Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Public Event in Toronto on Nepal

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
Time: 7-9 pm
Where: OISE (252 Bloor Street West), Room 5280, Toronto

In 1996 the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) began its people’s war against the existing tyrannical monarchist regime with the support of the majority of people in Nepal. In 2005 as part of a seven-point agreement with other opposition parties the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) helped launch a people’s revolt in Kathmandu which led to the ouster of the monarchy and declared a ceasefire. Subsequently the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) entered the parliamentary process to write a constitution that fulfills the political, economic and social aspirations of the peoples of Nepal. This panel seeks to examine the political developments that have taken place in Nepal in the last 6 years and to discuss the on-going revolution in Nepal.

Wendy Glauser and Dhruv Jain: In May-June 2010, Wendy, a free-lance journalist, and Dhruv, a doctoral student at York University, visited Nepal and spoke to a variety of Party activists, officials and ordinary people to study the political situation and the quality of livelihood of ordinary people in the years since the ceasefire. They were also able to spend three weeks in former Maoist strongholds in the districts of Kalikot and Rolpa.

Noaman: In December 2010 Noaman, a doctoral student at the University of Toronto, reported on the 18th National Conference of the All-Nepal National Independent Students Union (Revolutionary) in Kathmandu, Nepal for the Basics Community Newsletter.

Sponsors: PRAC-Toronto, OPIRG-Toronto, Canada South Asia Solidarity Association, ILPS - Canada

Toronto community group condemns life-sentence for Dr. Binayak Sen

Group also condemns state atrocities and criticizes filing of false charges against Dr. Ilina Sen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  -  Free Binayak Sen Campaign, Toronto Chapter

There has been world-wide condemnation of the sentence of life-imprisonment for sedition handed out to noted human-rights activist and physician Dr. Binayak Sen, along with two other accused, on Dec 24th, 2010, in the town of Raipur in central India. He was accused of collaborating with “anti-state forces”.

Dr. Jonathan Fine, founder of Physicians for Human Rights in Cambridge (MA), was in the court premises in India during the verdict. “I could not help crying when speaking with Binayak’s wife before and after the verdict was declared,” he said. According to Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen, “…the whole thing seems a ridiculous use of the laws of democratic India”.

Dr. Sen was awarded the 2008 Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights. Internationally celebrated for his work on behalf of the poorest and for his defense of human rights, Dr. Sen has been persecuted by the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh for speaking out against the violence perpetrated by the security forces and by the state-backed militia, Salwa Judum.

In the latest attack on Dr Sen and his family, on January 25, 2011, Dr. Ilina Sen, the wife of Dr. Binayak Sen, and a well-known Professor of Women’s Studies at Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University, was also charged by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) that she did not inform the local police about non-Indian scholars that were participating in a women’s convention at the University.

On Friday, February 5, 2011, the Free Binayak Sen Coalition – Toronto Chapter presented the Consul General of India Ms. Preeti Saran with a petition signed by over 200 local Indians and Canadians condemning Indian state action against Dr. Binayak Sen. However no official at the Consulate was present to take the petition. The group waited for 3 hours and in end left the petition at the reception. This shows the lack of Consulate engagement with the community. These signatures had been collected in just one week. Over thirty University faculty from across Canada (from the University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University,
University of Manitoba, Queen’s University, and the University of Ottawa) signed the petition.

The petition promised that the Toronto Chapter would continue to publicize the issue. The Toronto Chapter informs the Consul General that Indians and Canadians are deeply concerned about Indian state atrocities. The Consul General could not make time to meet with the Coalition and discuss their concerns. The Toronto Chapter will not sit idle.

Contact: Nishant Upadhyay Monday, February 7, 2011
Email: kneeshant@gmail.com
Cell: (647 884 5065)