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.
Today, countries the world over celebrate UN World Water Day 2012, around the themes of water and food security. But for Asia, which wears the face of global hunger and poverty with about two-thirds of the world's 1.3 billion poor people residing in the region, it is not a celebration but rather a clarion call to action and resistance against the increasingly predatory moves of private corporations and the North governments behind them.