10 March 2016 – Protests in Delhi

Fishworkers Protest at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. Fishworkers from several parts of the country gathered at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi to protest against the government’s policies towards the fisherfolk in the coastal regions of India. They demanded a separate ministry for fishing and criticized the government for allowing the constructions of innumerable ports without looking into the environmental hazards they pose.

Tibetans in Delhi protest at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. Tibetans observed the 57th Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day which took place on this day in 1959. The protesters called for global intervention in Tibet to save Tibetan Lives and send fact finding delegations in Tibet to access the real situation of the Tibetans living there under the Chinese regime.

Dalit Christians and Muslims Protests at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. National Council of Dalit Christians, Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India, National Council of Churches in India strongly condemned Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr. Thawar Chand Ghelot for his offensive statements. The protesters demanded to grant SC status to Dalit Christians and Muslims in India.

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‘Boat March’ from Mangalore to Thiruvananthapuram

A ‘Boat March’ from Mangalore to Thiruvananthapuram with a slogan “Protect

Sea, Coast, Inland water bodies and Fish Resources”

Dear friends,

While the crisis of fisheries sector is increasing day by day, the sea
and the coast are being removed from the traditional fishing community
slowly. The coastal areas are being invaded by the forces of tourism
industry, real estate and other development sectors, displacing the
traditional fishing community and now, these sensitive zones are being
allotted to hazardous and polluting ship breaking yards. The stands of
all Governments which have come to rule one after another, on the
foreign fishing vessels which wipe out the marine resources and
destroy our ecology, have been unfortunately same with no difference.
The community rights of the traditional fishing community are being
removed one by one. Marine Protected Areas, Ban on fishing in the
offshore area of depth 200 to 500 meters (Buffer zone), SEZ involving
coast and the sea, ban of shark fishing and many other regulations are
being imposed on the traditional fishing community in recent times.
But at the same time, the governments have systematically failed to
control the foreign fishing vessels which destroy our oceans
resources.

In this context, the fishing community under the leadership of Kerala
Swathanthra Malsyathozhilaly Federation (KSMTF) in association with
NFF and ADSGAF is initiating a ‘Boat March’ from Mangalore to
Thiruvananthapuram with a slogan “Protect Sea, Coast, Inland water
bodies and Fish Resources”. The march will start from Mangalore on
November 21st on the International Fish workers’ Day and it will be
inaugurated at 10.30 am by Medha Patkar. Public meetings will be held
at all fish landing centers and fishing harbours on the route from
Mangalore to Thiruvananthapuram. The Boat March will reach at
Shangumugham beach, Thiruvananthapuram on November 30th at 6 pm. Many
social, cultural, environmental, political and trade union activists
will join this programme.

We cordially invite you to attend this important programme. Since the
proposed programme is expected to incur major expenses, we would also
request you to contribute whatever you can towards the expenses of the
march.

In solidarity,

PP John, President, Kerala Swathanthra Malsyathozhilaly Federation (KSMTF)

Jackson Pollayil, General Secretary, Kerala Swathanthra
Malsyathozhilaly Federation (KSMTF)

T. Peter, National Secretary, National Fishworkers Forum (NFF)

The address for sending the contributions: ALAKAL Fortnightly, A/C No:
020051 000800102, IFSC : IBKL 0046 T 01, Bank : The Thiruvananthapuram
District Co-operative Bank, Branch : Puthanchantha,
Thiruvananthapuram.

Boat March

21st November 2014(Friday) : 10am – Mangalore (Inauguration :Medha
Patkar), 4pm – Kasargode Kasba Beach, 6pm – Neeleswaram -Madakkara
(Stay)

22nd November 2014 (Saturday) : 11am – Kannur- Azheekal, 2pm
-Thalasherry Thalai, 6pm – Mahe (Stay)

23rd November 2014 (Sunday) : 10am – Kozhikode – Chombala,12am
-Koylandi, 4pm – Puthiyappa, 6pm – Beypure (Stay)

24th November 2014 (Monday) : 10am – Malppuram – Prappanangadi, 12am-
Thanur, 6pm – Ponnani (Stay)

25th November 2014 (Tuesday) : 10am – Thrissur – Chettuva, 4pm
-Azhikkode, 6pm – Munambam (Stay)

26th November 2014 (Wednesday): 10am – Ernakulam – Vypin, 11am
-Kalamukku(Haurber), 12am – Thoppumpadi Haurber, 6pm – Chellanam
(Stay)

27th November 2014 (Thursday) : 11am -Alappuzha -Ottamasherry,
3pm-Punnapra, 6pm-Kayamkulam (Stay)

28th November 2014 (Friday) : 10am – Kollam – Kochuthuruthu
(Ashtamudi), 2pm – Padappakkara, 5pm – Perumon – Mundakkal (Stay)

29th November 2014 (Saturday) : 10am-Neendakara, 12am-Shakthikulangara,

6pm-Thangasherry-Vadi (Stay)

30th November 2014 (Sunday) : 11am – Thiruvananthapuram – Anchuthengu,
4pm – Shanghumugham Beach – Public Meeting – Com.
V.S.Achuthanandan,Prof.K.V.Thomas MP(Former minister), Com.Panniyan
Raveendran,Shri.V.Muraleedharan, Shri.M.Ilango,Shri.S.P.Udayakumar,
Fr.Eugene H.Pereira etc.will address the public meeting.

Press Release: Gujarat fishworkers demand release of all Pakistani fishermen in Indian jails ong with their boats

Urgent Press Release 

Gujarat fishworkers delegation meets the Prime Minister: Demand release of all Pakistani fishermen in Indian jails along with their boats 

New Delhi – 19th December 2013: Today, a ten member delegation of fishermen of Saurashtra, along with leaders of Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD), National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) and a delegation of MPs from Gujarat, met with the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh at the latter’s residence. 

The fisher leaders from Gujarat’s Saurashtra region came to Delhi to meet with the Prime Minister, the Agriculture Minister Shri. Sharad Pawar and the Minister for External Affairs Shri. Salman Khurshid in order to brief the political leadership regarding the issue of jailed Indian and Pakistani fishermen. They also demanded immediate release of boats of Pakistani fisherpeople, kept in the custody of the Indian Government. Shri. Jivan Jungi, National Committee Member, PIPFPD and on behalf of Akhil Gujarat Machhimar Mahamandal raised the issue of a fellow fisherman being killed by Pakistan’s MSA. Raising the issue of Shri. Naranbhai Sosa, the fisherman who was killed in firing by Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency (MSA) in October, the delegation urged the PM to support the family of Mr. Sosa from the PM’s Relief Fund. 

Fishworkers told the PM that the arrests by Indian Coastguards and MSA have increased manifold in the recent months since the monsoon trawl ban has been lifted in September 2013. Hundreds have been arrested and put behind bars, most of them being Indian fishermen, now in Pakistani jails. At present, around 229 Indian fishermen and about 780 Indian boats are in the custody of Pakistan. In addition to this, 23 boats of Indian fishermen have been confiscated just during the ongoing fishing season. Similarly, around 200 Pakistani fishermen and 150 Pakistani boats are with India. 

The delegation, accompanied by Gujarat Congress leader and MP, Shri Arjun Modhwadia made the following other demands: 

  1. Implement a ‘No Arrest Policy’ for Pakistani fishers, while fishing in Indian waters  
  2. India must take the lead and work out an Economic Co-operation Agreement so as to have fishing rights for fisherpeople from both sides to be able to fish in a joint fishing zone
  3. Unilateral and unconditional release of all Pakistani fishermen in Indian jails
  4. Release of all Pakistani boats, under Indian custody
  5. A separate Fisheries Ministry at the Centre
  6. Centralised (national) Identity Cards for all fishermen who go to sea
  7. Implementation of the interim recommendations by the India-Pakistan Judicial Committee on Prisoners
  8. The Indian Government to constitute a high-level working group involving the representatives from the fishing community to monitor and prevent the arrest of fishermen and confiscation of the boats
  9. Facilitation of Indian and Pakistani fisher people’s delegations to go to the other country to survey the condition of their boats in the custody of the other country
  10. An urgent meeting be arranged of the Task Force consisting of Indian Coast Guard and Pakistan’s MSA and a proper inquiry be conducted in the case of Naranbhai Sosa’s killing 

Dr. Singh responded to the delegations demands positively. He assured the team that efforts will be taken by the UPA government to release the Pakistani fisherpeople in Indian jails along with their boats – as early as possible. He suggested that he could only expect a reciprocal similar action from the democratic government of Pakistan led by Mr. Nawaz Sharif. 

The Prime Minister promised the delegation that the request for financial assistance to Mr. Sosa’s family will be considered by the PMO and action taken. 

Agreeing that the fisherpeople are caught between the two South Asian conflicting neighbours, Dr. Singh asserted that his government would not leave any stone unturned to protect the lives and livelihood of fisherpeople of Saurashtra, Gujarat. He requested the delegation to also meet with the Agriculture Minister and the Minister of External Affairs to take forward demands specific to these ministries.  

The delegation included the following fishworkers from Saurashtra along with Vijayan MJ (representing the PIPFPD): 

Delegation of Gujarat Fishworkers from Porbandar includes:

Shri Dilipbhai Naranbhai Lodhari

Shri Narshibhai Kanjibhai Jungi

Shri Bhartbhai Dhanjibhai Modi

Shri Sunilbhai Devjibhai Gohel

Shri Hirenbhai Narshibhai Lodhari

Shri Chhaganbhai Gokarbhai Lodhari

Shri Nileshbhai Kanji Postaria 

Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace & Democracy

PIPFPD Delhi Chapter

101-hour satyagraha of fishworkers inaugurated on 4 Nov. 2013

101-hour satyagraha of fishworkers inaugurated

The 101-hour Satyagraha of fishworkers under the aegis of Kerala Swathanthra Matsyathozhilali Federation was inaugurated by CPI state secretary Pannian Raveendran here on Monday (4 Nov, 2013).

The agitation was organised demanding withdrawal of projects such as coastal mining, hydrofoil and coastal shipping as well as seeking renovation of wayside markets, distribution of kerosene at subsidised rates for fishermen and issuing 10 cents of land and house to landless fishermen.

Inaugurating the agitation, Pannian said that the projects that were promoted by the government in the name of development, were those which alienate the fishermen from the sea and the seashore.

Both the Central and State Governments have taken a hostile position as far as this marginalised people are concerned, he said.

National Fishworkers Forum national secretary T Peter, Federation president P P John, general secretary Jackson Pollayil, J P John, Anto, Elias and S Francis among others spoke on the occasion.
Fishworkers’ organisation takes out protest march

By Express News Service – THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Published: 06th November 2013 01:04 PM

Last Updated: 06th November 2013 01:04 PM

As part of the 101-hour Satyagraha of fishworkers organised under the aegis of Kerala Swathanthra Matsyathozhilali Federation, fish workers took out a march here on Tuesday carrying fishing equipment like fishing net, oars and engines used in boats.

The agitation is being organised raising various demands such as withdrawal of projects such as coastal mining, hydrofoil and coastal shipping.

Other demands include renovation of wayside markets, distribution of kerosene at subsidised rates for fishermen and issuance of 10 cents of land and house to landless fishermen.

National Fishworkers Forum national secretary T Peter, Federation president P P John, general secretary Jackson Pollayil, J P John, Anto, Elias and S Francis among others spoke on the occasion.

Kerala Swathanthra Matsyathozhilali Federation said that on Wednesday fisherwomen will take out a march expressing solidarity with the agitation.

Coastal belt witnessing an innovative fund collection – Arun Jayan

Coastal belt witnessing an innovative fund collection

By Arun Jayan | ENS – THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The state, which has seen many varieties of fund collection, including the ‘bucket collection’ of the Left parties, for different causes is witnessing another innovative process of fund collection on its coastal belts.

It’s ‘Mathi’ and ‘Choora’ that are replacing money as Kerala Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation (KSMTF) is on a fund collection drive with a tag line ‘contribute a fish’ in the coastal areas of the state for raising working fund for the organisation.

“We are getting a good response from fish workers who are all happy to contribute a part of their catch to the fund. The contribution varies from a single fish to a basket of fish and we are carrying it out in all the coastal areas of the state,’’ said president of Kerala Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation T Peter.

The fish collected by the KSMTF are sold in the market and the money in turn is deposited to the the fund.

“Sometimes, fish workers donate us the fish as they bring in the catch from the sea and it is auctioned there itself. We are also getting money apart from the fish donation. KSMTF has set a target of Rs one crore and we will review the fund collection in another two months,’’ Peter said.

The fund, according to KSMTF, will be utilised for organising various protests for the cause of the fishermen and for the welfare measure of the fishing community.

“We need funds from time to time for organising various events for our cause. The fish workers, both at the state and national-levels, are on a protest path raising various demands which are being overlooked by the State and the Central Governments,’’ he said.

National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) general secretary N Elango, from Puducherry, said that the innovative way of fund collection started by the KSMTF in Kerala would be replicated in other states.

“The way of collection of fund is an inspiration for other state units to start fund collection in a similar manner.

“For Rs one crore, a fish’ is an attractive catchline for the fisherman for whose cause we are fighting,’’ he said.

 

Fishermen, greens flay seaplane project

http://newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/Fishermen-greens-flay-seaplane-project/2013/05/31/article1613577.ece

By Nidheesh J Villatt | ENS – KOCHI

31st May 2013 12:00 PM

Kerala Fisheries Coordination Committee, local bodies and environmental groups have expressed serious concerns over the inauguration of the seaplane project in the state. V Dinakaran and V V Sasheendhran, chairman and general convener of the coordination committee said: “The government has betrayed fishing communities by backing from a promise that it will address the anxieties of fishermen.”

“We had raised our concerns in a meeting with the Fisheries and Tourism ministers on May 22. The ministers promised us that they will communicate our concerns to the Chief Minister. They also said that the project will be inaugurated only after addressing our concerns. But now, we are surprised at the pace of the inaugural process,” Dinakaran said. Sasheendhran said that fisherfolk will be eventually thrown out of their livelihood.

“Since many years, influential business groups have been systematically buying and encroaching upon areas of coastal land. Now they are eying common resources like lakes.

“A critical scrutiny of the Detailed Project Report(DPR) on the seaplane project prepared by Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd gives enough hints that fisherfolk  will have to put up with stringent regulatory measures for smooth operation of the private sector,” he added. T J Anjelose and T Peter, leaders of the coordination committee said that the government’s decision reflected severe neglect of the fishing community by the UDF Government.

The committee is planning to launch a token strike on Sunday. “We will intensify the struggle in the coming days. We had visited the proposed site in Alappuzha district. Hundreds of acres of land in the Vemaband lake have been earmarked for the project,” Anjelose said.

Joji Kuttumel, chairman of the Vembanad Kayal Protection Forum, said that the project can damage ecology of the lake. Deepak Dayanandan, ecologist and KSSP leader said that the authorities are violating several environmental guidelines in its urge to implement the project.

“The Vembanad Lake is a ‘Ramsar’ site and has also been notified as a Critical Vulnerable Coastal Area (CVCA) in the Coastal Regulation Zone notification, 2011. There are clear guidelines banning construction for commercial purposes,” Deepak said.

Deepa Ajithkumar and P A Jumailath, presidents of Muhamma and Mannancherry panchayats in Alappuzha said that the the State Government never consulted the local bodies regarding the project.

 

<p�0 s=”`�” �w�=””>Nearly 150 protesters on boats surrounded the waterdrome for four hours, shouting slogans against the seaplane project. They said the service had been flagged off in haste without conducting any environmental study on the lake.

 

V. Dinakaran of the All Kerala Dheevara Sabha, T.J. Anjelose of the All India Trade Union Congress, P.P. Chittaranjan of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Jackson Pollayil of the Kerala Swanthanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation and K. Pradeep of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh led the protests. The leaders asked the fishermen to go about fishing during the protest.

Mr. Anjelose said that the protest would continue till the project was abandoned.

The protesters said hundreds of inland fishermen and clam collectors would lose their livelihoods when waterdromes came up on the lake.

The houseboat owners and those in the tourism sector had, however, welcomed the seaplane service, which, they said, will boost the tourism prospects of Alappuzha.

District Collector N. Padmakumar and District Police Chief Thomson Jose were present at the waterdrome.