8 accused of stirring unrest in copper mine project wanted in Myanmar
Myanmar’s regional police authorities on Sunday issued warrants for the arrest of eight people accused of making instigation to create instability in Letpadaungtaung copper mine project areas in Monywa, northwestern Sagaing region, local media reported Monday. The eight are members of Yangon Public Service Network, Yangon University Students’ Union and Group Taking Care of Political Prisoners.
Violence recurred in some three copper mine projects in Letpadaungtaung last week, in which 15 members of the police force and three rioters were injured with three other rioters arrested by the authorities. Instigated by rioters, hundreds of local farmers gathered to re- cultivate their land confiscated earlier to pave way for the project. Police tried to stop them to maintain the curfew that had been imposed on the areas, which led to clashes with the farmers.
With sticks and swords at hands, the rioters threw stones and home-made fire bombs at the police. The police had to fire a number of warning shots to rescue a policeman held hostage by the rioters. The authorities vowed to deal with the matter through rule of law, saying that the violence has jeopardized community peace and tranquillity and undermined law and order.
Labour unrest in Noida: One shot at by security guard
Lucknow: A security guard at a builder’s office in Noida, abutting the national capital, Saturday opened fire at agitating labourers, who erupted in anger and pelted stones and set two vehicles on fire, police said. One labourer was injured in the firing. The incident occurred Saturday morning in Noida’s Sector 82. A car and a two-wheeler were set ablaze by the workers, police said.
A group of labourers had an altercation with the management of a construction company over their daily wages. The situation turned ugly when the security guard opened fire on the labourers in an attempt to disperse them. One bullet grazed a labourer, and angry labourers went on the rampage, police said.
Four other labourers were injured in the melee following the shooting. All five are under treatment in a city hospital. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Noida Pritinder Singh told IANS that the incident occurred at the office of 3C Construction Company. He said the situation was quickly brought under control.
“We mediated between the two sides and hope some solution will soon be found,” the police official said, adding that additional police forces have been deployed at the site. Policemen are yet to round up the security guard who opened fire.
Algeria: Tension in kabylie Adds to Social Unrest
Talk of self-determination for the Kabylie region is back again in full force. Celebrating the 33th anniversary of the Amazigh Spring, the Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie (MAK) organized several important marches across the Kabylie region in Algeria demanding the right to hold a referendum for self-determination. Kabylie activists denounced the Algerian government repression of civil rights around the country and asked for an end to the news blackout imposed on the activities and struggles of the Algerian Amazigh.
MAK supporters denounced the world community’s inattention over their plight. While the United Nations debates the right of certain ethnic groups to Self-Determination, MAK calls for an international debate on the status of the Kabylie remains ignored. As Ban Ki-moon calls for talks regarding Catalonia’s self-rule claims and while the U.N. Security Council discusses the Algeria backed self-determination plan for the Western Sahara, MAK leadership demands equal treatment for their plea to grant self-governance rights for the Algerian Kabylie.
Meanwhile, activists reported that Algerian authorities have detained dozens of protesters in the aftermath of MAK marches, expanding their crackdown on various citizen-led campaigns to denounce abuses by the current ruling elite including President Bouteflika and the Military backed clans.
Among the detained activists was Mr. Khalid Zerrari, vice president of the World Amazigh Congress (CMA-Morocco chapter), who was expulsed to his native Morocco after spending 48 hours in Algerian police custody. MAK activists’ chief demand has been the right of the Kabylie to hold a referendum on self-determination for their region. As an activist noted, “if Algeria has always supported the principle of self-determination as the Minister of the Interior and Local Government, Dahou Ould Kablia, reiterated this week in Rabat-Morocco-, why doesn’t’ Bouteflika support the Kabylie demand for self-determination as stated in past U.N. resolutions supported by Algeria?
The troubles in the Kabylie came at a delicate time for Algerian officials struggling to contain social troubles in the oil-rich South. With multitudes of protests and displays of political and social dissatisfaction, Algerian Military are showing nervousness in the face of this unusual spread of discontents between resentful Touareg and Kabylies as well as the working class in the North.
France fears Social Blast Caused by Economic Crisis
Paris, April 28 (PL) The 70 percent of the French population fears a social unrest in the coming months due to dissatisfaction with the difficult economic situation of the country, reveals a survey released here this weekend. The survey was run by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP) and indicates that the rising unemployment and massive layoffs projects in several large companies are among the main causes of civil unrest.
Adding to this, the poor performance of the economy this year, which will grow only 0.1 percent, and the absence of a strong response from the government to these problems. IFOP analysis indicates that the apprehension among workers about the risk of social unrest reaches 81 percent, meaning eleven points above the national average.
The perception is lower among professionals, officials and business leaders, with 57 points, according to the survey. Last February, the French Interior Minister, Manuel Valls, warned of an increase in social unrest and ordered security forces to increase surveillance in factories and communities where there is more tension.
The General Labor Confederation criticized the increased police presence around some workplaces and said that these measures cause greater instability among employees.
Riots over cashew nuts in Tanzania
About 20 houses have been burnt down in riots by cashew nut farmers and other protesters in southern Tanzania, the local MP has told the BBC. Faith Mitambo said two buildings at her home in Liwale town had been set alight and that other houses targeted belonged to members of the ruling CCM party. The trouble began after payouts being made to farmers for their crop were less than the price agreed last year.
More police have been deployed to the region to stop further unrest. Ms Mitambo, who was in the capital, Dodoma, at the time, told the BBC Swahili service she was travelling down to her constituency to assess the situation. She had been told the protests, involving groups of young men, began in villages on Tuesday morning and reached Liwale town by the evening. A resident of Liwale told the BBC that on Wednesday there was a sense of fear in the town and police had fired tear gas in the market to stop crowds gathering.
Garment workers go berserk in Dhaka
DHAKA – Angry over the deaths in Savar building collapse, thousands of garment workers vandalised over 100 vehicles in different parts of the city disrupting vehicular movement on several city streets for long time. While many splinter groups demonstrated in many parts of the city, the main vandalism took place at Gabtoli, Kalyanpur, Shyamoli, Mirpur, Pallabi, Gulshan, Badda, Rampura and Malibagh, our correspondents reported as death toll from the collapse shot up to 292.
Hundreds of people were seen walking to their destinations as passenger vehicles kept off the road for quite some time following the vandalism. The aggrieved workers swung into action at Rampura in the morning as rescuers kept on pulling out more bodies from inside the rubble two days after the nine-storey Rana Plaza in Savar was razed to the ground. A few hundred workers marched the DIT Road, chanting slogans demanding arrest and punishment of the people responsible for the deaths in the building collapse.
They vandalised a few vehicles there. Several other groups meanwhile brought out similar processions in Badda and Malibagh. Our correspondents reported that aggrieved garment workers came out on Dhaka-Aricha highway at Gabtoli and Kalyanpur. With bamboo and wooden sticks in their hands, the RMG workers attacked all kinds of vehicles that were plying the busy road. They kept the highway blocked for a few hours, suspending vehicular movement.
Sudan police break up protest against land sale to Arab investors
Sudanese police used tear gas and batons to break up a protest of more than 250 people on Friday demanding that the government revoke the sale of farming land to Gulf Arab investors, witnesses said. Protesters blocked the main road of Um Dum outside the capital Khartoum to urge the government to give them land in the area instead of to investors planning an agricultural project there, the witnesses said.
Police said it had been forced to act after protesters hurled rockets at officers and burned tires, the state-linked Sudanese Media Center (SMC) said on it website. Several persons had been injured and some protesters detained, it added. Like in other African countries, Gulf Arab investors have been investing into farmland in Sudan, which struggles with an economic crisis, to secure food supplies. Critics say some investors take advantage of poor countries and farmers.
At Cairo University, students block staff from entering buildings
Cairo University students who live in the university’s dormitories banned staff from entering the dormitory’s administrative buildings on Monday morning for the second day, according to Al-Ahram’s Arabic language website. The students closed both the dormitory’s administrative buildings with a sit-in, saying that they will not disperse until new student bylaws are decided.
They stated that their demands include achieving better student services and having an ambulance ready on campus in case of emergencies. Mohamed Badran, the head of the Egyptian Student Union, is visiting the student dormitories of Al-Azhar and Cairo Universities to check on the situation. On Sunday, hundreds of students protested the state of education in Egypt during nationwide demonstrations called for by several opposition groups.
Dozens of students marched from Cairo University to Cabinet headquarters in downtown Cairo chanting: “Dignity, freedom and free, quality education.” Groups that endorsed the protest included the Socialist Popular Alliance, the Revolutionary Socialists, the Strong Egypt Party and the Egyptian Popular Current. According to Mahmoud Nawar, Revolutionary Socialist member and Helwan University student, students demand the release of colleagues detained by authorities and the provision of free education by the state.
A number of students were recently arrested at their homes on charges of thuggery and on suspicion that they belonged to the so-called ‘Black Bloc.’ The Black Bloc is a term used to describe masked men wearing black, who occasionally appear at protests and are frequently accused of violence. Protesting students also demand punishment of those responsible for attacking students on campus in several universities, and the dismissal of Egypt’s higher education minister. Recent weeks have seen several incidents in which students were attacked on campus.
Last week, “thugs” reportedly attacked Ain Shams University students marching from Cairo’s Nour Mosque to demand tighter campus security and an end to “thuggery.” This followed several earlier similar attacks by unknown assailants. On Friday, dozens of Cairo University students blocked off Tharwat Street in Giza in protest at the university’s poor services, Al-Ahram’s Arabic language website reported.
The students demanded that university authorities urgently investigate the state of the university’s facilities, and requested the implementation of student union bylaws. The protesters complained about repeated power cuts and poor food. Students said that in one case that rotten meat was served at the cafeteria in the girls’ dormitory.
On 13 April, 41 student movements from public and private Egyptian universities protested against the ministry of higher education after several crises at universities across the country. Hundreds of students marched from Cairo University to the ministry, calling for the sacking of Minister of Higher Education, Mostafa Mosaad, and the head of the Supreme Council of Private Universities, Gamal Nawara.
Students demanded better security on university campuses, as well as better-quality health and nutrition services for students who live on campus. Protesters cited the recent food poisoning incident in Al-Azhar University, where about 500 students were hospitalised after eating on campus.
Protest against SL military seizure of lands gains momentum in Jaffna
More than 800 uprooted people gathered Monday morning in front of the Divisional Secretariat at Thellippazhai, situated near the entrance to the former High Security Zone (HSZ), which is now being permanently seized by the occupying Colombo aiming a permanent Sinhala Military Zone (SMZ) in Jaffna. Despite the refusal by the SL Police to stage any protest march on the KKS Road, the people who rallied peacefully from 8:30 to 11:30 in front of the DS office, started to block the entrance of the DS office and embarked upon a spontaneous march towards the entrance of the HSZ.
The riot control police commandos and the SL military men blocked them in front of the SL Police Station located on KKS Road. The SL police had delayed to give permission to the protest till Sunday night. The organisers were told not to allow the people to stage any protest march.
They were also told that the rally should not disturb the work of the employees at the divisional secretariat and that the traffic should not be disturbed. In the meantime, the SL military and its intelligence operatives were deployed in threatening the uprooted people not to attend the rally. The SLA was restricting the movement of uprooted people who are staying in so-called welfare camps. Private bus owners were warned not to provide their buses to the organisers of the protest. However, the people braved the hurdles to attend the rally, which also saw the participation of Tamil National Alliance, Tamil National Peoples’ Front, Democratic Peoples Front politicians, civil society activists and religious dignitaries.
The uprooted people of Mayiliddi, who were on their way to the protest from Tho’ndaimaanaa’ru and Inparuddi in Vadamaraadchi were blocked from proceeding further. However, a section of them managed to attend the rally in vehicles arranged from Thellippazhai, news sources from the area said. Severe arguments ensued between the protestors and the SL police when the uprooted people, who were on a march towards the HSZ were confronted by the riot police.
Colombo has stepped up its genocidal militarisation as India and the USA, locked in a geopolitical competition with China, continue to sustain the necessary ‘time and space’ for Colombo through a carefully ‘balanced’ carrot-and-stick policy designed to win their interests using the plight of the Eezham Tamils, said alternative Tamil political activists in Jaffna, citing the ‘legal’ appropriation of 6400 acres of Tamil civilian lands at Jaffna HSZ and another 6000 acres in Vavuniyaa, openly for Sinhala military cantonment purposes, within one month of passing the Geneva resolution.