Fr. Thomas Kocherry’s burial on Monday 5th May, 2014

Our Great Leader, the NFF Former chairperson, KSMTF Leader, WFF founder co-ordinator, Special Invitee of WFFP, Fr. Thomas Kocherry passed away. Funeral is going to take place on Monday the 5th May at 3.00 pm at Holy Cross Church, Near M.G college, Trivandrum.

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5th Death Anniversary of Smitu Kothari

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Dear Friends,

Today is the 5th death anniversary of our beloved friend, scholar, activist and writer Smitu Kothari, who left us on the 23rd March 2009. He died of several complications after having undergone a cardiac surgery the previous day at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi.

Today, on his third death anniversary we pay our homage and tribute to him. Smitu’s writings and activities include a wide spectrum of issues and arenas ranging from Development-induced displacement, , the idea of people’s movements, people’s governance and social-environmental movements. He was one of the most consistent voices against the neo-liberal politics, anti-poor policies of the state and a great critique of the contemporary privatisation, globalisation and liberalisation.

for Intercultural Resources

PT George

Sangharsh 2014 – Martyr Bhagat Singh Day Celebration: 23rd March 2014

Inquilab Zindabad! Long live the victory of working peoples’ movements!

 Shaheed Bhagat Singh Diwas, 23rd March 2014

Shaheed Park – 10 am and Jantar Mantar – 1 pm 

 Sangharsh 2014

As a follow up of the Jashn-e-Sangharsh of movements, activists and community leaders along with cultural groups, held in Chirala (Andhra Pradesh) in January 2014, a political meeting of people’s movements, organised and unorganised sector trade unions and traditional natural resource based community representatives was held on the 22ndand 23rd February 2014 in Delhi.

The existence of social movements and trade unions dates back to the history of left movement in India; the mass organisations and trade unions in the country, affiliated to a party or otherwise, have played a very important role in deciding the future of government formation at the centre and the states. It is important that we take this historic opportunity to assert our militant unity and radical positions and re-emphasize the importance of social movements and its political views outside of the electoral politics.

Discussions within social movements, trade unions and the larger left constituency, in the context of the 2014 parliament elections in India, must bring in debates and dialogues of the leading political parties and an analysis of the emerging political trends.

Some of the main positions taken during the meeting were to recognise that:

Current times demand new political coalitions and alliance-building amidst social movements and between people’s movements and trade unions, bringing together the diversity of our political history as represented through the Red, Green and Blue flags! New political formulations that weave through class, gender and caste, organised and unorganised, environment and human must be found.   

This coalition must be built on the basic ideological premise of our collective opposition against global capitalism, brahmanism, feudalism, patriarchy, religious fundamentalism and jingoistic nationalism.

The need to effectively tackle and take forward the political resurgence of the past ten years, since 2004 WSF Mumbai, Sangharsh 2007 and the new political uprisings since 2000s, like; Nandigram, Singur, Mundra, Raigad, the hilly terrains of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Latehar, Chengara, Haripur, Nayachar, POSCO, Niyamgiri, Odisha, Chitrakoot, Bundelkhand, Khiri and Andhra coastal regions, Kudankulam, Kalinga Nagar, Jashpur, and Sonbhadra, Maruti workers, unorganized labour struggles led by the communities and workers themselves, which exemplify this.

At a time when people’s struggles are directed against the state-corporate nexus, there is a need for building a national joint platform of social movements and trade unions especially in the context of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2014.

The battle against patriarchy, and its manifestations in the physical and structural violence against women should be strengthened through strengthening women’s roles in family, society, movement and political dialogue

There is a historical need to re-assert the lives of leaders of political resistance and social change, like, Birsa Munda, Tilka Majhi, Sidhu Kanu, Ayyankali, Periyar, Savitribai Phule, Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Ambedkar, Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayan

It was decided that the efforts to build this sort of a political alliance must be made immediately, especially in the run up towards General Elections 2014.

The need for evolving a joint agenda and rationale in the political dialogue with political parties, in the run up to the elections

  1. The participation of critical mass-based movements in the election process – focus being on agenda-setting with movement demands
  2. The realisation that movements and groups must engage with greater clarity, in a multi-party political democracy, to put forth our issues, concerns and ideological demands to a cross-spectrum of political groups
  3. The realisation that some of the movement groups and leaders have decided to join the electoral process and to contest elections themselves. The situation needs understanding, but should not be allowed the space of political interpretation that all social movements and trade unions are with one political party
  4. The realisation that the decades old struggles of social movements & trade unions and centuries old struggles of natural resource-based traditional communities – especially Dalits & Adivasis, have a collective strength that is rooted in the politics of being in the opposition, asserting the rights of people in the fight against the state. This must not be diluted.

There is a need to unite our demands and assert the fact that we are not pleading for legislations or to have our people in parliament or for our demands to be heard but are demanding a political dialogue on each of these issues and will be aiming towards drafting a people’s charter on these lines.

It was decided to give a call for a national level mobilisation of representatives, leaders, activists and cultural movements to assemble in Delhi on Shaheed Diwas, the commemoration day of the martyrdom of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his comrades. This will be a political gathering of Adivasi and Dalit groups, forest workers, fishworkers, handloom weavers, domestic workers, street vendors and hawkers, women’s groups and organisations that have been working in the country for social and political change. 

On the 23rd of March 2014, after paying respect to  the martyrs at Shaheed Park at 10 am, the program will continue at Jantar Mantar from 1 pm onwards. Leaders from other peoples’ organizations and from political parties will also be invited. The group is undertaking this action as SANGHARSH 2014. A brainstorming and strategy action planning meeting of activists, community leaders, solidarity groups, etc. will be held on the following day, 24th March, 2014 in Delhi.

Inquilab Zindabad! Long live the victory of Working Peoples’ Movements!

All India Union of Forest Working People AIUFWP, National Fish Workers’ Forum NFF, National Hawkers’ Federation NHF, Krishak Mukti Sangharsh Samiti (KMSS) Assam, Handloom Workers’ Co-operative Union, A.P.; All India Tribal Youth Movement, Gujarat; Voices of Youth ,Gujarat; Delhi Solidarity Group (DSG)

 

INTERCULTURAL RESOURCES RELEASES SOCIAL MOVEMENTS CALENDAR 2014

INTERCULTURAL RESOURCES IS RELEASING THE SOCIAL MOVEMENTS CALENDAR 2014

DATE: 31 DECEMBER 2013

VENUE: INDIAN SOCIAL INSTITUTE, LODI ROAD, NEW DELHI

TIME: 3 PM ONWARDS

SUGGESTED CONTRIBUTION FOR A COPY: RS. 100/- OUTSTATION POSTAGE CHARGES EXTRA

SMC2014release

Conference: Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

CNDP cordially invites you to a conference on

Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

Relevance for South Asia and the World

NOVEMBER 8, 2013
Conference Room No.2
India International Centre, Annexe
K K Birla Lane,
off Max Mueller Marg
Lodhi Estate,
New Delhi-110003
PROGRAMME:
Tea: 9.00 to 9.30
Plenary I: 10.00-13.00
Chair: Praful Bidwai, Eminent Journalist & Founder Member, CNDP
Speakers:
Tilman Ruff, International Campaign for Abolishing Nuclear Weapons
Mani Shankar Aiyar MP, Indian National Congress
Amarjeet Kaur, National Secretary, Communist Party of India
Siddharth Mallavarapu, Professor, South Asia University, New Delhi Discussion
Lunch: 13.00-14.00

Plenary II: 14.00 – 17.00
Chair: Seema Mustafa, Centre for Policy Analysis
Speakers:
Prakash Karat, General Secretary, Communist party of India(Marxist)
Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan
Manoranjan Mohanty, Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy
Achin Vanaik, Political Scientist & Founder Member of CNDP
Jean Dreze, G B Pant Institute, Allahabad

Discussion
Tea: 17.00-17.30

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Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace

124A/6, Katwaria Sarai, New Delhi
www.cndpindia.org | cndpindia@gmail.com
CONTACT: Kumar Sundaram (91-9810556134)

 

Press Conference: Reality of the Uttarakhand Flood

Press Conference

Reality of the Uttarakhand Flood

Date: 8th November, 2013

Time: 12.30 pm – 2 pm

Venue: Lawns, Press Club of India, 1, Raisina Road, New Delhi

As you all are aware of the massive flood in Uttarakhand in the month of June, 2013, and it was shown to the world as a natural calamity which is not fully correct. This quantum of natural calamity increased many fold due to existing and dams under-construction on Bhagirathi-Alaknanda and their tributaries. Vishnupryag and Srinagar Hydro Electricity Projects (HEP) are some of the examples in Alaknanda Valley and Assiganga HEPs, Maneri-Bhali phase -2 is another bad example in Bhagirathi Valley, to quote a few.

The situation of these dam affected areas are worst as follows:-

Dam companies are busy with repair work without any study or investigation in to the reasons for the incident or extent of damage not only to the structure but to human life downstream.

No enquiry has been set up by the state or central agency in the instances of dam burst.

No FIR were allowed to be filed in Police stations.

Dinesh Panwar, Ranu Chowhan, P. V. Kala and others from affected villages in these parts are in Delhi to share their experience and to expose the reality of the situation in the Valley.

It is in this context that we would like to invite you for a Press Conference on 8th November, 2013, Tomorrow at Press Club, New Delhi @ 12.30 pm to 2 pm.

Please Join and listen our experience.

With Regards

Vimal Bhai (09718479517), Seela (09212587159)

 

No Place for Poor Indian Activists at the UN Meet in Canada

Lets register protest- Canada or any other govt should not repeat this. See the newsreport below.
From Rasheed

NO PLACE FOR POOR INDIAN ACTIVISTS AT UN MEET IN CANADA

Monday, 07 October 2013 | Moushumi Basu | New Delhi
It was a moment of rare honour for Sabitri Patra and Gopal Chandra Mandal — two conservationists from remote villages near Niyamgiri hills and Sunderbans in Odisha and West Bengal respectively. They were invited by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and officially registered by its Secretariat to participate in its meetings in Montreal from October 7 to October 18.

As per the agreement between the CBD Secretariat and the Canadian Government, the visa of the participants is to be promptly processed free of cost. To their surprise, the duo had to pay for their visa applications, which were rejected on grounds that they possessed insufficient funds in their personal account.

While Gopal is actively involved in restoration of mangrove ecology and developing community-owned mangrove forests in the vicinity of local villages, Sabitri had been working with the Kutia Kondh communities (particularly vulnerable tribal Group) near Niyamgiri hills. She had even participated in the 2012 CBD summit in Hyderabad.

“I was all set to board my flight on Thursday, but just a day before I got a letter from Canada Citizenship and Immigration office saying my application had been rejected,” Gopal said. “I was told I did not have sufficient funds, income or assets… to maintain myself in Canada,” he added.

While the visa officer also considered that the application had not clarified the “Purpose of Visit,” Gopal had a registration letter signed by the Executive Secretary of the CBD confirming that he “has been officially nominated to attend” the concerned CBD meetings.

He also had another letter from a sponsor confirming to cover all his expenses during his stay in Canada. Further, even the return air ticket was furnished along with the application. However, in spite of all these documents, they rejected the visa.

For her part, Sabitri also faced a similar plight. “Poor persons like us cannot hope to go to Canada,” an upset Sabitri said.S Faizi, ecologist, chairing the Board of CBD Alliance and specialising in International Environmental Policy, said, “Canada has breached the headquarters’ Agreement it has signed at the highest level with the United Nations Environment Programme for hosting the CBD Secretariat.”

Article 8.2 of the Agreement clearly points out, “Visas, where requested for persons shall be issued by the Government free of charge and as promptly as possible.”

Similarly, Article 8.1 of the Agreement says that Canadian authorities “shall not” impose any impediments to transit to and from the premises of the Secretariat of representatives of parties, observers….invited by the Secretariat…”

These are unconditional commitments on the part of the host country, as required by the UN system, in order to host universal UN events, Faizi said, adding its breach calls for remedial action by the statutory bodies of CBD.

However, responding to the charges over e-mail, Sonia Lesage, Media Relations Advisor/Spokesperson Western Region – Communications, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, said though they cannot comment on the specifics of these cases due to Privacy Act, visa applications are considered on a case-by-case basis on the specific facts presented by the applicant in each case. Decisions are made by highly-trained visa officers in accordance with Canadian immigration law.

“It is important to note that the onus is on the applicant to demonstrate that they meet the requirements for a temporary resident visa. Applications should be clear and complete and include all relevant supporting documents, such as an official invitation to attend a special event being held in Canada,” she added.

Kiran Shaheen