Meeting held on mine row as four locals held for arms
A Thessaloniki prosecutor met on Friday with the lawyers of four people arrested by police following a protest against a gold mining project in Skouries, near Halkidiki, and with members of the Hellas Gold Company in a bid to diffuse an intensifying dispute over the venture. Representatives of residents’ groups refused to attend the talks. Meanwhile four of the six residents of the village of Ierissos detained by police on Thursday following a protest against the mining project remained in detention at the Thessaloniki police headquarters.
A search on the homes of the four residents turned up rifles and flares and fireworks. The weapons are to be sent for forensic tests to determine whether they were used in an arson attack last month on the premises and vehicles of the Canadian-owned Hellas Gold mining company in Skouries. Late on Thursday relatives of the detainees staged a protest outside the police headquarters in Thessaloniki.
The unrest on Thursday prompted an exchange of barbs between the government and the main leftist opposition SYRIZA party in Parliament later in the day with the latter referring to excessive police violence. SYRIZA spokesman Panos Skourletis emphasized on Friday that SYRIZA opposes the Hellas Gold project and will stop it if it comes to power, noting that the investment represents a «slow death» for local residents. The Skouries project has fueled furious protests by locals and activists who say the mine will cause environmental damage. Other locals who back the project due to the jobs it would bring claim to have been threatened by activists.
Kashmir, protests spread; 52 injured
SRINAGAR, Mar 7:Curfew continued to remain imposed in most parts of Kashmir for the second consecutive day today, while normal life was paralysed for the fourth consecutive day in rest of valley. Protests and clashes continued in different parts of Valley resulting in injuries to 52 persons including a dozen cops. A women suffering from asthma allegedly died due to excessive use of pepper gas in old city of Srinagar.
A boy was seriously injured when a tear gas shell hit him on his head at Palhalan in Pattan. A youth was seriously injured after he was allegedly hit by a security vehicle during a protest in Kupwara. Reports of police and para -military forces ransacking houses and beating the people during protests have been appearing from different areas. Curfew remained imposed in the areas falling under 10 police stations in Srinagar city and other towns of north and south Kashmir.
People at Nowhatta, Khanyar, Maharajgunj, Rainawari, Safakadal , Zadibal, Kralkhud and Maisuma in Srinagar were not allowed to move outside their houses due to strict curfew. Today additional deployment of forces was made to enforce the curfew. Reports said people took to streets and held protest demonstration at Batamalloo, Safakadal, Humhama, Peerbagh, Hyderpora, Burzullah, Bemina, Nowgam, Soura, Habbakadal and Amirakadal. Police and para-military force fired dozens of tear gas shells to disperse them and also resorted to lathi charge. The people at Batamalloo alleged that cop entered into their houses and ransacked those and severely beat the inmates.
A 65 year old woman, Hajira of Saraf kadal allegedly died due to excessive use of pepper gas by cops. Her son Showkat Hussain said his mother was suffering from asthma and died as the cops were using pepper gas continuously for last several days. Reports said the tension mounted at Sriangar-Baramulla road and held demonstrations. They tried to take out march but were stopped by police and para- military forces. This led to clashes between two sides .The cops fired smoke shells and allegedly entered the house where they beat inmates some of them were hospitalised, the window panes of dozens of vehicle and residential house were also damaged. Protests and clashes continued in north Kashmir thorough out the day. Youth tried to take out procession at Gulnar Park Bridge and Deewanbagh. The forces used pellet guns and tear smoke shells in which two minors were seriously injured.
Despite curfew in Baramulla the people defied the restrictions and held protest demonstrations. They took out procession from Awqaf-e- Islamia which moved through Qazi Haman, Khwaja Sahib, Jamia Mohallah and other areas and finally reached the residence of Tahir Ahmad Sofi, who was recently killed in an army firing. Demonstrations were also held at Sopore despite curfew. Clashes occurred at Main Chowk Batapora, Chinkipora, and Aarampora during which tear gas shells were used by police and para military forces.
Reports said a protest march was taken out from Cheeri to Khumrial- Lolaab which was stopped by police and forces. Clashes occurred between the two sides. A youth Akhtar Hussain Malik was hit by a security vehicle during the incident and was seriously injured. He was shifted to Kupwara hospital and was latter referred to Bone and Joint hospital Srinagar .Three other injured civilians were removed to Kupwara hospital for treatment . People at Khumriyal alleged ransacking of their houses by forces, who also arrested four youth.
Intermittent clashes were also reported from Trehgam, Kralpora, Hari, Batargam, and Hyien. People at Langate held strong pretest demonstration and alleged that army entered their houses last night and ransacked those. They alleged that Farooq Ahmad was arrested and his arm fractured. Clashes continued between the protesters and para-millitary forces at Palhallan, Pattan . A tear smoke shell hit 15 year old Aaqib Bashir at eye and seriously injured him. At Chandhar, Pampore youth held protest demonstration and pelted stone at vehicle on Srinagar- Jammu highway. Re-enforcement of security forces was rushed to the areas and vehicular movement was restored.
Police and para- military forces burst smoke shells at Pulwama, Kakapora , Newa and Pompore to disperse the protesters .Reports of protests were also received from Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian districts and clashes occurred at Gagran- Shopian. Protest demonstrations were also held at Charar-e-Sharief and Chadoora. Meanwhile a police spokesman in a statement said, “Situation across the valley remained largely peaceful, so far. Some stone pelting incidents were reported in Srinagar and other parts of the valley.Miscreants pelted stones in Batamaloo and Zakoora in Srinagar, Khanpora, Cement bridge and Palhalan in Baramulla, Narbal crossing in Budgam, Papchan in Bandipora, Cherkoot Lolab in Kupwara.
Police exercised maximum restraint chased them away. Nine policemen and two civilians received minor injuries. Curfew remained imposed in Police station areas of Nowhatta, Khanyar, M.R Ghanj, Rainawari, Safakadal, Zadibal, Kralkhud and Maisuma in Srinagar, and in Police district Sopore. A Swaraj Mazda vehicle of a private cement factory bearing registration number 6276/JK01F was set on fire by some miscreants, when driver Bilal Ahmad Khanday parked the vehicle near Wuyan as per routine. The vehicle was partially damaged. Police has registered a case in this regard.”
Indonesians working for China’s Huawei on strike
JAKARTA – Indonesians working for Chinese telecom firm Huawei joined a strike Friday over claims their employer broke labour laws, in the latest industrial action to hit a foreign company in Indonesia.
Some 150 workers in the capital Jakarta and the eastern Java city of Surabaya took part over claims Huawei has illegally hired foreign workers and has sought to disrupt the work of labour unions. Huawei denies the claims. Indonesians working for US mining giants Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold and Newmont Nusa Tenggara, and French retailer Carrefour, have gone on strike in recent years seeking better pay and conditions as the economy booms. “The strike is an escalation of several labour issues at Huawei,” Huawei Tech Investment Indonesia Union chairman Heru Waskito Krisnamurti told AFP.
He said 150 workers joined the industrial action Friday, the final day of a five-day strike. He said the union, which represents 900 of more than 4,000 people working for Huawei subsidiaries in Indonesia, planned to report the company to Indonesian authorities later on Friday for breaking labour laws. Krisnamurti said the firm had hired foreigners without the proper work permits, as well as employing local workers on six-month or one-year contracts to carry out the company’s core activities, which is illegal in Indonesia.
“Huawei is fully aware of the industrial action currently taking place,” company spokeswoman Yunny Christine told AFP in a statement, adding the strike had not affected operations. The firm has denied disrupting the work of unions or illegally hiring foreign workers, saying all their foreign employees had the required paperwork. Of its 4,000 employees in Indonesia, more than 2,500 work at Huawei Tech Investment which develops telecom infrastructure in the archipelago, of whom 20 per cent are foreigners, the firm said.
Chilean Police Disperses First Students March
Santiago de Chile, Mar 7 (Prensa Latina) A student march called by social networks in Chile was aborted by the police today in this capital with water cannons, and tear gas. The mobilization, which had not been authorized by the City capital nor sponsored by student organizations, intended to start from Plaza Italia in the direction to La Moneda Palace, to demand an end to profit for education. The incidents occurred in the area of Bustamante Park, in the Providencia district, where young people were dispersed by the Riot Police Special Forces, who threw stones and other objects.
The call on social networks, the people behind the so-called open march made clear that the demonstration was not supported by the Confederation of Chilean Students, the Coordinating Assembly of Secondary Students and the National Coordinator of Secondary Students, the biggest in the country. Young people who answered the call in social networks, when they to reach the point where they were cited encountered barriers and other obstacles placed by the officers, who arrested several participants, some of them masked.
Palestinians clash with Israeli forces in West Bank, Jerusalem
Clashes broke out between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank and at a holy site in Jerusalem on Friday as tensions rose just weeks before a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama. Trouble broke out after the funeral in the West Bank of Palestinian who died of wounds on Thursday after being shot by Israeli soldiers during a confrontation two weeks ago. More than 5,000 people attended the ceremony but afterwards a group of about 100 mourners threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, a military spokeswoman said.
In Jerusalem’s Old City, Israeli police fired stun grenades at Palestinian worshippers who threw rocks and firebombs at them after Friday prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Dozens of officers in riot gear entered the politically sensitive area, one of Islam’s holiest sites, to break up a crowd of several hundred protesters. Palestinian medical workers said about 35 protesters were injured at the plaza, none seriously. A number of policemen were slightly hurt, a police spokesman said.
Jobs protesters break into Iraq oilfield
Hundreds of protesters demanding jobs broke into Iraq’s giant southern West Qurna-2 oilfield and wrecked offices early on Monday. West Qurna-2, which is being developed by Russia’s Lukoil is not yet producing oil but workers at the site said construction of a major crude oil processing plant had been disrupted by the protest.
Officials of the state run Southern Oil Company said there was no disturbance around any of the producing oilfields in the south of Iraq and production was proceeding as normal. Iraq’s oil ministry said that the West Qurna-2 incident would lead to a rethink of security at the field, which is a key element in Iraq’s drive to become one of the world’s largest oil exporters. Iraqi oil officials expect the field’s output to reach 140,000 barrels per day by the end of 2013.
An Iraqi oil police official said that the force called in the army to restore order after the protesters stormed offices and smashed surveillance cameras at the oilfield. An official at West Qurna Phase 2 said that “At least 400 angry protesters breached the main gate and broke into West Qurna oilfield. Most of the foreign and local staff left the field as a safety measure and work was significantly affected.”