Archive | India

GM Mustard and the Indian Government: The Game Is up, the Emperor Has No Clothes!

NOVANEWS

The next stage of the case involving the commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India is to be heard on 15 September in the Supreme Court (SC). GM mustard could be India’s first commercially cultivated GM food crop, which could very well open the floodgates to the commercialisation of various other food crops that are in the pipeline.

Lead petitioner Aruna Rodrigues is seeking a moratorium on the environmental release of any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the absence of comprehensive, transparent and rigorous biosafety protocols in the public domain and biosafety studies conducted by independent expert bodies the results of which are made available in public domain.

The petitioners argue that the present circumstances warrant a prohibition on commercial release of DMH-11 mustard in view of the fact that:

  • Mustard is a crop of origin/diversity in India
  • DMH-11 and parental lines contain herbicide tolerant (HT) traits
  • DMH11 has failed to satisfy the prior requirement of ‘need’ of this crop as evidenced from the results of the open field trials
  • The conduct of Biosafety Research Level (‘BRL’) trials were comprehensively flawed and are invalid

In this ongoing saga, two government ‘additional affidavits’ were recently submitted to the SC, following the recommendations of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to permit the environmental release of DMH-11 and its transgenic parental lines.

The government says that only 15 kilograms of DMH-11 would be planted in the upcoming winter season (beginning from Oct 2017) to demonstrate its yield potential and commercial viability. It has revealed plans for hybrid seed production in preparation for commercial use in approx. two years.

It also reiterates its claims that DMH-11 is not a HT crop. It claims it has been developed through ‘hybridization technology’. The government averred that DMH-11 does not pose any risk to human/animal health or the environment. Furthermore, it urged that the DMH-11 and other hybrids using this technology are necessary to improve yields in mustard in India which has been ‘stagnant around 7-8 MT for the last 20 years’.

The government has not only projected the hybrid seed production of DMH-11 as an innocuous and harmless procedure, but also revealed its predisposed mind to permit commercialisation of GE Mustard.

Exposing the government’s claims

In response to this, Aruna Rodrigues has submitted a 45-page ‘Addtional Affidavit Reply’ (citing all relevant sources and in-depth arguments) to the SC to rebut the claims by the government.

The basis of the rebuttal is stated on pages 3 and 4:

“At the outset, it is stated that the above [government] Affidavits hide more than they reveal. The stand of the Central Government reflects a high degree of technical incompetence and a deliberate intent to obfuscate science. The claims made are also straightforwardly untrue; broad statements, without evidence, presented as fact.”

Based on the Report on Assessment for Food & Environmental Safety (AFES) submitted by the Sub-Committee of GEAC, the government argues that DMH-11 does not pose any risk to human/animal health or the environment.

In response to this, Rodrigues states:

“As such, the AFES Report is not a detailed scientific description of the biosafety of HT DMH-11. The dossier with the raw biosafety data submitted by CGMCP [Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants at the University of Delhi, which has developed DMH -11] running into thousands of pages is still concealed, for which the Petitioners were constrained to initiate contempt proceedings against the Respondents which is currently pending for consideration by this Hon’ble Court.”

While Rodrigues expresses deep concern about the government’s attempts to confuse and even mislead on matters of core importance to biosafety, she is also concerned about minutes of a crucial GEAC meeting being suppressed.

The affidavit then discusses the recent report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment and Forests: ‘Genetically Modified Crops and its Impact on Environment’.

The report is scathing in its criticism of the regulation and risk assessment of GMOs, including GM HT mustard. It finds relevant high-level agencies as shockingly casual in their approach to GMOs in agriculture and “takes serious note of the apathy of the concerned government agencies” about the impact of GMOs on the environment (including agriculture) and on human and animal health. It finds the current regulatory framework to lack rigour, expertise, transparency and is seriously ‘conflicted’ (conflict of interest).

The Committee strongly believes that unless the bio-safety and socioeconomic desirability is evaluated by a participatory, independent and transparent process and a retrieval and accountability regime is put in place, no GM crop should be introduced in the country. The report states that with GM mustard being an herbicide tolerant GMO, there is clear evidence on the adverse impacts of such GMOs from elsewhere in the world.

The Committee argues that the government should reconsider its decision to commercialise GM crops in the country and recommends that the whole process of evaluation should be carried out by an independent agency consisting of the people of impeccable credentials in the relevant field to ensure that there is no violation of the existing regulations in this regard.

The above findings are entirely in agreement with four previous official government reports. A short description of these reports is contained in the affidavit, followed by a discussion of the history of regulatory delinquency with special reference to events surrounding GM brinjal. Regrettably and alarmingly, in HT mustard DMH-11, India faces a repeat of the disastrous regulatory history of Bt brinjal, which was eventually prevented from being commercially cultivated.

The affidavit then goes on to deconstruct each aspect of the government’s case for GM mustard. It exposes a catalogue of deceptions and misrepresentations, not least the government’s newly concocted claim that HT stands for ‘hybridisation technology’ and not ‘herbicide tolerant’, which – given the evidence set out by Rodrigues in the affidavit – appears to be a desperate attempt to backtrack given the massive dangers and impracticalities associated with HT crops in a country like India.

As in previous court documents and in various other literature, it is made clear that GM mustard does not improve yields and that there is in fact no need for it. Much is also made of the field trails that were based on invalid tests, poor science and a lack of rigour and is supported by a good degree of technical data and argument. The conclusion is there has been a “regulatory vacuum” and the SC is being misled by the government.

Rodrigues is scathing in her criticisms, not least in the proven dangers posed by the herbicide glufosinate and the contamination of India’s mustard germplasm. The government’s actions indicate:

“a disregard for India’s priceless biodiversity, a heritage that we must ferociously guard and also status as a biodiversity ‘hot spot’… lip service is paid to the certain contamination of India’s germplasm from HT DMH 11. This is outstanding issue that Petitioners emphasise repeatedly, because it is critical. If the GM ‘genie’ escapes, it cannot be bottled again.”

Rodrigues adds:

“In reality, the ruse is to obtain the authorisation of this Hon’ble Court now, to ‘creeping commercialisation’ which will be undertaken in 2 stages. This first stage, (limited to 15 kg of seed), will be the backdoor entry to eventual full commercial release sometime in the future, when there is sufficient seed produced from this first stage for full commercial planting.”

Given the conflicts of interest at work in the regulatory process, the invalid field tests, the lack of transparency, the proven lack of need, the threat to India’s mustard biodiversity and the dangers of glufosinate to health and to agriculture in a nation of small farmers using a multi-cropping system, isn’t it time for the government to come clean? Isn’t it time to follow the recommendation set out in numerous high-level reports.

The developers at Delhi University, the government and the GEAC have been found out.

No one wants GM mustard. Not farmers, not the various states. And do we hear the public speaking out in favour of it?

The game is up. The emperor has no clothes. The fraud has been exposed.

For those who have not been following the issue of GM mustard in India and its implications, additional insight may be obtained by accessing Colin’s previous articles on the matter here.

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Foreign Capital Dictates India’s Development Agenda

NOVANEWS

Foreign Capital Dictates India’s Development Agenda: Cultural Imperialism and the Seeds of Catastrophe, Ripping Up India’s Social Fabric

 

Foreign capital is dictating the prevailing development agenda in India. The aim is to replace current structures with a system of industrial agriculture suited to the needs of Western agribusiness, food processing and retail concerns (see this). The plan is for a fraction of the population left in farming working on contracts for large suppliers and large chain supermarkets offering a diet of highly processed, denutrified, genetically altered food based on crops soaked with chemicals and grown in increasingly degraded soils according to an unsustainable model of agriculture that is less climate/drought resistant, less diverse and unable to achieve food security.

Unfortunately, India’s political elites seem to be hellbent on capitulating to the needs of foreign players and their mindset that implies ‘poorer’ nations must be helped out of their awful ‘backwardness’ by the West and its powerful corporations and billionaire ‘philanthropists’. As with Monsanto and the Gates Foundation in Africa and the ‘helping’ of Africans by imposing a controlling system of agriculture, there is more than a hint of ethnocentricity and the old colonialist mentality at work.

The type of ‘development’ or ‘globalisation’ being rolled out by Washington and the World Bank is based on a need to homogenise cultures, production and consumption across the world because powerful transnational corporations’ business models rely on fast profits and global uniformity.

We need look no further than farming to see this at work. To understand what has happened to agriculture, whether in the West or in India, we must begin with the most basic element: how seeds have become increasingly uniform, less genetically diverse and subject to the control of corporate interests.

Eradicating seed diversity

In his report for The Ecologist, Oliver Tickell notes that for millennia, cereals were grown as ‘landraces’. Every field would include maybe half a dozen separate cereal species, divisible into as many as 200 varieties. Each would embody considerable genetic diversity. During the 19th century, however, farmers began to pick out specific lines that yielded higher returns under ideal agronomic conditions. Then, in search of greater stability and uniformity, crop breeders selected single seeds from these lines, bulked them up over successive plantings, then named and marketed them as distinct varieties.

Shortly before the first world war, these named varieties were hybridised in search of the ideal combination of agronomic qualities, putting together, for example, traits for large seed heads and short straw to increase yields yet further (under ideal conditions) and increase profitability for ‘efficient’ farmers.

As a result, plant breeders eradicated genetic diversity. As crops are genetically uniform, they can no longer evolve in the field to withstand insects and fungi and have to be constantly sprayed with pesticides. Moreover, the short straw length means that more of the plants’ energy goes into the grain – but then they can’t grow up above the weeds, so the system relies on repeated use of herbicides.

The use of these proprietary seeds and synthetic chemical inputs used to make them develop is a huge money-spinner for agribusiness companies. While in certain cases, yields have increased, there have been massive environmental, social and economic costs for the type of Green Revolution agriculture that has been rolled out, not least in terms of bad food and diets, degraded soils, water pollution and scarcity, poor health and the destruction of formerly largely self-sufficient rural communities and an increasing dependence on fossil fuels (transportation of food across greater distances, reliance on oil/hydrocarbon-based inputs) with all the implications that entails for climate change.

And as for climate change, genetically diverse crops are now needed more than ever; crops that have evolved to meet changing conditions, producing reliable yields all the time, rather than maximum yield when everything is just right but with the risk of total crop failure when you get flood, or drought, or some new insect or fungus or virus.

The eradication of seed diversity went much further than merely prioritising corporate seeds: it deliberately sidelined traditional seeds kept by farmers that were actually higher yielding. For example, the scientist R.H. Richharia was the director of the Central Rice Research Institute in Cuttack at the time of the Green Revolution in India.

Richharia’s research showed that several indigenous rice varieties gave high yields without the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Unfortunately, these traditional varieties were ignored in favour of the newer corporate seeds. These traditional different varieties are ideal needed for different conditions. Richharia documented the existence of indigenous high-yielding varieties, early-maturing varieties, drought-resistant varieties, scented varieties, special flavour varieties and the like.

Once we began to see genetic diversity being eradicated in the field, what we also saw was a change in farming practices towards chemical-intensive monocropping, often for export or for far away cities rather than local communities, and ultimately the undermining or eradication of self-contained rural economies, traditions and cultures.

Cultural imperialism and the eradication of indigenous culture

Green Revolution technology and ideology imported from the West has merely served to undermine an indigenous farming sector that once catered for the diverse dietary needs and climatic conditions of India and it has actually produced and fuelled drought, degraded soilsillnesses and malnutrition, farmer distress and many other issues.

Environmental scientist Viva Kermani locates India’s traditional farming practices within the framework of deep-seated cultural and spiritual meaning. She notes that centuries before the appearance of the modern-day environmental movement, the shruti (Vedas, Upanishads) and smruti (Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas, other scriptures) instructed people that the animals and plants found in India are sacred; that like humans, our fellow creatures, including plants have consciousness; and, therefore, all aspects of nature are to be revered.

The Vedic deities have deep symbolism and many layers of existence. One such association is with ecology. Surya is associated with the sun, the source of heat and light that nourishes everyone; Indra is associated with rain, crops, and abundance; and Agni is the deity of fire and transformation and controls all changes. There was also Vrikshayurveda – an ancient Sanskrit text on the science of plants and trees. It contains details about soil conservation, planting, sowing, treatment, propagating, how to deal with pests and diseases and a lot more.

On the other hand, Kermani notes that the Western religions, especially Christianity, viewed this nature worship as paganism, failing to recognise the scientific and spiritual basis of the relationship between man and nature and how this is the only way to sustain ecological balance.

Similarly, Vandana Shiva outlines the traditional knowledge of women and the biodiversity that protects the earth are threatened by the monocultures, intensive chemical input, and large processing factories that come with GM Mustard – the next push in the treadmill of Green Revolution technology. Women’s caretaking of the seed, food and sacredness of mustard is to be stripped away, while local oil mills are shut down and corporations take over the value chain from seed-to-oil.

In trying to displace a traditional pre-existing system of production with one that is controlled by Western corporations (which, as Kermani implies, regards nature as something to be dominated and subjugated by corporations in a quest for power and profit), there is an underlying assumption that the Indian farmer is backward, ignorant and in need of ‘help’. This type of cultural hegemony helps legitimise the increasing economic domination of Indian food and agriculture by foreign interests.

But nothing could be further from the truth. As described in this paper in the Journal of South Asian Studies, for thousands of years farmers experimented with different plant and animal specimens acquired through migration, trading networks, gift exchanges or accidental diffusion. By learning and doing, trial and error, new knowledge was blended with older, traditional knowledge systems. The farmer possesses acute observation, good memory for detail and transmission through teaching and story-telling.

Moreover, the papers’s authors Marika Vicziany and Jagjit Plahe argue that smallholder farmers (the backbone of Indian agriculture) have traditionally engaged in risk minimising strategies. They took measures to manage drought, grow cereals with long stalks that can be used as fodder, engage in cropping practices that promote biodiversity, ethno-engineer soil and water conservation, use self-provisioning systems on farm recycling and use collective sharing systems such as managing common resource properties.

Farmers know their micro-environment, so they can plant crops that mature at different times, thereby facilitating more rapid crop rotation without exhausting the soil. By contrast, the authors argue that large-scale industrially-based agricultural production erodes biodiversity by depleting the organisms that live in soil, and making adverse changes to the structure of the soil and the kind of plants that can be grown in such artificially-created environments.

Vicziany and Plahe note that many of the practices of small farmers which were once regarded as primitive or misguided are now recognised as sophisticated and appropriate. For instance, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that globally just 20 cultivated plant species account for 90 percent of all the plant-based food consumed by humans. This narrow genetic base of the global food system has put food security at serious risk.

It is no surprise that various high-level reports have thus called for agroecology and smallholder farmers to be prioritised and invested in order to achieve global sustainable food security. Instead, what we see is (despite progress in Sikkim and Andhra Pradesh) the marginalisation of organic agriculture by corporate interests, not least in India by the powerful agrochemical lobby.

The authors conclude that traditional food production systems depend on using the knowledge and expertise of village communities and cultures in contrast to prioritising imported, industrial–commercial inputs. The widespread but artificial conditions created by the latter work against the survival of traditional knowledge, which creates and sustains unique indigenous farming practices and food culture.

Given that India is still very much an agrarian-based economy with the majority still employed in agriculture or agriculture-related activities, what we continue to see in India is an attack by foreign capital on the social, economic and cultural fabric of the nation.

Whether it is fuelled by Bill Gates, the World Bank’s neoliberal-based rhetoric about ‘enabling the business of agriculture’, or The World Economic Forum’s ‘Grow’ strategy, the implication is that the world’s farmers must capitulate to the West and its powerful corporations and a globalised, corrupt system of capitalism that will funnel profits to these companies while hooking farmers on a chemical treadmill.

What we currently see is the capturing of markets and global supply chains for the benefit of transnational corporations involved in food production. We see the destruction of natural habitat in Indonesia to produce palm oil. We see the use of cynical lies (linked to palm oil production) to corrupt India’s food system with genetically modified seeds. We witness the devastating impact on farmers and rural communities. We see the degradation of soils, health and water resources.

And, in places like India, we also see the transnational corporate commercialisation and displacement of localised productive systems: systems centred on smallholder/family farms that are more productive and sustainable, produce a healthier and more diverse diet, are better for securing local and regional food security and are the life-blood of communities.

Farms worked by farmers who Viva Kermani says have

“legitimate claims to being scientists, innovators, natural resource stewards, seed savers and hybridisation experts are being reduced to becoming recipients of technical fixes and consumers of the poisonous products of a growing agricultural inputs industry.”

The same farmers whose seeds and knowledge was stolen by corporations to be bred for proprietary chemical-dependent hybrids, now to be genetically engineered.

We also see the ripping up of India’s social fabric all for the bottom line of corporate profit.

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Iran, India seem to be parting ways on long coveted giant gas field

NOVANEWS

Indian PM Narendra Modi

Press TV

Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum says it has started preliminary talks with Russians to develop Farzad B but negotiations also continue with the Indians who have long coveted the giant gas field.

“For the development of the Farzad B field, we are pursuing three separate paths in parallel, but none of the options is definite yet,” director of the integrated planning at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Karim Zobeidi said on Monday.

The third path is the implementation of a development study plan in cooperation with a foreign consultant and Iran’s Petropars company, the official explained.

Zobeidi said negotiations with the Indians have not achieved satisfactory results but they have not stopped either and that Iran was pursuing preliminary talks with a Russian company as the second path.

“Along these two routes, the study of the development of Farzad A and B and the feasibility of the injection of gas from these fields into Aghajari (oil field) in cooperation with a foreign consultant and Petropars company is in progress,” he added.

Indian companies discovered the Farzad B gas field in Iran in 2008 and have bid several times for the development rights.

The Indians were supposed to develop the field after its exploration, but they stopped their activities after the West intensified sanctions on the Islamic Republic in 2012.

With the lifting of the sanctions, India once again called for the development of Farzad B by ONGC Videsh which is the overseas investment arm of the country’s biggest energy exploration firm.

According to an agreement, the Indians were first to submit a technical plan and then a financial proposal for the development of the field, but Iran did not agree with the other side’s financial proposals.

In the absence of an agreement between Iran and India, the development plan for Farzad B will be put to international tender.

In May, Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh announced that Iran had signed a basic agreement with Russia’s energy giant Gazprom over the development of Farzad B.

Indians shift attention to ‘Israel’

On Monday, Reuters cited India’s Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan as saying that state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp planned to bid for disputed Israeli offshore oil-and-gas exploration blocks.

A high-ranking Indian delegation visited Israel last month to discuss taking part in the tender for blocks in the Mediterranean Sea, the news agency reported.

“We will definitely bid for ‘Israel’s’ oil-and-gas blocks,” Reuters quoted Pradhan as saying.

New Delhi has deep military ties with Tel Aviv but they reportedly seek to expand their relationship to other sectors such as energy and technology following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to ‘Israel’ in July.

According to Reuters, ‘Israeli’ officials were pleased with the visit by the Indian economic team, while many oil majors have been hesitant to enter the ‘Israeli’ market, fearing a backlash from oil-rich Arab states.

Lebanon has a long-standing dispute with ‘Israel’ which stands accused of stealing Arab resources.

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri has said ‘Israel’ was overtly stealing Lebanon’s underwater oil and gas reserves off the coast of south Lebanon. Hezbollah has warned that it would use force to protect Lebanon’s resources.

The gas discoveries have created a new source of friction between Lebanon and ‘Israel’, which have clashed repeatedly.

Lacking in natural resources, ‘Israel’ has said it had discovered two fields thought to contain about 24 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, enough to make it energy self-sufficient for decades. Lebanese leaders have said the reserves were a “golden opportunity” for Lebanon to service its huge debt and rebuild its economy.

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The Unwanted: Indian Government Threatens to Deport Rohingya Refugees to Myanmar

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In this Friday, March 17, 2017, image made from video, people who identify themselves as Rohingya, walk at the Dar Paing camp, north of Sittwe, Rakhine state, Myanmar. More than 120,000 Rohingya were forced into camps five years ago, and their suffering may have only worsened since Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi rose to power in Myanmar last year.

Last week, the Indian central government directed state authorities to deport illegal immigrants from India, including Rohingyas, a Muslim ethnic minority that is in danger of persecution in their home country of Myanmar, The Times of India reported.

About 40,000 Rohingyas have fled to India after being rejected from their home country and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has issued identification cards to about 16,500 Rohingyas to prevent them from being harassed, arbitrarily arrested, detained or deported.

According to the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, “Due to a variety of reasons, including political and economic turmoil in neighboring countries, people from such countries often enter India. There are cultural and ethnic similarities, on many occasions such migration goes unnoticed and they settle in Indian territory.”

However, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that Rohingya peoples’ registration status with the UNHCR would not exclude them from detection and deportation, warning that any illegal immigrants in his fatherland threaten the security and rights of Indian nationals and encroach upon national resources.

“They are doing it, we can’t stop them from registering. But we are not signatory to the accord on refugees,” Modi claimed, adding that, “As far as we are concerned they are all illegal immigrants. They have no basis to live here. Anybody who is an illegal migrant will be deported.”

The Indian home ministry also confirmed these beliefs, stating that, “These illegal immigrants not only infringe on the rights of Indian citizens but also pose grave security challenges,” referring to the rise in terrorism over the last few decades due to vulnerable immigrants readily embodying terrorist ideologies.

It is not a secret that Indian terrorist organizations like Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba are sympathetic towards Rohingya people. The 2013 terrorist attack at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya was motivated by the killing of Rohingyas in Myanmar. Abdul Karim Tunda, a bomb-maker for Lashkar-e-Toiba, also admitted to actively recruiting Rohingyas after being arrested in 2013.

However, according to India’s UNHCR office, the practice of non-refoulement — which states that a country’s international obligation is not to force asylum seekers to return to a nation in which they face danger — falls under international law duties for all states, regardless of whether a country has signed the Refugee Convention, which India has not. The office also added that it hasn’t received any official word that Rohingya refugees are to be deported.

There are approximately 300,000 Rohingya people also living in settlements in Bangladesh. Like the Indian government, the Bangladesh government has also expressed concern regarding the flood of refugees: “We hope the Rohingya will be able to return to Myanmar. Our population levels are already at an unbearable burden.”

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US Needs Better Safeguards to Prevent Aid to Myanmar Leaking to Lawless Groups
Urgent Assistance Needed in Myanmar as Children ‘Waste Away’ – Cash-Strapped WFP
India, China to Partake in Naval Exercise at Indian Ocean
India Denies Chinese Intrusion in Ladakh, no Thaw in Doklam Standoff

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‘A Massacre’: 35 Indian Children Killed Due to Hospital Negligence

NOVANEWS
 

At least 30 children died on Thursday and Friday in a hospital in Uttar Pradesh, India, after the facility’s supply of liquid oxygen was cut off due to an unpaid electricity bill.

Between 11am and 2am, medical practitioners and family members frantically passed out manual resuscitator bags to parents as families desperately scrambled to save their children’s lives. According to police reports, 21 of the deaths were caused by oxygen shortage, cited by Chicago Tribune.

“We saw children dying around us,” a victim’s father said.

“Obviously, it’s the hospital’s fault,” he added. “So many children have died because of them. My son was fine until nighttime, then something wrong happened.”

Indian Nobel Peace Prize winner and child advocate Kailash Satyarthi tweeted, “30 kids died in a hospital without oxygen. This is not a tragedy. It’s a massacre.”

Referencing India’s 70th anniversary of its independence from England, Satyarthi castigated the government: “Is this what 70 years of freedom means for our children?”

30 kids died in hospital without oxygen. This is not a tragedy. It’s a massacre. Is this what 70 years of freedom means for our children?

 

The state’s health minister and hospital officials claimed that the deaths were not caused by the unpaid bill. The state’s chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, however, has established a committee to investigate the electricity bill.

“The guilty will not be spared,” Adityanath asserted.

According to documents revealed by The Washington Post, the hospital owed a whopping $89,750 to Pushpa Sales Private Limited, a medical supply company based in Lucknow.

The company had sent multiple letters to the hospital and district magistrate over a period of six months requesting payment. After the contract between the supply company and the hospital ended on July 31, Pushpa waited four more days before cutting off the oxygen supply on August 4.

Extreme negligence on the part of the hospital’s chief medical officer is alleged, after he apparently ignored warnings from employees monitoring oxygen storage levels that the supply would only last until Thursday.

Intense anger flooded social media outlets following the aftermath of what is now seen to be a completely avoidable tragedy.

A political cartoon depicting babies as angels in the sky and an Indian government official trying to reach them quickly surfaced on the internet.

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Himalayan Standoff: China, India Have ‘Enough Wisdom to Resolve It Peacefully’
India Freezes Purchase of Additional AH-64E Apache From US

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Why Siding with Washington on Korea May Be Dangerous

NOVANEWS
By Finian CUNNINGHAM 

In backing the latest US-led sanctions against North Korea at the United Nations Security Council, both China and Russia seem to have made a tenuous bet to resolve the crisis on the Asian peninsula. By deferring to Washington’s punitive sanctions, Beijing and Moscow are calculating that the US will relent on their proposals for comprehensive talks and a freeze on American military exercises with its South Korean ally.

China and Russia may regret their course of action. Since the imposition of new sanctions on North Korea last weekend, the tensions in the region have ratcheted up to alarming levels. US President Trump has even been accused of using «unhinged» language by members of Congress after he threatened to unleash «fire and fury» on North Korea «with a power the world has never seen before». Some American lawmakers were comparing Trump’s rhetoric with that of North Korea’s fiery leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea, predictably, responded to Trump’s outburst by declaring that its leadership was considering a pre-emptive military strike on the US air base on the Pacific island of Guam.

The region is being put on a hair-trigger for war – a war that would certainly involve the use of nuclear weapons. The American side has come to the conclusion that North Korea has finally mastered the technology to fit a nuclear warhead on its already proven intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability, reported the Washington Post this week. That means that if a military confrontation breaks out, the US will be tempted to use overwhelming force.

Trump’s words about deploying «power the likes of which the world has never seen before» are especially icy given the 72ndanniversary this week of the US dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

When the UN Security Council convened last weekend it passed Resolution 2371 unanimously with 15 votes to 0. It was a surprise turnaround by China and Russia. Last month, following North Korea’s ICBM test on July 4, both Beijing and Moscow rejected the US call for more sanctions on Pyongyang. They said then that sanctions policy doesn’t work and instead called for all-party dialogue to resolve the long-running Korean crisis. China and Russia also made the eminently reasonable call for the US and its South Korean ally to desist from their frequent joint war maneuvers, which the Communist North perceives as a threat of invasion.

Over the past few weeks, the US and China reportedly engaged in intense negotiations over the Korean issue. Trump accused his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping of not doing enough to rein in allied North Korea. The US also threatened to take punitive action against China over wider issues of trade and intellectual property rights. Before the weekend vote at the UNSC, Trump inexplicably cancelled a speech in which he was expected to lay out tough American actions against China over commercial disputes. That suggests some kind of bargain was done between Washington and Beijing – and that China voting for further sanctions on North Korea was part of it.

Following the unanimous vote at the UNSC, Trump and his ambassador Nikki Haley reportedly could hardly contain their glee over «the united response» against «rogue state North Korea».

What Russia gets out of it is not clear. Perhaps Russia felt that to veto the sanctions against North Korea would have incurred international wrath. But it seems curious that Moscow should go along with sanctions at the very same time that Washington is provocatively imposing similar measures against it too.

What appears to be in the calculus by China and Russia is that by giving a sop to the American desire to get tough on North Korea, they are anticipating that the US will agree to calls for multi-party talks and a freeze on military activities on the Korean Peninsula.

Both the Chinese and Russian ambassadors to the UN coupled the latest resolution for sanctions against North Korea with the reboot of the six-party negotiations involving the two Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and the US. Those talks were abandoned in 2009 when the US and North Korea broke off in recriminations.

Last week, before the UN vote, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a significant speech in which he said that the US was not seeking regime change in Pyongyang, nor had any intention of going to war on North Korea.

Following the UN sanctions, Tillerson sounded a conciliatory note while attending the summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations in Manila. The summit was also attended by Chinese and Russian counterparts Wang Yi and Sergei Lavrov. Tillerson said the US was open to dialogue with North Korea if the latter stopped its missile tests. That appeared to be a significant concession from the US side towards resolving the Korean problem.

However, this is where the calculation comes unstuck. The backing of more sanctions against North Korea by China and Russia may have softened the stance of the US somewhat, but at what price?

From the North Korean side, the increased sanctions are tantamount to an act of war. The new measures are aimed at banning the country’s top export earning commodities, including coal, minerals and seafood. The new sanctions will reportedly slash North Korea’s annual export revenue by one-third, down to $2 billion a year. Not surprisingly, Pyongyang responded furiously, saying the sanctions were an attack on its sovereignty.

Given Trump’s propensity for Twitter diplomacy, the spiral of rhetoric could lead to disastrous misunderstanding, as this week is tending to show.

In retrospect, it seems astonishing that Beijing and Moscow made the bet they did over new sanctions. The damage cannot be undone. But what China and Russia must do immediately is to insist that all sides proceed to multilateral talks and the standing down of military forces. The onus is primarily on the US to stand down its military power in the region. It needs to cancel its provocative maneuvers with its ally in Seoul – due again later this month – and it needs to halt the ongoing installation of the THAAD missile system on South Korean territory.

It is misplaced for China and Russia to pander to the US over sanctions and to expect something by way of concessions in return. The arrogant Americans don’t know the meaning of concessions, they only perceive weakness and will move to capitalize on weakness.

By indulging American demands for more sanctions on North Korea, the danger comes from emboldening Washington’s hubris and its own sense of impunity. One would think that Russia, above all, should understand that dynamic given its own experience over the US confiscating diplomatic properties and slapping on ever-more sanctions.

What Moscow and Beijing should do as a matter of urgency is to never mind new sanctions on North Korea; they should demand that Washington removes its military threat against North Korea – a threat that has been looming since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Then all sides must open talks without preconditions for a comprehensive peace settlement on the peninsula.

Pandering to a bully is never a good idea.

Posted in USA, India, North Korea, RussiaComments Off on Why Siding with Washington on Korea May Be Dangerous

Modi revisits Iran ties

NOVANEWS
By M K Bhadrakumar 

The decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to depute the minister of transport Nitin Gadkari to represent India at the inaugural ceremony of Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani on his second term is a most appropriate, timely and thoughtful decision. ‘Appropriate’ – because it is a signal that India attaches high importance to relations with Iran. Gadkari is a senior figure in the cabinet – all but prime ministerial material, one might say. ‘Thoughtful’ – because of two reasons. One, Gadkari is also the government’s point person with regard to the strategic Indian project to develop a transit route to Afghanistan and Central Asia via Iran’s Chabahar Port.

Two, it is an assertive statement that India’s cooperation with Iran will not be buffeted by ‘Trumpspeak’. This is timely because the Iran-US engagement has run into difficulties and US officials have spoken of a preposterous ‘regime change’ agenda vis-à-vis Iran. A confrontation seems improbable but a showdown cannot be ruled out, either. If there is a confrontation / showdown, Modi government will come under pressure not only from the US but also from Israel, and India will be in the unhappy position of having to stand up and be counted. Strategic ambivalence, which comes easy to the Indian DNA, may no longer be an option. The previous UPA government of course simply opted to pull down the shutter and fall in line with the US diktat. It will be interesting to see how much spunk the present nationalist government would show to resist pressure on its regional policies, if push comes to shove.

However, India is in good company if it views Iran as a major partner. The presence of the European Union Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherni at Rouhani’s inaugural underscored that EU does not go along with the US’ sanctions bill against Iran. So, indeed, the presence of Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, a close aide confidante of President Vladimir Putin, signals that Moscow has a big agenda to expand and deepen the cooperation with Iran. The Chinese President Xi Jinping deputed He Lifeng, head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, to represent China. Of course, He is the principal driver of the Belt and Road Initiative in the Chinese government.

Indeed, if the inaugural ceremony was a litmus test of Iran’s integration with the international community, the result is positive and impressive. Nineteen presidents, vice-presidents and prime ministers as well as 18 heads of parliaments attended the ceremony. It is virtually impossible for the Trump administration to ‘isolate’ Iran over its missile development programme or its regional policies. By the way, the participants at the ceremony in Tehran included a high-powered delegation from Hamas and a cabinet minister from Qatar.

Gadkari has promised that the Chabahar transit route will be operational by next year. The country must hold the government to its word. There shouldn’t be any slip-ups. This can be the first significant footfall in an Indian variant of ‘Belt and Road’ initiative. More importantly, perhaps, India must now resuscitate the plans of investments in the Chabahar region for industrial collaboration. The enthusiasm with which we spoke about it two years ago has petered out. Again, a major push is needed to realise the much-talked about North-South Corridor via Iran.

In political terms, a visit by Rouhani to India is overdue. The visit will give an overall verve to the relationship and add momentum to the bilateral cooperation. The Farzad-B gas field project has proved elusive. The revised $11 billion investment offer by ONGC Videsh is pending for a decision in Tehran. The Iranian side has driven a hard bargain, which is understandable since oil is a major source of income for its economy. But then, Tehran must also realize that Farzad-B will be a ‘game-changer’ for the entire relationship with India. Perhaps, this is the single biggest investment offer India has ever made to a foreign country. The business spin-off in the downstream, if the Farzad-B project takes off, will be massive.

Posted in India, IranComments Off on Modi revisits Iran ties

India’s Bloodless War against Pakistan

NOVANEWS

By Sajjad Shaukat for Veterans Today

Although India has been targeting the civilians and military personnel near the border of Pakistani side of Azad Kashmir by continuously violating the Line of Control, yet India has, also, been waging the bloodless war against Pakistan by stopping the water-flow of rivers to Pakistan.

Unlike the past wars, being fought through the traditional armies with tanks and machine guns, the arena of war has changed, encompassing all the spheres. In the modern era, electronics have made it difficult for the military to serve as the automatic dominant sphere in every war, covering all the land, sea and space domains. Now, war with non-lethal weapons can be more harmful in damaging the interest of a rival country or enemy. It will be conducted in non-war spheres, entailing non-military means and tactics as part of the new warfare.

New technology is being utilized by the new warriors to carry out all forms of financial, network and media attacks. Most of these attacks are of non-military-types, yet they can be completely viewed as equal to warfare actions. In other words, bloody warfare has been replaced by bloodless warfare as much as possible.

Judging in these terms, New Delhi’s construction of several dams and new plans for more dams in the Indian Occupied Kashmir is part of its most dangerous scheme of bloodless warfare, being conducted against Islamabad in order to further harm all political, economic, financial and social spheres of Pakistan.

It is notable that in March, 2011, speaking in diplomatic language, Indus Water Commissioner of India G. Ranganathan denied that India’s decision to build dams on rivers led to water shortage in Pakistan. He also rejected Islamabad’s concerns at water theft by New Delhi or violation of the Indus Water Treaty of 1960, assuring his counterpart, Syed Jamaat Ali Shah that all issues relating to water would be resolved through dialogue. However, ground realties are quite different from what Ranganathan maintained.

Besides other permanent issues and, especially the dispute of Kashmir which has always been used by India to malign and pressurize Pakistan, water of rivers has become a matter of life and death for every Pakistani, as New Delhi has been employing it as a tool of terrorism to blackmail Pakistan.

In this regard, Indian decision to construct two hydro-electric projects on River Neelam which is called Krishanganga is a blatant violation of the Indus Basin Water Treaty. The World Bank, itself, is the mediator and signatory for the treaty. After the partition, owing to war-like situation, India deliberately stopped the flow of Pakistan’s rivers which originate from the Indian-Held Kashmir. Even at that time, Indian rulers had used water as a tool of aggression against Pakistan. However, due to Indian illogical stand, Islamabad sought the help of international arbitration. The Indus Basin Treaty allocates waters of three western rivers of Indus, Jhelum and Chenab to Pakistan, while India has rights over eastern rivers of Ravi, Sutlej and Beas.

Since the settlement of the dispute, India has always violated the treaty intermittently to create economic crisis in Pakistan. In 1984, India began construction of the Wullar Barrage on river Jhelum in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.

In the past, the issue of Wullar Barrage has also been discussed in various rounds of talks, being held under composite dialogue process between the two rivals, but Indian intransigence has continued. In the mid-1990s India started another violation by constructing the Baglihar dam on the Chenab River. In 2005, Pakistan had again sought the World Bank’s help to stop construction of the Baglihar dam. Although WB allowed India to go ahead with the project after a few modifications, yet it did not permit the interruption of the agreed quota of water flow to Pakistan.

In 2008, India suddenly reduced water flow of the Chenab River to give a greater setback to Pakistan’s autumnal crops. Islamabad on September 17, 2008 threatened to seek the World Bank’s intervention on the plea that New Delhi had not responded to its repeated complaints on the issue appropriately. But, India did nothing to address the problem.

It is mentionable that India has been using water as an instrument to pressurize Islamabad with a view to getting leverage in the Pak-India dialogue especially regarding Indian-Held Kashmir where a new phase of protests against the Indian illegitimate occupation has accelerated. In this respect, the then Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said on February 8, 2010 that Pakistan’s case on Kashmir and water was based on truth, and the government would fight it with full strength.

Indian diplomacy of bloodless war could also be judged from some other development. Online reports suggest that New Delhi has secretly offered technical assistance to the Afghan government in order to construct a dam over Kabul River which is a main water contributor to Indus River.

In fact, India wants to keep its control on Kashmir which is located in the Indus River basin area, and which contributes to the flow of all the major rivers, entering Pakistan. It is determined to bring about political, economic and social problems of grave nature in Pakistan.

In this context, China Daily News Group wrote in 2005: “Another added complication is that in building a dam upstream of Pakistan, India will possess the ability to flood or starve Pakistan at will. This ability was witnessed in July of 2004 when India, without warning, released water into the Chenab River, flooding large portions of Pakistan. The history of conflict between these two nations makes it possible for New Delhi to use nature as a real weapon against Islamabad.”

According to an estimate, unlike India, Pakistan is highly dependent on agriculture, which in turn is dependent on water. Of the 79.6 million hectares of land that makeup Pakistan, 20 million are available for agriculture. Of those 20 million hectares, 16 million are dependent on irrigation. So, almost 80% of Pakistan’s agriculture is dependent on irrigation.

Notably, many of Pakistan’s industries are agro-based such as the textiles industry. Besides, 80% of Pakistan’s food needs are fulfilled domestically. Thus an interruption of water supply would have broad-ranging effects. For example, when the country suffered a drought from 1998 to 2001, there were violent riots in Karachi.

It is noteworthy that half of Pakistan’s energy comes from hydroelectricity, and at present, our country has been facing a severe crisis of loadshedding which is the result of power-shortage in the country. During the recent past summers, people in a number of cities like Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad etc. lodged violent protests against the loadshedding, culminating into loss of property and life.

It is of particular attention that Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif warned on February 10, 2015 that although the electricity shortage in the country would be overcome within two to three years, the scarcity of water is another issue looming in the country.

While, Pakistan has already been facing multiple challenges of grave nature coupled with phenomenon of terrorism like suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings etc., committed by the militants who are being backed by Indian secret agency, RAW. As part of the double game, based in Afghanistan, US-led CIA and Israeli Mossad are also in connivance with RAW and the militant outfits such as ISIS and are supporting acts of terrorism in Pakistan like Syria and Iran.

In this connection, as part of the latest wave of terrorism, at least 26 people were killed and several others injured in a suicide blast near Arfa Karim Tower on Ferozpur Road in Lahore, today (In the afternoon of July 24, 2017). Details regarding the casualties are still coming.

However, New Delhi also employs water as an instrument by increasing its scarcity, making life too often miserable for Pakistanis with the ultimate aim of creating poverty which could produce more terrorism in turn. And, India is likely to deepen differences among Pakistan’s provinces over various issues which are directly or indirectly related to water.

It is worth-mentioning that in January, this year even the US administration has initiated the process for peacefully resolving the water dispute between India and Pakistan—the latest dispute which concerns two hydroelectric power plants—Kishanganga and Ratle, which India is building on the Indus rivers system.

In this backdrop, after a pause of two years and ‘water war threats’ from the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pakistan and India on March 20, 2017 resumed talks in Islamabad over the water issues with Pakistan welcoming the development, but vowing to defend its rights with ‘full zeal and vigour’. The two-day talks of Indus water commissioners of the two countries marked the first formal engagement between the arch rivals, during the Mod-led India. Under the Indus Waters Treaty, New Delhi is bound to hold such meetings with Islamabad. Notably, last year, Premier Modi had threatened to revoke the water accord with Pakistan.

Nonetheless, since the 9/11 tragedy, international community has been taking war against terrorism seriously, while there are also other forms of bloodless wars, being waged in the world and the same are like terrorism. Political experts opine that modern terrorism has many meanings like violent acts, economic terrorism etc., but its main aim is to achieve political, economic and social ends. In these terms, India’s bloodless war against Pakistan amounts to water terrorism.

Posted in India, Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on India’s Bloodless War against Pakistan

35 Civilians Injured After Indian Forces Clash with Protesters in Kashmir

NOVANEWS

35 Civilians Injured After Indian Forces Clash with Protesters in Kashmir

At least 35 civilians were injured after clashes broke out between protesters and security forces across the Indian-controlled Kashmir, police and witnesses said Tuesday.

The protests erupted after police raided Southern Bahmnoo village, police Inspector-General Muneer Ahmed Khan said. Witnesses said troops blasted and destroyed three civilian homes during the fighting, Star Tribune reported.

Khan said three people were killed during the fightings and soldiers were searching for the body of a fourth militant in the debris. At least six police and soldiers were injured in the fighting.

The gunfight triggered intense clashes after hundreds of civilians marched near the site to help the trapped militants escape.

Government forces fired bullets, shotgun pellets and tear gas to stop the march by rock-throwing protesters who were chanted slogans like “Go India, go back” and “We want freedom.”

At least 35 civilians were injured and five among them were reported to have sustained bullet wounds.

In recent years, Kashmiris, mainly youths, have displayed open solidarity with anti-India forces and sought to protect them by engaging troops in street clashes during military operations against the militants.

The anti-India protests and clashes have persisted despite the Indian army chief warning recently that “tough action” would be taken against stone throwers during counterinsurgency operations.

India and Pakistan control part of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety. Rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir’s independence or merger with neighboring Pakistan. Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting and the ensuing Indian crackdown.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep among the region’s mostly Muslim population and most people support the cause against Indian rule despite a decades-long military crackdown to fight the armed rebellion.

India has accused Pakistan of arming and training the kashmiri forces, which Pakistan denies.

Kashmiri groups have largely been suppressed by Indian forces in recent years and public opposition to Indian rule is now principally expressed through street protests.

Posted in India, Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on 35 Civilians Injured After Indian Forces Clash with Protesters in Kashmir

Journalists Increasingly Unsafe in the Indian Subcontinent

NOVANEWS
  • Journalists in India.
    Journalists in India. | Photo: Reuters
India and Pakistan headed the list with seven of the professional journalists killed in the last six months.

The Indian subcontinent as a whole today stands on the cusp of being a danger zone for journalists, as the region witnessed the murder of over 10 journalists in the first half of 2017.

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India and Pakistan headed the list with seven of the professional journalists killed in the last six months; with Bangladesh, Myanmar and Maldives added one casualty each.

The year started with sad news for India as the dead body of a Jharkhand-based journalist was recovered in Hazaribagh in the first week of the year.

Hari Prakash, 31, whose body was found on Jan. 2, on a roadside was missing for some days. The family members of Hari, who was a law graduate working for a Hindi daily, alleged that he was kidnapped and later killed.

More bad news was awaiting the families of media professionals as a Bihar-based journalist was shot dead at a Samastipur locality on Jan. 3, by some
unidentified assailants. Brajesh Kumar Singh, 28, received serious injuries to his head and died on the spot. It was the third assassination of a journalist in Bihar within a year after Rajdeo Ranjan and Dharmendra Kumar Singh were killed in 2016.

The third and fourth incidents involving the murder of working journalists were reported in Madhya Pradesh. Shyam Sharma, 40, who worked for a local evening newspaper, was stabbed to death in the Anshul neighborhood of Indore on May 15. Shyam received multiple injuries and died on the spot. Meanwhile, the local police have arrested two suspects for their alleged role in the murder.

Kamlesh Jain, 42, was shot dead in his office in the Pipliyamandi locality of Mandsaur on the evening of May 31. Kamlesh was rushed to a nearby hospital, where the attending doctors pronounced him dead. According to the police on duty, two people entered Kamlesh’s office and one of them shot him. The culprits quickly fled from the location on motorcycles.

Working for Nai Dunia, a Hindi daily, the journalist had recently exposed a few local people involved in illegal liquor trades through a number of roadside Dhabas, or restaurants. He was also threatened with dire consequences a few days before his death. The police took prompt action and arrested two individuals.

Various journalists organizations from Jharkhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh along with Journalists’ Forum Assam, Indian Journalists Union, National Federation of Newspaper Employees, Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, International Federation of Journalists and others, expressed serious concerns over the murder of the journalists and asked the responsible authorities to find and arrest the culprits.

Condemning the assassinations of Shyam and Kamlesh, the IFJ commented, “two murders in nearly two weeks illustrate the dangerous conditions
that journalists in India are facing.” The global media group called on Indian authorities to immediately and thoroughly investigate these murders and bring those responsible to justice.

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In a recent statement, the IFJ, representing over 6,00,000 journalists in 140 countries, disclosed that 93 journalists were killed in 2016 around the world. Iraq witnessed the highest number of journo-killings (15); followed by Afghanistan (13); Mexico (11); Yemen (8); Guatemala, Syria, and India (6), and Pakistan (5).

Pakistan lost three professional journalists and a media student to assailants in the last six months. Muhammad Jan, who was working for an Urdu newspaper in Baluchistan province, was shot on Jan. 12, and later died from his wounds. A television reporter, Abdul Razzaque was gunned down on May 17 in Punjab province and another news channel reporter Bakshish Ellahi was shot dead by unknown gunmen on June 11, in Peshawar.

Meanwhile, a student of journalism, Mashal Khan, fell prey to an angry mob in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on April 22, over the alleged blasphemy
charge against him.

The CPJ called on Pakistani authorities to investigate all the killings related to media personnel. The New York-based media rights group also expressed concern over the situation in Afghanistan, where four media workers namely Mohamad Amir Khan, Zinullah Khan, Abdul Latif and Ghani were killed in a suicide attack on May 17 in the Jalalabad locality.

Later two more media people, Mohammed Nazir and Aziz Navin, died in a Kabul blast on May 31.

Infamous for many atheist bloggers’ deaths, Bangladesh witnessed the murder of one rural reporter in the Sirajganj locality. Abdul Hakim Shimul, who used to work for Dainik Samakal, was shot dead on Feb. 2, while he was covering the clashes between two factions of the Awami League ruling party. Bangladesh Manobadhikaar Sangbadik Forum strongly condemned the assassination.

Relatively peaceful Myanmar reported one murder in the first half of 2017. Wai Yan Heinn, 27, a Rangoon-based weekly editor was killed on April 16. The reason behind the attack was yet to be confirmed.

Along with local media outlets, the RSF urged the Myanmar authorities to identify and bring the culprits to justice immediately.

The Paris-based media rights group expressed concern that the investigation had gone slowly in last year’s murder on Dec. 13, of Soe Moe Tun, reportedly for exposing illegal loggings in his locality.

Benjamin Ismaïl, the former head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, recently commented that Soe’s family was still waiting for justice, but in vein.

A small nation like Maldives drew the attention of international media recently with the sensational murder of a prominent journalist and human rights defender. Yameen Rasheed, 29, who remained an outspoken critic of corruption and human rights violations on the island nation, was stabbed to death on April 23 in the capital of Male, putting the country on the list of risky nations with growing intolerance toward free information flow.

India’s other neighbors including Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Tibet have not reported any incidents of journo-killings in the last six months. In contrast, India has emerged as one of the worst places for working journalists, where they are attacked deliberately and justice is rarely delivered to their bereaved families.

Posted in India, Pakistan & Kashmir, Sri LankaComments Off on Journalists Increasingly Unsafe in the Indian Subcontinent

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