June 04, 2013

Turkey's Violent Protests in Context

STRATFOR

Analysis 


Summary
The rapid escalation of anti-government protests in Turkey in recent days has exposed a number of long-dormant fault lines in the country's complex political landscape. But even as the appeal of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (also known by its Turkish acronym, AKP) is beginning to erode, it will remain a powerful force in Turkish politics for some time to come, with its still-significant base of support throughout the country and the lack of a credible political alternative in the next elections.

Analysis
The foundation for the current unrest was laid May 28, when a small group of mostly young environmentalists gathered in Istanbul's Taksim Square for a sit-in to protest a planned demolition of walls, uprooting of trees and the perceived desecration of historical sites in the square's Gezi Park. The initially peaceful demonstration turned violent the night of May 30, when police tried to break up what had grown to more than 100 protesters.

The environmental protesters were joined the next day by high-level representatives of the Justice and Development Party's main opposition, the secular Republican People's Party (known as CHP). The message of the protests soon evolved from saving Gezi Park's trees to condemning Erdogan and his party for a litany of complaints. Anti-government chants included "Down with the dictator," "Tayyip, resign," and "Unite against fascism."

The protests grew rapidly when the weekend began, with more than 10,000 people gathering in Taksim Square on June 1. Many of these made their way to the square from the district of Kadikoy, a Republican People's Party stronghold on the Asian side of Istanbul, by walking across the Bosphorus Bridge banging pots and pans in defiance of laws against pedestrian use of the bridge. Some reportedly threw Molotov cocktails, fireworks and stones at police, prompting the use of tear gas and water cannons on the protesters. However, this quickly drew condemnation, leading the government to temporarily withdraw police at the cost of allowing more protesters to gather.


Erdogan's response was defiant. While admitting excessive force by the police and ordering an investigation of the matter, he said that he would not give in to "wild extremists" who belong to an "ideological" as opposed to "environmental" movement and that he would bring out a million supporters from his party for every 100,000 protesters. The same night, riots broke out and some 5,000 protesters threw stones at the prime minister's office in the Besiktas neighborhood in Istanbul.

On the morning of June 2, heavy rains kept protesters away from Taksim Square save for a few dozen who huddled around bonfires. More protesters made their way back to the square in the afternoon while Erdogan made another defiant speech blaming the Republican People's Party for the unrest and vowing to proceed with the development plans. Clashes between police and protesters have resumed, and close to 1,000 people have been detained and dozens injured.

Erdogan's Limits

The size and scope of the protests must be kept in perspective. By the end of June 1, protests had reportedly spread to Izmir, Eskisehir, Mugla, Yalova, Antalya, Bolu, Adana, Ankara, Kayseri and Konya. Many of the areas where protests were reported are also areas where the Republican People's Party would be expected to bring out a large number of supporters. Konya, Kayseri and Ankara, strong sources of support for the Justice and Development Party, were notable exceptions. The largest protests, in Istanbul and Izmir, brought out predominantly young protesters in the tens of thousands. The protests would be highly significant if they grow to the hundreds of thousands, include a wider demographic and geographically extend to areas with traditionally strong support for the ruling party.

The protests so far do not indicate that Erdogan's party is at serious or imminent risk of losing its grip on power, but they do reveal limits to the prime minister's political ambitions. Erdogan is attempting to extract votes from a slow-moving and highly fragile peace process with the Kurdistan Workers' Party to help him get enough support for a constitutional referendum. The referendum would transform Turkey from a parliamentary system to a presidential system and thus enable Erdogan, whose term as prime minister expires in 2015, to continue leading Turkey as president beyond 2014, when presidential elections are scheduled. The sight of protesters from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (known as the BDP) joining Republican People's Party supporters for the June 1 protests does not bode well for Erdogan's plan to rely on those votes in the constitutional referendum. Though the Justice and Development Party, which remains highly popular with Turkey's more conservative populace in the Anatolian interior, so far does not face a credible political contender for the October local elections or 2015 parliamentary elections, Erdogan's political maneuvering to become president will face more resistance.

The ruling party's main secular opposition is alarmed at Erdogan's policies that compromise the core founding principles of the state as defined by Kemal Ataturk. From social measures that ban the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m. to foreign policy measures that have Turkey trying to mold and influence Islamist rebel groups in Syria, these are policies that directly undermine the Ataturkian mandate that Turkey must remain secular and avoid overextending itself beyond the republic's borders. But the growing dissent against the party is not a simple Islamist-secular divide, either. A perception has developed among a growing number of Turks that the party is pursuing an aggressive form of capitalism that defies environmental considerations as well as Islamic values. Within business circles, frustration is building over the number of concessions handed out to Erdogan's closest allies.

Rising Dissent

The polarization of the state could be plainly seen in the reporting of the Gezi Park protests. The protests appear to have emboldened once critical newspapers such as Hurriyet to reassume an anti-ruling party stance unseen in the recent years of Erdogan's media taming. Hurriyet has broadcast Erdogan's "defeat" with headlines such as "Erdogan no longer almighty." On the other end of the political spectrum, the state-funded news agency Anatolia is reporting the protests as a "brawl" between police and firework-throwing youth extremists, while stressing a democratic message that the government permitted the Republican People's Party to demonstrate in Taksim.

Far more interesting is reporting from the Justice and Development Party's traditional sources of support. Yeni Safak, a newspaper close to the ruling party, has condemned the park project and sympathized with the protesters. The same was seen in Zaman newspaper, run by followers of the moderate Islamist Gulen movement. The Gulenists form a crucial component of the ruling party's broader support base but also keep their distance from the ruling party. The movement has been increasingly critical of Erdogan, strongly suggesting that he and his party have become too powerful. Editorials from the newspaper admonished Erdogan for his "excessive" behavior and sided with the protesters.

Though dissent is rising, Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party still have a substantial support base, and the opposition continues to lack a credible political alternative (local elections scheduled for October likely will indicate how much support for the party has waned). At the same time, Turkey is pursuing a highly ambitious agenda abroad, from negotiating peace with Kurdish militants and developing oil pipelines in Iraqi Kurdistan to trying to fend off Syrian-backed militant attacks. Turkey was already highly constrained in pursuing these foreign policy goals, but they will take second place to Turkey's growing political distractions at home as Erdogan prioritizes the growing domestic challenges and as foreign adversaries such as Syria try to take advantage of preoccupied Turkish security forces to try to sponsor more attacks inside Turkey



Read more: Turkey's Violent Protests in Context | Stratfor 

June 02, 2013

Venezuelan Government Moves Forward with Seeds Law

Venezuelan Government Moves Forward with Seeds Law, Movements Demand Anti-GMO Measures

Jun 2nd 2013, by Sascha Bercovitch


A banner at last week's Caracas anti-Monsanto protest (Aporrea tvi)

Caracas, June 2nd 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan government will continue its efforts to increase national food production and combat the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) through a new Law on Seeds, president of the Agri-Food Development Subcommittee for the National Assembly Alfredo Ureña announced on Friday.

The law, designed as a reform to legislation from October 2002, aims to preserve Venezuelan biodiversity and contribute to food sovereignty.

"There are a number of studies throughout the world which affirm that the health of humans and animals may be impacted when they consume genetically-modified foods," Ureña said during an interview with state-run television channel Venezolana de Televisión (VTV).

"This is a Law on Seeds that is anti-GMOs, because it is not only Venezuela, but the whole world that is saying that we cannot continue supporting GMOs, not only for the use of food and consumption, but for their technology that makes use of agro-chemical fertilizers."

Opposition and pro-government groups, however, have expressed concern that the law would open commercial opportunities for the transnational corporation Monsato, known for its weed-killing glysophate, or Roundup. During the 1960s, Monsato, a US multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, served as a producer of Agent Orange, a herbicide used by the US military as part of its chemical warfare program in Vietnam which contributed to an estimated 400,000 deaths and injuries and 500,000 children born with birth defects.

Both sides cited Article 127 of the Constitution, which prohibits the creation of patents on the genome of any living being, and the actions of President Hugo Chávez in 2004 to prevent the company's cultivation of 20,000 hectares of Venezuelan land to produce transgenic soybeans.

"They intend to introduce biotechnologies into the country that will affect the gene pool and the nutritional value of traditional crops under the guise of promoting food sovereignty," said Imerú Alfonzo,  for the rightwing party Voluntad Popular (Popular Will), in a statement before the April 14 presidential elections.

Protestors gathered in the Los Museos Square in Caracas last week to express a similar sentiment, as part of an international day of action against Monsanto. "In the second chapter of the law, five articles permit the entrance of GMOs," one cooperative representative said. "With the National Center for Seeds, they're going to say, 'look, you're registered on my list, so you can bring GMOs into the country.'"

The representative asked that the law be debated in the National Assembly and include the perspectives of farmers and the Venezuelan people.

The group Venezuela Free of GMOs, a national pro-government organization, argued that article 1 of the current law, instead of protecting seeds as cultural and natural heritage, encourages the "production of seeds by researchers and favors the rights of plant breeders, the ones who privatize seeds". The group argued that most researchers "only have the interests of transnationals in mind".

Ureña responded positively to the criticism, saying that later this month, during a forum on biodiversity to be held from June 23 to June 28, the government will address the new law and listen to criticism from relevant sectors.

"When we made this draft, we included the article from the previous law which left some flexibility to GMOs, and there was a lot of criticism," he said. "As a legislative body, we went out into the street, we asked about the laws, we listened to the people. And the people said, 'you have to be careful with the GMOs' … That gives us sufficient reason to say to the Venezuelan people that we agree with what the social movements and what the agrarian movements are saying.

Killer GM Seeds and Worldwide Protests

 
Our current human era reeks of unabashed greed with inhuman actions, not in just illegal and destructive wars but in acts affecting health of future generations. Uncle Tom in White House whom Indians thought would be less like the ugly American ( because of coloring–he is but a product of Chicago Jewish political  machine ; ruthlessly controlled by criminal financiers mafia) goes merrily obeying programmed instructions of his financier masters and controllers ( Imagine he has a Peace Nobel –tarnished for ever) .
 
Let us not talk about US wars of aggression and greed but control of agriculture products which sustain human beings.
 
In Indian corporate print media or in the chaotic mad world of howling and shrieking and mud wrestling style anchors, almost no attention was given. A national channel means a girl media person and a man cameraman and all channels take the line of least work – chasing spot fixers or cheats, rapes and thefts. The same usual suspects are repeated daily. Few neutral or real experts.
 
( last night I was disgusted with the medieval Spanish Catholic Church style inquisition of a dignified Ex CAG Vinod Rai by Karan Thapar as if doing it at the behest of his Punjabi Khatari mafia shaming the govt and India with their corruption and untenable positions.)
 
But in general little about Genetically modified seeds , which are and will play havoc with others and us too .
 
Russian President Putin felt strongly enough in bringing it to Washington's attention firmly .Read below and also another article how millions protested against GM seeds . Indians have little conscience or feeling of nationalism or patriotism and sell themselves for so little . Our environment authorities just make money at the cost of poor foresters .No wonder the affected tribals become Naxalites .
 
K.Gajendra Singh 31May 2013
 
Russia Warns Obama: Monsanto
Posted: May 28th, 2013 
 
The shocking minutes relating to President Putin's meeting this past week with US Secretary of State John Kerry reveal the Russian leaders "extreme outrage" over the Obama regimes continued protection of global seed and plant bio-genetic giants Syngenta and Monsanto in the face of a growing "bee apocalypse" that the Kremlin warns "will most certainly" lead to world war.
 
According to these minutes, released in the Kremlin today by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation (MNRE), Putin was so incensed over the Obama regimes refusal to discuss this grave matter that he refused for three hours to even meet with Kerry, who had traveled to Moscow on a scheduled diplomatic mission, but then relented so as to not cause an even greater rift between these two nations.
At the center of this dispute between Russia and the US, this MNRE report says, is the "undisputed evidence" that a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, are destroying our planets bee population, and which if left unchecked could destroy our world's ability to grow enough food to feed its population.
So grave has this situation become, the MNRE reports, the full European Commission (EC) this past week instituted a two-year precautionary ban (set to begin on 1 December 2013) on these"bee killing" pesticides following the lead of Switzerland, France, Italy, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine, all of whom had previously banned these most dangerous of genetically altered organisms from being used on the continent.
Two of the most feared neonicotinoids being banned are Actara and Cruiser made by the Swiss global bio-tech seed and pesticide giant Syngenta AG which employs over 26,000 people in over 90 countries and ranks third in total global sales in the commercial agricultural seeds market.
Important to note, this report says, is that Syngenta, along with bio-tech giants Monsanto, Bayer, Dow and DuPont, now control nearly 100% of the global market for genetically modified pesticides, plants and seeds.
 
Also to note about Syngenta, this report continues, is that in 2012 it was criminally charged in Germany for concealing the fact that its genetically modified corn killed cattle, and settled a class-action lawsuit in the US for $105 million after it was discovered they had contaminated the drinking supply of some 52 million Americans in more than 2,000 water districts with its "gender-bending" herbicide Atrazine.
 
To how staggeringly frightful this situation is, the MNRE says, can be seen in the report issued this past March by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) wherein they warned our whole planet is in danger, and as we can, in part, read:
"As part of a study on impacts from the world's most widely used class of insecticides, nicotine-like chemicals called neonicotinoids, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has called for a ban on their use as seed treatments and for the suspension of all applications pending an independent review of the products' effects on birds, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, and other wildlife.

"It is clear that these chemicals have the potential to affect entire food chains. The environmental persistence of the neonicotinoids, their propensity for runoff and for groundwater infiltration, and their cumulative and largely irreversible mode of action in invertebrates raise significant environmental concerns," said Cynthia Palmer, co-author of the report and Pesticides Program Manager for ABC, one of the nation's leading bird conservation organizations.
ABC commissioned world renowned environmental toxicologist Dr. Pierre Mineau to conduct the research. The 100-page report, "The Impact of the Nation's Most Widely Used Insecticides on Birds," reviews 200 studies on neonicotinoids including industry research obtained through the US Freedom of Information Act. The report evaluates the toxicological risk to birds and aquatic systems and includes extensive comparisons with the older pesticides that the neonicotinoids have replaced. The assessment concludes that the neonicotinoids are lethal to birds and to the aquatic systems on which they depend.
"A single corn kernel coated with a neonicotinoid can kill a songbird," Palmer said. "Even a tiny grain of wheat or canola treated with the oldest neonicotinoid — called imidacloprid — can fatally poison a bird. And as little as 1/10th of a neonicotinoid-coated corn seed per day during egg-laying season is all that is needed to affect reproduction."
The new report concludes that neonicotinoid contamination levels in both surface- and ground water in the United States and around the world are already beyond the threshold found to kill many aquatic invertebrates."

Quickly following this damning report, the MRNE says, a large group of group of American beekeepers and environmentalists sued the Obama regime over the continued use of these neonicotinoids stating: "We are taking the EPA to court for its failure to protect bees from pesticides. Despite our best efforts to warn the agency about the problems posed by neonicotinoids, the EPA continued to ignore the clear warning signs of an agricultural system in trouble."
And to how bad the world's agricultural system has really become due to these genetically modified plants, pesticides and seeds, this report continues, can be seen by the EC's proposal this past week, following their ban on neonicotinoids, in which they plan to criminalize nearly all seeds and plants not registered with the European Union, and as we can, in part, read:
"Europe is rushing towards the good ol days circa 1939, 40… A new law proposed by the European Commission would make it illegal to "grow, reproduce or trade" any vegetable seeds that have not been "tested, approved and accepted" by a new EU bureaucracy named the "EU Plant Variety Agency."
It's called the Plant Reproductive Material Law, and it attempts to put the government in charge of virtually all plants and seeds. Home gardeners who grow their own plants from non-regulated seeds would be considered criminals under this law."

This MRNE report points out that even though this EC action may appear draconian, it is nevertheless necessary in order to purge the continent from continued contamination of these genetically bred "seed monstrosities."
Most perplexing in all of this, the MRNE says, and which led to Putin's anger at the US, has been the Obama regimes efforts to protect pesticide-producer profits over the catastrophic damaging being done to the environment, and as the Guardian News Service detailed in their 2 May article titled "US rejects EU claim of insecticide as prime reason for bee colony collapse" and which, in part, says:
"The European Union voted this week for a two-year ban on a class of pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, that has been associated with the bees' collapse. The US government report, in contrast, found multiple causes for the collapse of the honeybees."
To the "truer" reason for the Obama regimes protection of these bio-tech giants destroying our world, the MRNE says, can be viewed in the report titled "How did Barack Obama become Monsanto's man in Washington?" and which, in part, says:
"After his victory in the 2008 election, Obama filled key posts with Monsanto people, in federal agencies that wield tremendous force in food issues, the USDA and the FDA: At the USDA, as the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center. As deputy commissioner of the FDA, the new food-safety-issues czar, the infamous Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto. Taylor had been instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone."
Even worse, after Russia suspended the import and use of an Monsanto genetically modified cornfollowing a study suggesting a link to breast cancer and organ damage this past September, theRussia Today News Service reported on the Obama regimes response:
"The US House of Representatives quietly passed a last-minute addition to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 last week – including a provision protecting genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks.
The rider, which is officially known as the Farmer Assurance Provision, has been derided by opponents of biotech lobbying as the "Monsanto Protection Act," as it would strip federal courts of the authority to immediately halt the planting and sale of genetically modified (GMO) seed crop regardless of any consumer health concerns.
The provision, also decried as a "biotech rider," should have gone through the Agricultural or Judiciary Committees for review. Instead, no hearings were held, and the piece was evidently unknown to most Democrats (who hold the majority in the Senate) prior to its approval as part of HR 993, the short-term funding bill that was approved to avoid a federal government shutdown."
On 26 March, Obama quietly signed this "Monsanto Protection Act" into law thus ensuring the American people have no recourse against this bio-tech giant as they fall ill by the tens of millions, and many millions will surely end up dying in what this MRNE report calls the greatest agricultural apocalypse in human history as over 90% of feral (wild) bee population in the US has already died out, and up to 80% of domestic bees have died out too.
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Challenging Monsanto: Over two million march the streets of 436 cities, 52 countries
Published time: May 24, 2013 09:51 
Edited time: May 25, 2013 23:43
 
Millions of activists around the world have rallied against Monsanto, the biotechnology giant for genetically engineering agriculture and food while suppressing negative scientific research.
Organized by the 'March Against Monsanto' movement, an estimated two million have taken part in the massive event on Saturday spanning six continents, 52 nations, and at least 48 US states.
"It was empowering and inspiring to see so many people, from different walks of life, put aside their differences and come together today," said Tami Canal, founder and organizer of the global event.
"We will continue until Monsanto complies with consumer demand. They are poisoning our children, poisoning our planet," she said. "If we don't act, who's going to?"
Follow RT's LIVE UPDATES on the March Against Monsanto campaign
The day of protest has already ended in Europe, where thousands of activists in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Ireland, France, Malta and elsewhere took to the streets to protest against Monsanto abuses.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of demonstrators in Brisbane and Melbourne in Australia and across Japan and South Africa took to the streets to protest against the multi-national corporation and to demand a ban on Genetically Engineered and Genetically Modified Organisms (GE/GMOs).

Hundreds of demonstrators across Japan took to the streets to protest against Monsanto. (Image from twitter user@wataruohashi)
Angered by the lack of action from governments on the issue, activists in the western part of the globe - in North and South America - are also gearing up for the global march. 
The organizers of the May 25 rally call for labeling of GM foods and further scientific research on the health effects of GE/GMOs. They also urge supporters to "vote with their dollar" by buying only organic products and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies. Besides that, they are urging a repeal of the so-called Monsanto Protection Act and that the company's executives and politicians who back them are held to account through "through direct communication, grassroots journalism, and social media."

image by @mkimpo_kid
Initially a small, grassroots event, the march became a globe-spanning movement through the efforts of local activists and environmentalists. The protest is being organized on Facebook and Google Documents, where users can find a list of events near their location. 

Activists of the global environmental watchdog Greenpeace demonstrate against US biotech giant Monsanto and the commercial sowing of transgenic corn, at "Parque de los Venados" in Mexico City (AFP Photo)
March Against Monsanto Director Nick Bernabe told the Natural Society that genetically engineered food could affect everyone, even the apathetic: "What we're trying to do is bring awareness to GMOs and the health effects that they're causing and bring about some solutions about what people can do to take back their food supply," he said. "They're expecting more than 15,000 people in San Francisco alone… We want to get people working together in their communities."
Monsanto has described current research into GMO crops as "inconclusive," and has lobbied hard in Washington and around the globe to continue manufacturing lab-made foods without the oversight demanded by activists.
In March, Congress passed a biotech rider dubbed the 'Monsanto Protection Act' that effectively allows Monsanto and other companies that use GMOs to plant and sell genetically altered products even if legal action is taken against them.
Up until it was signed, "the USDA [US Department of Agriculture] oversaw and approved (or denied) the testing of genetically modified seeds, while the federal courts retained the authority to halt the testing or sale of these plants if it felt that public health was being jeopardized. With HR 933 now a law, however, the court system no longer has the right to step in and protect the consumer," explained James Brumley, a reporter for Investor Place.
"They own the largest share of the agribusiness, pesticides and seeds," Joanne Montana, who organized a protest in Florida, told the Gainesville Sun. "They're transnational, in food behind the scenes and a big conglomerate."

Protesters against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) are chained to a vehicle as they block a delivery entrance to a Monsanto seed distribution facility in Oxnard, California (Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)
The 'Monsanto Protection Act' was co-authored by a senator who has received thousands of dollarsin campaign contributions from the company — a revelation that did not surprise many, given that another important figure in Washington, Justice Clarence Thomas, served as an attorney for the corporation before he was nominated to the Supreme Court, only to eventually preside over a case involving his former employer. 
But according to Food & Water Watch, the relationship between Monsanto and the government extends beyond Congress and the Supreme Court. In a statement accompanying a health report, Food & Water Watch wrote that communications uncovered by WikiLeaks detailed how "the US State Department lobbies foreign governments to adopt pro-agricultural biotechnology policies and laws, operates a rigorous public relations campaign to improve the image of biotechnology and challenges commonsense biotechnology safeguards and rules – including opposing genetically engineered (GE) food labeling laws."
Consumer rights group the Food and Water Watch disseminated a report highlighting how "the State Department strategy sought to foist pro-biotech policies on foreign governments."
The report describes a four-prong approach: promote biotech business interests; lobby foreign governments to weaken biotech rules; protect US biotech exports and press developing world to adopt biotech crops.
With the protest approaching, organizers have accused Monsanto of going on the offensive and wrote on the event's Facebook page that the mass rallies had not been cancelled, debunking a false rumor they accused Monsanto sympathizers of spreading.
"Events are disappearing, posts are being put on city event pages that say events are being cancelled," said Tom Canal, an administrator for the March Against Monsanto Facebook page, according to the Organic Prepper blog. "In no way, shape or form, has any event been cancelled. I believe Monsanto is behind this. Some of the people on the page that are commenting have newly made profiles and seemingly those profiles were made strictly to cause problems and get a rise out of our participants on the page." 

Jane Michalek (R) drinks soup during an eat-in protest in front of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Maryland (Reuters / Gary Cameron)
In an interview with Bloomberg earlier this month, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant portrayed those who do not agree with his business tactics as snobs: "There is this strange kind of reverse elitism: If I'm going to do this, then everything else shouldn't exist," he said. "In the US, we've got a system that works." 
In their ongoing struggle to reach a wider audience through the mainstream media, anti-GMO activists have outlined a number of solutions and goals for which they are advocating, including the "labeling of GE/GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier," "further scientific research on the health effects of GE/GMOs," and, perhaps most importantly, "taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won't take these injustices quietly." 
Check back with RT throughout the weekend for the most extensive up-to-the-minute coverage on the global demonstrations. 

Activists of the online network "Campact" protest outside the administrative court in Braunschweig, northern Germany 

Baloch Society of North America welcome Dr. Malik Baloch's nomination as the next chief minister of Balochistan

Baloch Society of North America welcome Dr. Malik Baloch's nomination as the next chief minister of Balochistan

June 2, 2013 

Dr. Wahid with US Vice-President Joe Biden

WASHINGTON DC: President of Baloch Society of North America, Dr. Wahid Baloch, welcomed Dr. Malik Baloch's nomination as the next chief minister of Balochistan and called it a right step in the right direction. "Dr. Malik Baloch is a middle class Baloch leader and no one knows and understand Balochistan's issues and problems more than him", said Dr. Wahid. We hope that Dr. Malik Baloch will use all the resources and power in his disposal to bring peace, stability and prosperity in the war torn Balochistan. 
He said, a  new era of confidence building, rehabilitation and reconciliation must be in place to ensure the accommodation and empowerment of ordinary Balochs and to remove their sense of alienation, marginalization, decades old discrimination, injustices, abuses and immoral treatments directed against them.
 
In order to bring peace and harmony in Balochistan, an atmosphere of trust, confidence building, mutual respect, Baloch understanding and accommodation should be promoted, supported and encouraged. The Baloch genuine  demand, including the end of military operation and "kill and dumps" of Baloch political leaders and students must be stopped. All ISI and FC proxy death squads and private militia must be dismantled. 
Those Baloch who have been forcibly disappeared by FC and are missing must be released and allowed to re-join with their family members and law-enforcement officers, including military officers, who broke the law or committed crimes against Baloch citizens must be brought to justice. Hefty and direct compensation must be made without any further delay, in a transparent mode, to the families of all those who got killed, kidnapped and tortured. The Homeless IDP's must be returned to their hearth and home with honor and dignity, rehabilitated and compensated.
He said, the mostly Pashtun-based Frontier Corps, which have been involved in creating the law and order situation in Balochistan to justify it's illegal and unconstitutional use of powers and to maintain it's parallel Government in Balochistan in the name of "defending the territorial integrity" of the country, must be removed from all Baloch cities and towns in Balochistan and replaced by local Balochs. All the FC check post should be dismantled in Balochistan and the Pastun-based Frontier Corps should be deployed along the Afghan border in Pashtun areas. All Afghan refugees living in Balochistan must be returned back to Afghanistan and their names removed from the voter registration lists.The historic territorial integrity and demography of Balochistan, land of the Baloch, must not be changed.
He demanded that the Balochistan's boundaries to be re-drawn based on historical, ethnic and linguistic line and all Pashtun areas of Balochistan should be joined with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur must be added back to Balochistan. Baloch secular national identity and culture must be honored, preserved, restored and respected and Balochi language must be declared Balochistan's primary language of learning.
He said, that the Gwadar port and Balochistan's natural resources must be used to uplift the Baloch people and Baloch, especially the ordinary middle classes, must be well represented at all the federal level and in foreign services to remove their sense of deprivation and alienation to make them feel as counted citizens.
Pakistan should be declared as a federation of four autonomous individual States, Viz, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Pakhtunkhwa, where all federating units should be treated and represented equally in all federal departments, including the armed forces and foreign services. Center should only keep the defense, currency and foreign affairs and all other departments, including the foreign trade, taxation and Communication, should be given to the federating units with full autonomy. Every federating unit should be allowed to take care of their internal  security apparatus according to their needs and resources and all federating units should be free to promote their National identity, language, culture and traditions without any fear, intimidation or coercing. 

An atmosphere of friendship, co-operation, tolerance, mutual respect, understanding and  accommodation among all nationalities in Pakistan should be promoted, supported and encouraged to bring peace and harmony in Pakistan, and the terrorism, religious extremism and violence should be denounced in its all forms and shapes.

                                                                                           ####

                                                                                                                                                                    
 
by SYED ALI SHAH

Balochistan Chief Minister-designate Dr Abdul Malik Baloch. – Photo courtesy Facebook


QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister-designate Dr Abdul Malik Baloch on Sunday said that an independent commission would be established to probe into the murder of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and issue of missing political workers in the province.
Speaking to Dawn.com exclusively soon after being nominated as Balochistan CM by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML N) chief Nawaz Sharif, Baloch said recovery of missing persons was his top priority.
"I would not be a powerless chief minister," he said, adding that all out efforts would be made to bring back missing persons.
The National Party (NP) chief said that federal government would be approached for the arrest of accused involved in the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti.
He hinted that there would be no "overflowing" cabinet and only limited cabinet members would be announced to lessen the financial burden of Balochistan. "I would not tolerate corruption," he added.
Dr Baloch said that all displaced Marri and Bugti tribesmen will be rehabilitated in Kohlu and Dera Bugti.
Thousands of Bugti and Marri tribesmen were displaced in the aftermath of military operation during Musharraf regime.
The NP chief said that majority of the people in the province live below the poverty line and vowed to take revolutionary measures to overcome poverty after assuming power.
He said all postings and transfers would be made on merit.
Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said meaningful negotiations will be initiated with disgruntled Baloch brothers for durable peace in the province.
"I believe in dialogue and oppose use of force," he explained, adding confidence building measures would be adopted to convince the Baloch leaders to come to the negotiating table for political settlement of the Balochistan issue.