ON WORLD PUBLIC SERVICES DAY
Asian movements join global call for tax justice
MANILA and DHAKA, 23 June 2015 – Calling for the funding for public services and the stopping of tax incentives and dodging, an Asian civil society alliance unites with the world’s largest labor, faith and other organizations today in celebration of World Public Services Day.
“Tax policies and systems should be aimed at raising resources for people’s basic and development needs, not as instrumental for ensuring more profits for corporations and the wealthy,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), in a statement.
“Today, we claim the resources that are rightfully ours to support urgent needs for food, health, water, energy, climate adaptation and other social services vital to our well-being and the enjoyment of our basic rights. We demand tax justice as a key requisite to our survival, a life of dignity and a humane and sustainable future,” she added.
World Public Services Day is the culmination of the Global Week of Action for Tax Justice, led by the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and its regional network members, including APMDD. It kicked off with a rally last Tuesday, June 16, at the United Nations in New York, as the final round of UN development financing negotiations began. National actions have been organized around the world.
In solidarity, APMDD and its Philippine member organization Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) signed the Lima Declaration on Tax Justice and Human Rights. They also co-organized with other groups today a whole-day public forum on the state of public services and human rights in Manila, Philippines.
FDC also held protests against the water company Maynilad’s corporate income tax dodging last Tuesday, and against the MRT and LRT’s price hike last Wednesday.
“Successive administrations – including this government – have consistently prioritized in its annual spending automatic debt servicing, which eats up a huge chunk of the annual budget at the expense of the people’s needs and welfare,” said Sammy Gamboa, FDC secretary-general.
In Bangladesh, representatives of 20 farmer, laborer and rights groups formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka last Sunday. They demanded an increase in the allocation for the public services sector, and urged the Bangladeshi government to stop illicit capital flight and corruption before spreading the tax net.
The organizations will also hand over today an open letter to Members of Parliament through a press conference in Dhaka, said Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of equityBD, an APMDD member organization which co-organized the human chain along with Jatiyo Sramik Jote and Bangladesh Krishok Federation.
The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (formerly Jubilee South–Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development) is a regional alliance of peoples' movements and organizations, coalitions, and NGOs. It is a member of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice.
APMDD's full statement on World Public Services Day can be accessed at http://ow.ly/OETIJ.
For photos of actions in the Philippines and Bangladesh, please open our Google Drive: http://ow.ly/OF5Mh.
Photo Courtesy of the Daily Mirror.
5 August 2013
The Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD) strongly condemns the violent dispersal by Sri Lanka's military of the peaceful demonstrators fighting for clean and safe water in the village of Weliveriya just outside Colombo last August 1.
Three people were killed including two school children and at least 15 others were injured as military men fired live bullets at protesters fleeing from the teargas used to disperse the 5,000 people-strong demonstration who demanded action against the Venigros Gloves Factory for polluting the drinking water of about 12 villages.
By deploying the military, the Sri Lankan government in effect attacked its own citizenry as they exercised their human and democratic rights to free speech and assembly. It showed the callousness of government towards the welfare of the people who continue to suffer the adverse impacts of Venigros' polluting activities on their health, water supply and food crops. It clearly highlights where the Sri Lankan government's loyalties lie – not in upholding the interests of grassroots people and communities, but in protecting that of business interests and profit.
We stand in solidarity with the people of Weliveriya and other affected villages in protesting companies like Venigros and fighting for a basic human right to clean, affordable and adequate water.
We join other voices demanding justice for the victims of military violence and in calling for an immediate, transparent and independent investigation of the violent acts committed. Those responsible must be held accountable and redress must be provided those who suffered from this grossly undemocratic act.
We call on the government of Sri Lanka uphold its people's interests over corporate interests and to take immediate steps to ensure that the people's right to water is upheld and fulfilled.
In Essential Services and Natural Resources at Risk: Selected Cases of Water Privatization in Asia, JSPMDD looks into the experiences of six countries – Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Philippines – in privatizing the water industry. Each case presents the privatization measures, government’s role, policies and laws, the involvement of international financial institutions and the privates sector, struggles and campaigns against privatization and the impacts of privatization on various sectors.
Photo Courtesy of Ratan Bhandari/WAFED
In Essential Services and Natural Resources at Risk: Selected Cases of Power Privatization in Asia, JSAPMDD looks into the experiences of nine countries – Bangladesh, India, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the Philippines – in privatizing the electricity industry. Each case presents the privatization measures, government's role, policies and laws, the involvement of international financial institutions and the private sector, struggles and campaigns against privatization and the impacts of privatization on various sectors.
Photo courtesy of Bangladesh Watchdog
MANILA, Philippines - Rising inequality still remains as a long-term problem for the Philippines and the rest of the Asia and the Pacific region, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) president said Wednesday.
"Unfortunately, while the region has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty, the benefits of growth have yet to reach several hundreds of millions of Asians who continue to struggle on less than $1.25 a day," Haruhiko Kuroda said in a press conference marking the start of 45th annual meeting of the bank's board of governors.
Kuroda said the Asian region's economic prospects will be the key focus of the four-day meeting, sharing optimism with regard to the countries' growth momentum.