Friday, April 27, 2007

Feinstein D - CA On Darfur

Thank you for writing to express your concern about the conflict in Darfur. I appreciate hearing from you on this very important issue and welcome the opportunity to respond.

As a steadfast supporter of human rights, I share your concern about the situation in Darfur. According to United Nations (UN) and U.S. officials, since the killing began in 2003, more than 400,000 people have lost their lives and more than 2 million have been displaced by Khartoum's systematic campaign to eliminate the non-Arab tribal groups in Darfur.

I believe that the United States and the international community must take decisive action to end the genocide in Darfur. African Union peacekeepers in the region lack the troop level and capabilities necessary to implement UN Security Resolutions effectively and to halt the fighting. These forces must be reinforced with UN peacekeepers, as authorized by UN Security Council Resolution 1706, or with NATO troops. We must do everything in our power to pressure the Government of Sudan to change its policies in Darfur and increase the cost of continued violence against civilians in the region.

For this reason, I am a cosponsor of the "Sudan Divestment Authorization Act of 2007" (S. 831), which was introduced by Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), to authorize government agencies and public institutions to take divestment measures against companies that operate in Sudan or are owned by the Sudanese government. I also recently joined 33 of my colleagues in the Senate in requesting the President to bring multilateral sanctions against Sudan to a UN Security Council vote.

As we increase diplomatic and economic pressure on the Government of Sudan, we need to ensure that peacekeepers and humanitarian groups operating in the region have the protection and resources they need to meet the basic needs of the refugees. I strongly support U.S. assistance to these critical missions and will continue to do everything in my power to try to bring an end to the Genocide in Darfur. The current status quo, in which thousands of innocent victims continue to suffer and die, is unacceptable. We can-and must-do better.

Again, thank you for writing. For your review, I have enclosed my recent statement on the situation in Darfur. If you have any more questions or comments, please feel free to contact my office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 224-3841, or visit my website at

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kazakstan - Recapitulations

This is an update in the power game occuring in Eastern Europe. The use of a bait and switch tactic appears apparent and/fraud in what appears to be routine transactions.

By BB Govinda Swami

Here is an update regarding our situation with the Kazakh government:
There have been a total of seventeen hearings in court.

There are twenty seven homeowners who have had cases brought against them.
Fourteen homes have already been demolished.

At the moment seven homes are meant to be demolished as the cases were lost in Provincial Court.
Four cases regarding six houses are still to be heard in the Provincial Court.
The case regarding our major one hundred and sixteen (116) acre property was lost in Provincial Court. This case has been appealed to Supervisory Panel of Provincial Court.
The case regarding the consortium of the Hungarian Society for Krishna Consciousness and the Almaty Society for Krishna Consciousness, which is the rightful owner of the one hundred and sixteen (116) acre property, will be heard on May 8, 2007 in the Supreme Court.

The case regarding the agricultural society Priozyerye, which is the rightful administrative body of the housing area in which the Krishna devotees live was lost in Provincial Court and was appealed to Supervisory Panel of Provincial Court.

We cannot win court cases as the judiciary is simply a puppet in the hands of influential persons.
A demolition crew came to the farm, just days prior to the OSCE meeting in Vienna, with the purpose of destroying five (5) homes. These cases had been heard in the absence of the home owners or their advocates. The cases had not been appealed to the provincial court. Still the government was violating its own laws ordering the demolition.

At the last second before the demolition began a person drove up in a black BMW and told the demolition crew to disperse.

The cases started against the Krishna believers are selective discrimination. No cases have been started against any of the other citizens of the area who are in the same legal situation.
When in Vienna at the OSCE meeting I met with Bolat Baikadamov. He was the head of the Kazakh delegation. Ninel Fokina of the Almaty Helsinki Commission participated in our meeting.
Baikadamov emphatically stressed that he had been instructed by the Administration of the President of Kazakhstan to deliver a message to OSCE, foreign government delegations, and to myself that the Kazakh government saw the issue of the Krishna Society as an obstacle to their aspirations to attain OSCE chairmanship.

Thus he expressed the government’s desire to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
He said that the president’s administration viewed the issue as “bad governance” of the Karasai district authorities, the government land committee, and the state controlled religious committee.

He very much stressed that the issue is directly under the guidance of the president’s administration and would no longer be dealt with by the above mentioned bodies.
I specifically asked him if the religious committee would govern our issue as I have been speaking to them for years that discrimination was taking place. Baikadamov clearly answered, no, the issue would be settled by the president’s administration.

He returned to Kazakhstan and went into the media to announce a solution to the issue had been reached with me while he was in Vienna. He said that I had agreed to accept one half (1/2) acre of land in the vicinity of Almaty city, that the government may consider land for our herd of cows, and that the government may consider compensation for the homes destroyed.
Our advisors in Kazakhstan have opined that this media blitz was conducted due to the arrival in Kazakhstan of the OSCE Chairman in Office Miguel Angelo Moratinos.

Our society sent a letter to the president’s administration and to the OSCE advisory committee requesting OSCE to participate as observers in the course of negotiations with the Kazakh Government on our issue.

As we heard no reply from the president’s administration my secretary spoke to Baikadamov on Friday April 20, 2007.

In the course of the conversation Baikadamov stated that our issue is not under the President’s administration, that it was never under the president’s administration, and that it will not be under the president’s administration. He said that the issue remains under the state religion committee under the guidance of Yeraly Tugzhanov.

His statement came as a total “about face.” When we informed Ninel Fokina of his statements she was dismayed as she had participated in the conversation.

Yeraly Tugzhanov has done nothing on our issue over the last month. He told us that he had liaised with the Almaty city administration and instructed us to apply for land in Almaty city to establish a temple. When we did so the Almaty city administration appeared to know nothing of the situation. Even today, the chairman of the religion committee in Almaty city told us that Tugzhanov has not given him any instruction from the capital.

Thus it appears that the Kazakh government is again playing the game of dragging out time, doing nothing, but sending signals to the world that the issue is being dealt with in order to secure its OSCE bid. In reality, nothing has been done.
Regarding freedom of assembly:

In March, in Tekeli city, Almaty Province, fourteen Krishna believers gathered in a person’s residence for a religious observance. Their meeting was disrupted by the police who accused them of conducting an illegal assembly. The police had a bus waiting, took all of the participants of the program, took their identification documents, and detained them at the police station for some hours. They were verbally abused for being Hindu followers and were pressurized to reveal the names of other Krishna believers in the Tekeli area. Only after some hours were they released by the police.

My humble request and prayer is that all of you will continue to pray for the devotees in Kazakhstan.

Please continue to contact officials in your respective foreign ministries that they would continue to bring the issue to the attention of their counterparts in Kazakhstan.

We may be pushed from our homes and property very soon. We will need to relocate around 45 devotees, 30 cows, and a wonderful pujari department.

For relocation we will require financial assistance from our well wishers around the world. We are humbly requesting everyone to help with this effort, even if a contribution of one cent, it will assist in the effort.

I hope that all of you are well, happy, and advancing in Krishna Consciousness.

With affectionate regards,
BB Govinda Swami

Visit to see the tragedy of the Krishna community in Kazakhstan.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Eco - Terror As An Emerging Concern

Eel River Humboldt County

The environment is emrging as a growing concern. All biological entities or life or open systems to the environment. They will take inputs from such and deposit byproducts in return.

It is clear that War by Other Means is attainable by marginalizing or eliminating the environment. This depravation will usually have immediate and latent disfunctions. This is easliy promoted by concerns that are not localized to the abuse.

The cuurent issue at hand is Northern CA. It is clear that neither the Republicans or Democrats will act on the despoiling of living space.
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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Photo Journal - Eco Terror - AZ - N. California

These photos are from Cache Creek CA and Earp CA. Both areas have been hard hit by chemcials which appears will not be recognized until the future. I have written the EPA regarding such.

The photo above is Cache Creek. Below is in the Earp desert. The temperature here can be over 120 degrees.

These photos were taken with an inexpensive webcam. I am still attempting to get the viewfinder lined up with lens.
The government and so-called environmental - green groups have their own agenda versus the real degradation of environmental space.
This false egotism damages the survival of all species who are open to changes in their surroundings.
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Monday, April 16, 2007

Darfur Udate

On 31 March 2005, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1593, referring the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur, Sudan, to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Amnesty International has actively campaigned for the referral of Darfur, Sudan, to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. This is a major achievement in our campaign to place human rights crimes in Darfur firmly on the international agenda and for an end to impunity in Sudan.Thanks to all of you from around the world for campaigning for justice for the people of Darfur. For more information on Sudan, please visit our Sudan pages

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Prosecute Rios Montt

The Guatemalan military has longe enjoyed impunity in the genocide and marginalization of opponents and indigenous peoples. There is now an opening to seek justice through the courts.

During the worst period of Guatemala's long internal armed conflict, Guatemalan security forces sought to exterminate large parts of the indigenous Mayan population, killing tens of thousands of civilians. A UN-sponsored truth commission concluded that acts of genocide had been committed, "through methods whose cruelty has outraged the moral conscience of the civilized world."

General Ríos Montt headed the Guatemalan military government from March 1982 to August 1983. During that period, the government carried out a scorched earth campaign which resulted in the most extensive human rights violations of the 36-year internal armed conflict. He remains an influential and powerful politician in Guatemala.

Seeking Justice Across Borders

Survivors and families of victims seeking justice in Guatemalan courts have faced severe delays, obstruction and harassment. They have asked courts in other countries to exercise universal jurisdiction over the crimes committed in Guatemala.

Universal jurisdiction is based on the principle that all countries have an interest in bringing to justice those responsible for human rights atrocities, no matter where the crimes were committed, and regardless of the nationality of the perpetrators or the victims. International law permits and–in some cases–requires every country to investigate and, if there is sufficient evidence, to prosecute in such circumstances. See the AIUSA factsheet on universal jurisdiction (in pdf format).

Why It's Critical that You Act Now

In July 2006, Spain's National Court charged General Ríos Montt and several other former senior officials with genocide, torture, terrorism and illegal detention, and issued warrants for their arrest. The Guatemalan authorities subsequently took some of the accused into custody in order to ensure that they would not flee the country. General Ríos Montt, however, remains free. Strong international pressure is needed to ensure that all either face trial in Guatemala or are extradited to Spain.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Child Soldiers and Rights

Child Soldiers are an emerging issue. It is not new, it is slowly recieving more attention. The United States permits enlistments at 17 years. Many fighters clandestinely in many areas as the Congo are much younger and bear a high casualty rate.

Amnesty International

Child soldiers abandoned in the Democratic Republic of Congo

"When the mayi-mayi attacked my village, we all ran away. In our flight, the soldiers captured all the girls, even the very young. Once with the soldiers, you were forced to "marry" one of the soldiers. Whether he was as old as your father or young, bad or nice, you had to accept. If you refused, they would kill you. This happened to one of my friends. They would slaughter people like chickens. They would not even bury the bodies they slaughtered... I even saw a girl who refused to be "married" being tortured…”. - Jasmine, a 16 year-old girl who was recruited by the mayi-mayi armed group in South Kivu when she was 12. She now has a four-month-old baby.Under international law, the recruitment and use of children under 18 is prohibited, and the recruitment and use of children under 15 is a war crime.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) it is estimated that children constitute up to 40 percent of some forces engaged in conflict - with girls making up about 40 percent of these children. At least 11,000 children are still with armed groups or unaccounted for - including the majority of girls taken by armed groups that remain unaccounted for - more than two years after the government launched a country-wide programme to release and reintegrate child soldiers into civilian life.The implementation of this programme for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) into civilian life of an estimated 150,000 fighters - including an estimated 30,000 children - has been hampered by a lack of political and military will, serious management and technical problems, and ongoing insecurity in the east of the country.

In some areas girls make up less than two percent of the children released from armed groups and passing through the DDR programme, as they are either abandoned or misidentified as "dependants" of adult fighters.Commanders and adult fighters often do not feel obliged to release girls, whom they consider as their sexual possessions. This discrimination is perpetuated by some government DDR officials, who uncritically regard such girls as "dependants", rather than as girls who are entitled to entry into the child DDR programme. Girls associated with armed forces and groups are often traumatised by years of abuse and sometimes have children of their own. However, little is being done to ensure that they have the necessary support and assistance to which they are entitled. Whether boys or girls - the majority of children released and reunited with their families or communities have received little or no support to return to civilian life, including adequate educational or vocational opportunities. Some were as young as six when they were first recruited.

Read more Read the full report: Children at War: Creating hope for their future

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