CPN-Maoist leaders direct cadres to intensify anti-poll activities
KATHMANDU, Aug 24: Leaders of the agitating CPN-Maoist have instructed the party rank and file in Kathmandu not to halt anti-election activities saying the ongoing talks with the government and other political parties were only a “tactical move”.
The party´s central committee members Ek Raj Bhandari and Dinesh Sharma, who is also the in-charge of the Newa State Committee, urged party members not to get confused by the party leaders´ involvement in the negotiations with the government and the High Level Political Committee (HLPC). “As you know our party used to hold talks with the government even during wartime. It was only a day after we discontinued the talks that our party made the first and major successful attack on the Nepal Army barrack in Dang and looted a large number of firearms,” said Sharma while addressing a gathering of party cadres at Chhetrapati in Kathmandu on Saturday. “Also, our party had held talks at Hapure but talks didn´t deter us in our fight against then ruling class.”
A dozen of party members had asked whether they continue the ongoing anti-election campaign since the top party leaders were engaged in negotiations with the government and other major political parties. Sharma suggested to the party cadres gathered inside a big hall see to it that the leaders do not compromise on key agendas of the party such as implementing revolutionary land reform, maintaining national sovereignty and establishing the rule of the proletariat. He clarified that the party wouldn´t join the election process unless the major parties scrap the 11-point political agreement and the 25-point amendment to the Interim Constitution and dissolve the present government. “The ongoing talks have clearly indicated that leaders from other parties aren´t ready to accept our demands,” he said.
“So, we have to further intensify our protests.” Addressing the same function, Ek Raj Bhandari, who is also the former Constituent Assembly (CA) member, said, CPN-Maoist would participate in the elections only if the other parties are ready to adopt fully proportional electoral system and review the reasons behind the dissolution of the previous CA. “There is no point in participating in elections if these demands are not fulfilled,” said Bhandari.
Farmer protests roil Colombia
Protesting coffee growers, farmers and truckers are blockading Colombian highways for a third day in various regions, with some protesters pelting riot police with rocks and homemade explosives. Police director Gen. Rodolfo Palomino reports at least 61 arrests in the disturbances that began Monday. The more than 30,000 protesters have an assortment of demands:
Truckers want cheaper gasoline. Potato and onion growers are demanding lower prices for fertilizer. Coffee farmers want a government subsidy extended. Many of the farmers object to free trade agreements signed with the United States and European Union that they say threaten their livelihoods. The protests do not affect vital industries. But they are a major challenge for President Juan Manuel Santos. He says he won’t negotiate until blockades are lifted.
Mexico City paralyzed by teachers’ protests
Thousands of striking teachers strangled traffic and blocked access to Mexico City’s international airport on Friday, flexing their muscles in a bid to block educational reforms intended to introduce teacher evaluations and reduce union power over hiring decisions. Several thousand teachers blocked the main expressway leading to the airport; they had vowed to seize the terminal, but police were called in to block the march.
Travelers were forced to walk part of the way to the airport to catch their flights, according to the airport press office. Some fliers were ferried into the airport aboard police trucks once they reached police lines set up to prevent protesters from seizing the terminal. Other travelers, both Mexican and foreign, were seen walking glumly up the expressway leading to the airport with suitcases only to find their path blocked by a line of riot police carrying shields on horseback.
Weary of almost a week of constant protests, Mexico City residents expressed anger at city authorities who seemingly allowed the teachers to block as many streets as they wanted. Hundreds of striking teachers battled police at the Congress building and later blockaded streets around the building, forcing lawmakers to meet in a convention center to vote on the education reform bill, parts of which were approved by the lower house. The protesters took over much of Mexico City’s downtown historic district, erecting a vast tent encampment in the main plaza and surrounding streets.
The protesters have refused to move to make room for Sunday’s Mexico City Marathon race, forcing organizers to reroute the run. The marathon had been scheduled to conclude in the vast main plaza, but will now pass through a much smaller, more modest finish line. The bill introduces teacher evaluations and reduces the power of corruption-ridden unions in hiring teachers, many of whom inherit their jobs from relatives under current rules. Protesters say the reform relies too heavily on tests, and say student and parent evaluations and other factors should be taken into account.
Thousands of teachers belonging to the radical teachers’ union, known as the CNTE, began gathering in Mexico City in recent weeks. The union’s members have battled police in the past in the southern states of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Michoacan. In 2006, a union-led coalition seized almost the entire city of Oaxaca for nearly five months, until federal forces retook the city amid pitched battles. But seldom has the largely rural union flexed its muscles in the nation’s capital, where daily traffic is chaotic at best, and nightmarish at worst. Patience was running out by Friday.
Guillermo Gazal, president of the downtown business group Procentrhico, said “the Mexico City government has acted irresponsibly by allowing CNTE protesters to seize the congress buildings … reducing the city to a state of defenselessness and chaos that harms its residents, social, work and commercial activities.” Federal authorities and the airport’s private management said they were drawing the line at the airport. “This can’t be like the other buildings they have tried to seize,” said airport Director Alfonso Sarabia. “The operations at the airport cannot be interrupted, come what may. Over my dead body.” Mexico City police chief Jesus Rodriguez Almeida defended the non-confrontational approach of the city’s leftist government. Past demonstrations have shown that the city’s police do not have the training or skills to contain such protests without using excessive force. “We are avoiding confrontation at all cost, to avoid bloodshed, to avoid this becoming a battle ground,” Rodriguez Almeida told local media.
ASUU STRIKE: Students’ peaceful protest turns bloody in Delta
Peaceful protest organized by Nigeria Students Delta State over the continuous Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike turned out to be bloody as police were alleged to have fired both tear gas and gunshots at students to prevent them from protesting. Consequently many of the students were alleged to have received various degree of injuries. A three hundred student was allegedly seriously injured is presently receiving treatment in an hospital. Urhobotoday gathered that three of the students who were critically injured as a result of the police action are admitted in different hospitals at Asaba, Delta State.
An inkured student soak with blood, while another is critically ill lying on the floor A student who spoke to URHOBOTODAY who did not want his names on print revealed that after a meticulous survey of recent face off between ASUU and the Federal Government they Nigerian students in Delta State decided to go on a peaceful rally to register their dissatisfaction at the slow space of handling the issues which they argued is detrimental to the future of the Nigeria students.
“We embarked on the rally on the 22nd of August 2013 after writing to Delta State Commissioner of Police Mr Ikechukwu Aduba and Director of State Security (SSS) intimating them of our intention to go on peaceful protest..To our dismay, the Nigeria police did everything possible to obstruct our effort by first of all arresting the Student Union President of Delta State University Abraka, Agboroli Joshua and other students on their way to Asaba along the expressway before the Asaba International Airport.
“After much trouble and intervention the arrested students were released. Despite the police effort to obstruct our peaceful rally, we finally succeeded in conveying at summit junction where we intended moving on to the SSG’s office along Okpanam road by Zenith Bank where we wanted register our grievances to the government. It was at that point police said we should not move further.
“One Mr Ifeanyi Emmanuel of the Nigeria police Asaba then ordered the police to shoot at harmless students who were going about their protest peaceful. He said the order to shoot at the students was an instruction from an ‘Oga at the Top’ whom he later identified as Delta State Commissioner of Police. “In the course of the police shooting sporadically and firing canisters of tear gas, many students and even journalists sustained various degree of injuries with three students critically injured. They are presently receiving treatment at St. Joseph Hospital Asaba,” the student reported.
The students who alleged that the State Government did not show any interest about the plight, however appealed to the Inspector General of Police Mr Mohammed Abubakar to investigate the issues for them to get Justice. Attempt for Urhobotoday to get police side of the story was however futile as Delta State Commissioner of Police Mr Ikechukwu Aduba and the State Police Public Relation Officer refused to pick our calls before going to press.
UN opens probe after two die in Goma protest
The United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo said Sunday it has opened a probe after residents accused UN peacekeepers of killing two people who tried to storm its base in the restive eastern city of Goma. Martin Kobler, head of the UN’s MONUSCO mission, said in a statement he “deplored” the deaths and had “asked for an investigation jointly led by DR Congo police and the MONUSCO to be opened”. Witnesses said two peacekeepers from Uruguay shot dead two people Saturday who were part of a crowd attempting to storm the mission’s base near the airport during a protest decrying the UN’s inaction in the strife-torn region.
“It was the Uruguayans who opened fire on our group. Two people were killed instantly and four others were injured and rushed to hospital,” Augustin Matendo, one of the protesters, told AFP. A military source who spoke on condition of anonymity said that “the Uruguayan troops were overcome by the crowd which was trying to enter their camp and shot to disperse people.” MONUSCO was not immediately available to comment on the claim.
Armed struggle in Paraguay closely monitored by US, counter-insurgency aid also coming from Argentina
According to leaked documents the US is paying close attention to the EPP and has provided military advisers in the past. More recently Argentina has been providing counter-guerrilla training.