A coalition of Asian peasant organizations has called on its members to to be more vigilant in defending their human rights especially their rights to land, seeds, resources and livelihood.
“At this point, governments in Asia cannot be trusted nor expected to uphold the human rights of its citizens,” said Danilo Ramos, secretary-general of the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP or Peasant Movement of the Philippines). “More often, fascist states are the number one violators of human rights.”
“Unfortunately, the Philippines had probably had the bloodiest human rights record among so-called democracies in Southeast Asia,” Ramos also said.
In the Philippines, Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights) has documented 977 victims of extrajudicial killings since 2001, when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was catapulted to power through a popular uprising. Of these, Ramos noted, 528 were KMP members.
Karapatan has also recorded 339 frustrated killings and 201 enforced disappearances for the same period.
In Indonesia, meanwhile, three peasant activists were forcibly taken by the police last August after attending a demonstration for land rights, said Erpan Faryadi, APC vice chairperson for internal affairs and secretary-general of the Aliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria (Alliance of Agrarian Reform Movements).
“In India , indigenous people and farmers alike are constantly being displaced due to government-initiated special economic zones projects,” Faryadi added. “The peasants have no place to live, no means of livelihood, and the environment is polluted due to processing plants.”
Ramos called for a halt to extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and illegal arrests and detentions in the Philippines. He also urged peasants all over Asia to strengthen their ranks and intensify their struggle for land and genuine freedom. (Bulatlat.com)