Schools shutdown over DAV row affects 250000 Lalitpur students
KATHMANDU, Feb 11: Demanding DAV Sushil Kedia Bishwa Bharati Higher Secondary School to reinstate the three teachers the institution had initially fired and accusing the school of using textbooks that threaten to undermine the national sovereignty, the CPN-Maoist aligned student union All Nepal National Independent Student Union- Revolutionary (ANNISU-R) on Sunday enforced school shut down in Lalitpur district on Sunday.
The Banda enforcers closed 324 private and 198 community schools affecting around 250000 students studying in Lalitpur. The number is one fourth of the total school going children of the Kathmandu Valley where around 1 million students are enrolled in schools, according to the District Education Office, Lalitpur. The All Nepal Teachers´ had padlocked the School in Jawalakhel following for the same reason in January 5.
The agitating teacher´s union, an umbrella organization of all the teachers across the country, said that they were compelled to take the move as the government did not take any action against the school even as the school has been using textbooks that threaten to undermine national sovereignty. The teachers have also expressed solidarity on the Sunday´s closure.
The school had fired two teachers Sagar Thapa and Santosh Jha in September accusing them of conspiring against the school administration. Rajendra Manandhar, who taught computer science for the last seven years in the school, was also fired on December 16 on similar grounds. The school where more than 3500 students are currently studying, has prescribed Integrated Social Science textbook for grade four, which mentions that Lord Buddha was born in India and that Mount Everest is also located in India. The three teachers were fired after they raised voice saying the school has hurt the sentiments of all Nepali nationals.
The teachers have also asked the school to sever its affiliation with the Indian Council of Secondary Education, which has prescribed the controversial textbook. The teachers have claimed that the school administration has restricted more 18 teachers to teach amid increasing pressure. “The school has not dared to fire more teachers for now but 18 teachers some of whom were working there since its establishment have been restricted to take the class,” said Manandhar.
The student´s and teachers´ union are scheduled to conduct interaction program among the guardians and student at the school gate on Monday. According to District Education Officer of Lalitpur, Mankaji Shrestha, various rounds of talks between the two sides remained fruitless. He added that the school has been turning deaf ear to the frequent circular the office had made. The DEO has directed the school administration to reinstate the teachers which was neglected by the school. He also expressed helplessness of the office as the issue has become sensitive.
“The National Vigilance Center and the Department of Education have formed a committee to decide on the future of the school and the students enrolled there,” said Shrestha. However, the school has neither responded to the government´s direction nor reacted to the agitating groups. “In an indirect communication with the ANNISU-R the school has agreed to revise its textbooks but have denied to re-establish the fired teachers,” said Sarad Rasaili, chairman of the ANNISU-R aligned with CPN-Maoist. However, the school authority have said that they have sent an official letter to the Ratna Sagar Publication of India to remove the wrong content published in the book regarding the birth of Lord Buddha. The official further defended their action against teachers saying that they were incompatible to continue job in the institution.
“We have already instructed the teachers to discard the chapter with such serious error and decided to reject the book prescribed by the publication if it sends the book with same error in the next academic session,” said Ram Chandra Khanal, Vice-Principal of the school. Khanal claimed that the teachers with political interest are trying to ruin the school´s image in long run.
Boy shot in Kashmir execution protest dies: hospital
SRINAGAR, India — A boy died of his wounds on Monday after being shot by security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir at a protest over the execution of a separatist, police and hospital officials said. Ubaid Mushtaq, who doctors say was 12 or 13 years old, died around 3:00am at Srinagar’s main hospital after suffering bullet wounds in the protest on Sunday at Watergam, a senior hospital official said on condition of anonymity.
Watergam is a village close to the hometown of Mohammed Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri Muslim who was executed on Saturday at a jail in New Delhi after being convicted of helping to plot the deadly 2001 attack on the Indian parliament. A senior police officer, who was not authorised to speak to the press, said that the youngster had already been buried in his home village and around 3,500 mourners had attended the funeral service.
The officer said an inquiry had been launched into the shooting and that initial reports suggested the death was the result of firing by a paramilitary force which comes under the control of the federal interior ministry. Guru’s execution has been heavily criticised in Kashmir with the state’s chief minister among those warning that it could lead to more unrest in the disputed region. Security forces have imposed a curfew in much of Indian Kashmir while a general strike was in force on Monday to mark the 29th anniversary of the execution of Maqbool Bhat, a leader of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).
Prisoners riot at Saint-Jérôme detention centre
The union representing Quebec corrections officers is blaming overcrowding for another riot inside one of the province’s jails. A small riot broke out in the Saint-Jérôme detention centre’s maximum security wing last night around 8:30 p.m. Corrections officer union president Stéphane Lemaire said tensions are spilling over into violence because of constant overcrowding in the province’s detention centres.
It took three hours to get the situation under control. No one was injured during the event. A group of inmates at the Hull jail held police at bay for eight hours after barricading themselves inside their wing last week.
Makerere University students strike over fees
The Anti-riot Police have fired tear gas to disperse Makerere University students who have gone on strike. The striking students who are engaged in running battles with the Police are protesting the administration’s directive to have 50% of their tuition paid by March.
They stormed the main the building waving placards inscribed “we need more time to pay tuition.” Business has come to a standstill as rioting students have closed some of the roads with log and stones. Four police patrols vehicles are patrolling the campus. The students are demanding that the administration addresses their grievances.
One killed in clashes between police, protesters in SE Turkey
ANKARA, Feb. 11 — At least one person was killed in clashes between the police forces and protesters in southeastern Turkey, local media reported on Monday. Clashes erupted when people took to the streets to protest against the capture and imprisonment of Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) who was captured on Feb. 15, 1999 in Kenya, said the local newspaper Today’s Zaman.
Protesters started hurling rocks and petrol bombs at the riot police, the report said, adding that a protester was heavily injured as a bomb detonated in his hand and died en route to hospital. The police has beefed up security around the hospital building where the body of the killed protester was kept.
Code Name ‘Murat’: What Germany Knew About Ankara Bomber
It was a routine call that took a patrol from Berlin’s 52nd police division to the Hallesches Tor subway station on Sept. 10, 2011. A man had been caught trying to ride the subway without a ticket, and the officers were needed to check his identity. The delinquent was let go after he identified himself as Ecevit S., born in Turkey in 1973. The incident was documented as a minor offence. Today, less than a year-and-a-half later, the fare-dodger has become a political bone of contention between Germany and Turkey. On Feb. 1, Ecevit S. blew himself up in front of the United States Embassy in Ankara, killing a Turkish security guard and seriously injuring three other individuals. German authorities had been well aware that the suicide bomber was a political hothead, and that he had been staying in Germany until a few months before the bombing.
This helps explain the brusque response from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other European Union countries to what appeared to be a lax approach to counterterrorism. “Terrorists who commit the bloodiest murders in Turkey” were being allowed to travel freely in Europe, Erdogan ranted. From Ankara’s perspective, German law enforcement is not proceeding forcefully enough against suspects like Ecevit S., who was subject to a Turkish arrest warrant. The pro-government Turkish newspaper Zaman accused Germany of being a “central accomplice” to terrorism. Last Wednesday, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, a member of Bavaria’s conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), faced the Turks’ displeasure when he met with Deputy Prime Ministers Beir Atalay and Bekir Bozdag in Ankara. The Turkish politicians demanded that Germany take stronger action against banned terrorist organizations like the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) and the Kurdish separatist group the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and suggested an “intensive dialogue” between the two countries. Friedrich rebuffed the accusations, saying that membership in these organizations is also a punishable offence in Germany.
In Germany Since 1998
German authorities had undeniably been aware for some time of the man who would later commit the Ankara suicide bombing. In April 2011, the German federal prosecutor’s office even launched a covert investigation against S. on suspicion of “membership in a foreign terrorist organization.” At the time, the Germans believed that the then 38-year-old was an official with the DHKP-C, a left-wing extremist terrorist organization that uses Germany as a refuge in its armed struggle against the Turkish state. According to the investigation, S. had been in Germany, most recently in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where he was soliciting donations for the organization, which has been banned in Germany since 1998.
Nevertheless, there was apparently insufficient evidence to arrest him. Or was it sheer negligence on the part of German investigators, who missed an opportunity to take him into custody? The suspect disappeared last fall. German authorities relocated him between Christmas and New Year’s. The Turkish police contacted the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and, almost simultaneously, Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MIT) contacted the German domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV). The Turkish officials told the Germans that they had information suggesting that suspected terrorist Ecevit S. had entered Turkey to commit a bombing there. On Jan. 2, the BKA responded that it could not provide any information on his whereabouts because it had lost track of him in mid-October. The agents at the BfV sent a similar letter to their Turkish counterparts on Jan. 15.
Now the question is being raised as to whether the Ankara attack may have been planned on German soil. Investigators are taking a close look at S.’s former surroundings in the Cologne area, searching for possible contacts who may have escaped their notice in the past. In the process, they are also trying to reconstruct an account of the radical leftist’s past. According to court records, Ecevit S. was already a terror suspect in his native Turkey in the late 1990s. He was arrested in Istanbul in August 1997, when Turkish police accused S., 24 at the time, of involvement in two rocket-launcher attacks on a security services administrative building and an officers’ mess hall. According to Turkish officials, he was known by the code name “Murat” in the underground organization DHKP-C, and weapons and a rocket-launcher had been found in his apartment. After more than three years in pretrial detention, the suspect, who claimed he had been tortured, went on a hunger strike.
He and dozens of other prisoners were protesting plans to transfer them to what are known as F-type prisons, where they feared reprisals by guards. After a hunger strike of eight months the seriously ill suspect was released on parole.
A ‘Living Bomb’
The Turkish police arrested him again twice after that, S. later reported, claiming that the officers had referred to him as a “living bomb.” Finally, in the spring of 2002, shortly before his trial was set to begin, he went into hiding, allegedly staying with friends. On June 10, the military judges on the 4th State Security Court in Istanbul sentenced him to death in absentia, for “membership in the illegal, armed terrorist organization DHKP-C” and involvement in attacks.
The sentence was later changed to life in prison, and the authorities issued a warrant for his arrest. S. remained in hiding until he managed to escape to Germany in September 2002. The German chapter in the story of the Ankara bomber began with a visit to a fellow Turk in Cologne’s Mülheim neighborhood. Ali Y., 77, recalls that the stranded S. told him that he had cancer and urgently needed a German address so he could be treated in a Cologne hospital. Y., a retiree, agreed to help him.
He says that he only knew the man fleetingly and had no knowledge of his radical past. “He couldn’t live here, because there wasn’t enough room,” he says. S. also used the retiree’s apartment as a mailing address for his application for political asylum. During his asylum hearing, S. claimed that he had traveled from Ankara to Düsseldorf on a Turkish Airlines flight, using a forged passport. He said that he had thrown away the documents, and he didn’t want to reveal the name he had used to enter the country.
In a decision issued on June 2, 2005, a Cologne court rejected the application as unfounded, citing the terrorist attacks S. had allegedly committed in Turkey. Nevertheless, the authorities chose not to deport him because he might be tortured in Turkey. The BfV soon became interested in S. According to agents, he initially worked as the director of an Anatolian training and cultural center in the western German city of Duisburg that had been linked to the DHKP-C. Then he began a “classic career in the leadership of the left-wing extremist organization,” says a senior BfV official. But German investigators did not notice that S. had undergone any “further radicalization” in the years he spent in the country, they say.
Tolerated in Germany
From the industrial Ruhr region, the Turk moved to Brussels, where he was active as a leader of the local branch of the DHKP-C. After a short period there, he returned to Germany, where he served in the leadership of the “Berlin section.” The German intelligence services must have known early on that S. was more than just a harmless follower of the banned DKHP-C. In 2009, his activities led to a judicial inquiry by the public prosecutor’s office in Berlin for violation of the German law on criminal associations. During a raid on his apartment, officers found DHKP-C flyers and other propaganda material.
The proceedings against him were closed. Still suffering physically from the effects of his 2002 hunger strike, S. moved to Cologne. According to his then attorney, he entered psychological treatment for neurological problems. After a “security questioning” in late 2011, he lost his right of residence and, from then on, was merely tolerated in Germany. He was required to report to the police weekly and was not allowed to leave Cologne.
But apparently this didn’t interfere with his activities as a DHKP-C activist. He was promoted to district manager of the organization in Cologne, and registered a demonstration in front of the Turkish general consulate the fall of 2012. After the suicide bombing in Ankara, the DHKP-C published a photo of S. on its website. He is holding a Scorpion submachine gun in his right hand, and in his left hand he appears to be holding the trigger for his explosive belt.
Tortured labor: Egyptian textile workers to protest ‘Brotherhoodisation’, assaults
Workers at the state-owned Mahalla Misr Spinning and Weaving Company will march on Tuesday to protest the Muslim Brotherhood’s failure to realise the revolution’s demands. The march will start at the company and head off to El-Shon Square in the industrial city of Mahalla in the Nile Delta. “The revolution’s demands have not been met, neither have the workers’ demands for justice and a minimum wage,” labour activist Kamal El-Fayoumi tells Ahram Online.
El-Fayoumi adds that the workers object any form of “Brotherhoodisation” of the state, echoing the calls for the formation of a national salvation government to represent all Egyptians. Tuesday’s protests are also organised to denounce recent assaults targeting workers in the textile producing city known for their loud criticism to the Muslim Brotherhood. El-Fayoumi claims that two of his colleagues at the textile company were assaulted by members of the Freedom and Justice Party (the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm) and were warned not to join anti-government rallies.
One of the workers, Mohamed Gamal, was kidnapped Wednesday; tortured, stripped of his clothes and dumped on the Tanta-Mahalla Road, claims El-Fayoumi. “Gamal told us that he was beaten by members of the Freedom and Justice Party because they know how active he is “They are trying to scare the workers so the revolution will lose one of its main assets: the workers,” adds El-Fayoumi. El-Fayoumi cites another alleged assault. Employee Reda Omaira was allegedly assaulted, his motorcycle was damaged and was threatened with direct injury if he chanted against the Brotherhood. Like Gamal, El-Fayoumi says Omaira also blames the Brotherhood for the assault.