous blockades in the Peruvian Amazon that has left up to 100 civilians* and 22 police* dead and hundreds injured. IEN recognizes the communiqué of the Indigenous regional organization, the Coordinating Body of Andean Indigenous Organizations (CAOI) calling upon indigenous organizations, social movements and human rights organizations around the world to take concrete action: letters to the Peruvian government, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, Inter-American Commission Human Rights, International Labor Organization (ILO Convention 169) calling to immediately send missions to Peru, in order to stop the violence and respect indigenous rights.

CAOI and other reports from Peru are continuing to report the APRA government of Alan García Pérez acting out its repression in the Peruvian Amazon against the Indigenous peoples and its citizens. The human rights crisis illustrates the consequences of a systematic failure in the basic governance processes related to self-determination, land and forest tenure and failures of implementation of policies of consultation and provisions of free, prior and informed consent. Read more on the indigenous protests in Peru here....

Philippines: 100 Tribal Healers Gather For Summit

More than 100 healers from various tribes in the country gathered for the first Indigenous Barefoot Doctors’ National Summit on May 20-21 at the SMX Convention Center at SM Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City.

Garbed in tribal finery, the delegates paraded around the complex on the first day, drawing the attention of mall goers.

With the theme “Indigenous Peoples: Partners in Health and Wellness,” the summit was a venue for the community health workers to share experiences and best practices.

It was also a way for the participants to link up with institutions that could help them address their needs. They also wanted to promote awareness of indigenous peoples and their culture.

The name barefoot doctor refers to non-doctors who have received medical or paramedical training for service in rural communities.

But the so-called barefoot doctors were not in Metro Manila for a cultural feast, but for a serious discussion of health issues that concern their communities, most of which are very remote. Read more about the tribal healers gathering here....

India: Tipaimukh Dam - Development or Destruction

Far away from the idyllic flow of the Tuivai and Tuiruong (Tipaimukh) rivers, authorities cornered in power corridors gave a nod for environmental clearance of the controversial Tipaimukh Hydro-Electric Multipurpose Project.

While South Asia's biggest economy wanted to harness the hydroelectric power, little did the Tipaimukh villagers of the indigenous Hmar people, who would be affected by the foreign decisions, know about the impact of the decisions that has already put a go-ahead stamp for the mega structure to overtake their rivers, land, livelihood, culture and resources.

Their lifeline has been made to cut them off from the channels of representation, which should otherwise be made inevitable when they would be directly affected by the decision that was passed without their knowledge. The power of the decision makers who are not aware about their independent survival cultures would go a long way to usher a turbulent change that would negate the chance of their survival and continuity as people.

Tuiruong, the river that feeds their everyday life, interlinks them with their tribesmen in the upper stream as well as the down stream would be dammned in the name of development that has remain elusive in their life. The indigenous Hmar people, once again, realised that they are being excluded from control over the decisions and regulative institutions that will not only change the course of the river, but also their life. Read more about the Tipaimukh Dam project here....

Nigeria: Shell Settles Human Rights Suit For $15.5 Million

Royal Dutch Shell agreed to a $15.5 million settlement Monday to end a lawsuit alleging that the oil giant was complicit in the executions of activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and other civilians by Nigeria's former military regime.

Shell, which continues to operate in Nigeria, said it agreed to settle the lawsuit in hopes aiding the "process of reconciliation." But Europe's largest oil company acknowledged no wrongdoing in the 1995 hanging deaths of six people, including Saro-Wiwa.

"This gesture also acknowledges that, even though Shell had no part in the violence that took place, the plaintiffs and others have suffered," Malcolm Brinded, Shell's Executive Director Exploration & Production, said in a statement.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York claimed Shell colluded with the country's former military government to silence environmental and human rights activists in the country's Ogoni region. The oil-rich district sits in the southern part of Nigeria and is roughly the size of San Antonio. Shell started operating there in 1958. Read more about Shell's settlement here....

New Zealand: Speech Notes: Shearer - Discussion on Super City

In the last few weeks I have been travelling around the communities of Mt Albert.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of people.

And the theme that has come up again and again is that Mt Albert people want this to be about communities.

We have been listening to people while others came in and played politics.

The difference between us and them is that the others wouldn’t listen to what the community wanted.

They imposed their motorway.

And they wouldn’t let the community have a say on the future of the Super City.

This is about listening and about strong communities.

I support strong regional government, but I also support a form of government that makes for stronger communities.

A giant super city with no adequate community representation won’t work for communities.

A strong layer of regional government is needed for regional parks.

It’s needed for an integrated transport system - one where you can buy a single ticket to get across the city on a train, bus or ferry.

A transport system that better uses our rail corridors and moves more commuter traffic off roads.

This is the strong regional government that I support.

It’s not what we’ve been given in the government’s proposal. Read more of the speech here....

Last weeks Five Key Indigenous People's Issues can be found here.

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