Bhattarai‚ Baidhya hold talks
KATHMANDU: CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidhya on Thursday discussed working alliance between the two Maoist parties with senior UCPN-Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai. The two leaders discussed working alliance on issues of public interest and the peace process. They also discussion finding common ground on agendas raised by CPN-Maoist, including roundtable conference for drafting the constitution. Bhattarai wanted to know what the Constituent Assembly’s committee led by him could do to bring the CPN-Maoist into the constitution drafting process. In response Baidhya said things cannot be resolved through any committee of the Constituent Assembly, but a High-Level Political Mechanism could help resolve their problems.
Hundreds of migrants clash with Italian police in riot
Up to 250 migrants being detained in the Italian capital Rome barricaded themselves inside their detention center on Thursday a week after a Tunisian detainee sewed his mouth shut in protest against their poor treatment. La Repubblica reported that around a third of the 780 migrants held at the facility in Castelnuovo di Porto took part in the stand-off, which was dispersed by the police using a water hose. Protesters also threw rocks at the police. Angiolo Marroni, from the regional prisoners’ rights organization (Garante dei Diritti dei Detenuti del Lazio) told the newspaper, “centres of identification and expulsion continue to be real places of desperate detention, where the recognition of fundamental rights is fleeting.”
Brazilians Stage Protests and Strikes With World Cup Weeks Away
A police strike in Brazil’s northeast and protests in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo last night marked what social movements said was the start of nationwide demonstrations four weeks before the World Cup. The federal government yesterday dispatched armored trucks and National Guard troops to quell looting in Recife after police temporarily walked out of the job in one of the 12 cities slated to host the world’s most-watched sporting event. Protesters marching in opposition to the tournament clashed with police in Sao Paulo.
Globo TV showed masked youths burning street barricades and hurling stones in Brazil’s biggest city. “People can complain, protest, dispute — that’s legitimate democracy,” Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo told reporters last night after traveling to Recife. “What’s not legitimate is creating panic, disturbance, discomfort and damage to Brazilian citizens.” The World Cup has become a test for President Dilma Rousseff ahead of elections in October. Workers may threaten to disrupt the event with more strikes while street demonstrations may escalate as they did last year, Joao Augusto de Castro Neves, an analyst at political risk consultancy Eurasia Group, said. “If there’s a case like last year of police brutality or a fatality, that could get into negative spiral,” Neves said by phone last night. “These protests could gain a similar scale as they gained last year.”
Protests took place in at least 12 cities throughout Brazil yesterday, according to Globo TV. Police deployed pepper spray and used nightsticks against demonstrators from the landless movement in Brasilia, according the website of the news organization. Prison workers in Bahia state, where host city Salvador is located, went on strike as well. At least seven people in Sao Paulo were detained following demonstrations that included teachers protesting for better pay, according to a posting on the military police’s Twitter page.
In Recife, the police said they would end the strike to prevent further violence after schools and shops shut down out of concerns for safety, Globo’s G1 website reported. Last June, a bus fare increase sparked Brazil’s biggest demonstrations in two decades, bringing 1 million marchers into the streets to demand better transport, health and education services. The protests occurred during the Confederations Cup, a warm-up event for the monthlong World Cup that begins June 12, and drove Rousseff’s popularity to an all-time low.
FBI aiding Brazil police in Cup challenge
Brazilian police compared notes with US law enforcement officers here Thursday as they geared up for a mammoth security operation at next month’s World Cup. With fresh protests against the tournament rippling across Brazil, a gun-toting shock battalion of Rio military police held a mock crowd control drill complete with helicopter and fake tear gas. Military police Colonel Andre Vidal said input for US advisers had been useful as Brazil prepares to drape a 170,000-strong World Cup security blanket across the June 12-July 13 tournament.
“We will not be changing our modus operandi for the World Cup,” Vidal stressed, while adding information-sharing was a useful means of determining “how to act in the best way possible” during the World Cup. “This is an exchange of experiences to learn from different countries,” said Vidal. The Brazilians have also studied riot policing techniques in European countries including Spain and Germany.
Police close in on strike violence culprits
NORTH WEST – Police say they’re close to catching the culprits who torched three vehicles at Implats yesterday. Tensions are high in the platinum belt as the 16-week wage strike intensifies. At least four people have died following incidents of violence in recent days. The miners are not yet back at work, saying they will not return until their demands are met.
P Vihear Villagers Summoned Over Destruction of Sugarcane
Three Kuoy minority representatives and an NGO staffer have been summoned by Preah Vihear Provincial Court over the destruction of sugarcane on a Chinese company’s plantation last month. The group from Tbeng Meanchey district’s Brameru commune was asked to appear for questioning next Friday, according to Soeng Sam, a minority representative who received a summons. “I think that the court wants to question us because they want to threaten and intimidate us so that we won’t protest against the company,” said Ms. Sam. “In fact, we went and took sugarcane because Roy Feng Company farmed the sugarcane on our land and the authorities did not solve it for us,” she said.
Ethnic Kuoy villagers maintain that Roy Feng and another Chinese company, Lan Feng, seized and illegally cleared 5,000 hectares of their communal farmland. Protests have occurred sporadically over the past half year, and the government has responded variously with detentions and threats.
Solidarity protest for BSO-Azad today
The National Students Federation will hold a protest demonstration on Friday in front of the National Press Club Islamabad for expressing solidarity with BSO-Azad hunger strike until death. Students will express solidarity with the BSO-Azad. The protest will be led by university student Latif Johar outside the Karachi Press Club for the release of BSO-Azad Chairman Zahid Baloch and all other missing students and activists.
The BSO hunger strike in front of Karachi Press Club, which began on April 22, has entered the 23rd day, and the condition of Latif Johar is now critical. The Friday protest will be staged by students from various institutions of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, and will be joined by left-wing political workers of the twin cities. The protest will demand recovery of Baloch students and missing persons, an end to enforced disappearances in Balochistan, and lifting of the ban on the student organisation BSO-Azad.