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Archive for September 11th, 2007

OBSERVE ALL INDIA BANDH ON OCTOBER 30, 2007!

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 11, 2007


Scrap SEZ Act, Save the Country

Sez Hatao, Desh Bachao
Scrap all MOUs signed for large scale mining and big industrial plants.

No to Displacement, Development for People

Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan (VVJVA) appeals to one and all in the country to observe a day’s bandh (general strike) on 30th October, 2007 to strongly protest the Government’s policy displacing millions and millions of people, through the policies of SEZs and opening up vast mining projects, big dams and so-called urban renewal benefitting the MNCs and big capitalists in various parts of the country.

The call to observe bandh was given by the first ever All India Conference on 22 & 23 March, 2007 against displacement, where about a hundred of people’s organizations and a similar number of democratic individuals came together at Ranchi to raise their collective voices against all kinds of displacement including that caused by SEZs.

The people of Nandigram, Kalinganagar, Polavaram, Jagatsinghpur (where POSCO is grabbing the land for its SEZ and captive port), Raigada, Dadri and elsewhere have put up valiant resistance even risking their lives against this day-light robbery of the poor, of making people destitute through the so-called policies of development. In hundreds of places, millions of people in the country have been fighting tooth and nail to stop the SEZs, big mining, big dams, tourist projects, national parks, highways and big industrial projects that have been rendering several millions of people homeless and destitute. The misery of the people is fast developing into a surging storm, the very thought of the spectre of which has sent shudders through the ruling classes. The ruling class elite have become restive to the resisting voices of the people.

The present displacement is an outcome of Second Generation Reform phase under the cliché of development which is nothing but an all-round attack on the toiling masses. Earlier our rulers had mortgaged the country to the imperialists. Sixty years of so-called independence and the ‘democracy’ that supposedly has come of age meant all this penury to the vast majority of people. Today, the entire country, irrespective of the urban and the rural, has been transformed into a firing range where the mercenary police and paramilitary and the goondas of the ruling parties are brutally trying to crush the agitating people who want to protect their Jal, Jungal and Jameen—their sources of livelihood. On the other hand we have a Prime Minister and his smooth talking policy pundits taking their lessons from the World Bank and Washington, laying the road map for a so-called 10 percent growth rate, turning a blind eye to the burning problems of the people.

The Prime Minister of this country gives the impression that he cannot but falter when he gets vacuous about the super power that India is going to become. In these new clothes of the emperor what is being cleverly hidden is the total naked, shameless subservience to the rapacious needs of foreign capital. Beneath the smokescreen of an India Inc.—projected by a sensation driven, sycophant media—is the blood soaked face of a beastly state that satiates on the toil of the adivasis, dalits, landless agricultural labourer, the small and middle peasant, the small entrepreneur… the list is getting longer. There is no way the real anguish of the people that erupts in a Nandigram, Kashipur, Kalinganagar, Jagatsinghpur, Singur or Polavaram can be heard as a dignified, real, response of the people. The Market driven media and the policy pundits who receive their dollops from Multinational consultancy agencies such as Mckinsey or the British run DFID or their senior patrons the World Bank and the IMF are crying hoarse depicting these protests as primitive, anti-development, against civilization itself.

People are being taken into custody under the laws of sedition! As if they are an obstruction to the forward march of development of this country! Lakhs of crores of rupees worth MoUs have been signed by various state governments with various Multi National Corporations for mining of valuable resources of the people such as bauxite, coal, iron ore, diamonds, uranium, precious stones, etc. Several MoUs have been signed with monopolies to develop urban centres that will suit the needs of big capital in the process pushing out all small and medium entrepreneurs from the urban spaces as these ventures have been identified as hazardous to a clean urban environment. Wal-Mart and Reliance are aggressively displacing the local retail and small business. Huge malls have been swallowing the rest of the business. Supreme Court orders are decimating the local retail business prospects making way for MNCs and TNCs. Jawahar Rozgar Vikas Yojana has been wiping out the poor people in the urban slums. Big mining and industrial projects along with about 500 SEZs are driving the people out of their habitats.

Today, every nook and corner of the country is thrown open to the foreign capital in close collaboration with big capital at home to tear open the veins of the rich resources of this country.
Any form of resistance is met with brutal force by the state. Paramilitary and police armed to the teeth hound villagers and adivasis who are fighting for their very survival; when they refuse to let their land and livelihood being sold to the foreign capital and the local big capital for a pittance. And there is deafening silence against these unlawful, criminal acts of the state, on the part of the judiciary not to say the civil society.

The call to OBSERVE BANDH hence as become a wake up call for all those who believe in democracy, the well being of the vast sections of the masses as they too have their rightful place in our society to lead a dignified, secure life free of domination and exploitation. The people have been resisting, fighting their struggles of survival. The people of this country have to give a resounding rebuff to these anti-people policies brought in by this blood thirsty monster of the Indian state. This BANDH CALL is also a wake up call to the powers that be to look at the issues pertaining to development and displacement from the point of view of the people. And not from the diktats of the World Bank, IMF or the US.

Hence we appeal; we urge the people of this country to come forward, to surge ahead with the bandh call as these issues have become the bane of the vast sections of the people, their livelihood, their dreams and memories. These issues are no more the vested or narrow concern of this or that organisation. They have become the life and death issues of the wretched, the poor, the worker, the toiling masses, the tribals, dalits, the small entrepreneur, the small and middle peasant and the patriotic farmer. Yes this is the burning issue of the people of this country.

We once again call upon all political parties, democratic organisations, trade unions, employees’ organisations, workers and peasant organisations, youth and student organisations, adivasi and dalit organisations and the people—the masses of people to come out on to the streets, on 30th October, 2007, to say in no uncertain terms that we will not take all this blood sucking exploitative policies of the rulers and their pay masters lying low.
Let us fight it.
Let us resist it.
Let’s smash the SEZs policy.
Let us end all kinds of displacement.
Let the dead be buried. But death should not be allowed to live!

Repeal SEZ Act, 2005 along with all approved SEZs.
Scrap all MOUs signed for large scale mining and big industrial plants.
Repeal Land Acquisition Act 1894 along with all later amendments to it till date.
Rehabilitate all families so far displaced in the last sixty years.
Abrogate 123 Nuclear Agreement with US!
Stop displacement, stop imperialist sponsored development; protect and advance peoples livelihood.

http://dsujnu.blogspot.com

Posted in Anti-Displacement Front | Leave a Comment »

Naxal Search in Bangalore Colleges

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 11, 2007

I am deeply disturbed at recent developments in the state of Karnataka, once known for its secular character, peace and cosmopolitan ambience. The state has seen a spurt in activities against the minorities, both Muslims and Christians. A local group recently met the National human Rights Commission and Union Home Minister Shiv Raj Patil in this context.

Now it transpires that even as they fail to curb anti-Christian terrorism, Karnataka State agencies are entering Christian educational institutions to probe links of Human rights groups with alleged Naxalite activity.

In a very controversial incident, intelligence agents came to the famous St Joseph’s College in Bangalore, among others, last Sunday. They hung around the college premises for more than four long hours. They were keen to know how the “Karnataka communal harmony” group made an entry into St. Joseph’s College premises. The group consisting of several activists, academicians and others meet in various parts of the state. The major colleges in the state capital – as is the practice in most metropolitan cities — routinely provide space for all progressive groups.

Intelligence groups insist that many such human rights and civil society groups sympathise with Naxalites and PWG. Angry college authorities have questioned this state action, and ask if giving space to human rights groups is against the government policies.

It is understood that Mr. Deve Gowda has been monitoring all NGOs in his home district of Hassan. Activists have been complaining that the social space is becoming limited in the State.

I strongly protest this and call upon civil society groups to take the matter up with the authorities in the state capital of Bangalore, as also in other states and with the Central Government.

Posted in Bangalore | Leave a Comment »

SALWA JUDUM: UNREPORTED INDIA’S HIDDEN WAR

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 11, 2007

Source: HRW

Have you heard about Salwa Judum – India’s hidden war in tribal dominated area of central Indian state Chhattisgarh? I am sorry! I haven’t until I attended at a People’s Convention at Hindi Bhavan, New Delhi organized by Campaign for Peace and Justice in Chhattisgarh (CPJC)!

Sociologists, activists and scholars have condemned Salwa Judum as State machinery’s license to its people to kill its own people in the name of counterfeit encountering Red Corridors.

Can you believe it happens in central part of this vast country, known and proud of being world’s largest democratic nation! Indian Medias of both print and electronic are known of their capability to unearth but it seems they are naïve on India’s hidden war against tribal communities of Chhattisgarh that makes India’s hidden war still hidden from nation’s eyes and ears.

CNN IBN in 2006 March warned the nation provoking the Home Ministry by exposing the Red Corridor of Naxals (Maoists) in tribal dominated areas of Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhan, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.

A documentary film “India’s Hidden War” produced by reporter Sandra Jordan and Director James Brabazon was screened and left its images of deep wound and violation against the innocent tribal communities of Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh who used to live peacefully in their own world.

Sandra and James traveled deep into the Indian jungle to expose how India’s aspirations for a superpower economy are resulting in an increasingly bloody civil war. Government funded militias are battling red guerrillas of Naxal for control of India’s mineral resources. Hundreds of thousands of tribal villagers are caught in the crossfire between Red Corridors and Salwa Judum. (Picture: Salwa Judum Camp)

Salwa Judum in Gondi term means a peace campaign merged by capitalists, traders, land owners and elites to fight against Naxalites from mid 2005, often supported by state machineries, state police forces and politicians. Ever since Salwa Judum merged, the lives of people, particularly Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, where 90% of its habitants are tribal communities, became turmoil.

According to CPJC, the leaders of Salwa Judum have empowered sections of tribal communities with bows and arrows, swords, axes and arms, marched from village to villages to ethnic cleanse from Naxalites. Villagers who refuse to join Salwa Judum have been treated as members or pro-Naxalites. Tribal villagers are forced to relief camps run by Salwa Judum and those who refused were severely beaten even murdered by Salwa Judum activist with support state police forces and Naga Regiments. [1]

Salwa Judum leadership composes from top political leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress. They appoint the Camp leaders, mostly from non-tribal communities. Under political leaders and non-tribal camp leaders, recruits the hot blood youngsters with indoctrinations of hate campaign into State Police Officers, who are trained and paid by Government machineries to join hands with ordinary innocent tribal villagers to loot, burn and rape in the name of retaliating Naxalites.

Salwa Judum, Naxalites and Security Forces have killed over 500 lives ever since the merge of Salwa Judum in Dantewada district alone. Violation against women includes the gang rap, custodial rape, mutilation of private parts, murder, continuous sexual abuse in villages, police stations and even so called relief camp of Salwa Judum. (Picture: Image of unsanitary in Salwa Judum Camps)

The lowest 70,000 to maximum 100,000 Villagers are forced to internal displacement and migration to neighboring states of Orissa, Jharkhan and Andhra Pradesh, who there suffer pathetic life situations.

Government of Chhattisgarh has setup 20 Salwa Judum camps in Dantewada district where it is reported to have 47,500 villagers taken shelter. The fact-finding team of CPJC reports that most of the relief camps face acute shortage of food, water and amenities. People are forced to live in extremely unsanitary conditions and did not allow tribal villagers to return back homes.

In some of the relief camps, Government is trying to convert into permanent villages of which many villagers are worried that their villages and cultivation lands with MSF in Chhattisgarh rich mineral resources would be one day turn into the clutches of capitalists, traders and elites to convert into mineral factories.

Challenging the constitution validity of Salwa Judum, the Supreme Court of India issued notice to Chhattisgarh government in May 2007 to stop Salwa Judum committing atrocities in the pretext of countering the Naxalite movement and urged to order impartial enquiry into atrocities committed by this group. [2]

The state machinery’s crime against its own people has been desperately kept hidden to the nation and world. The victims testified in People’s Convention that state machineries intentionally didn’t allow Medias to come and report on India’s hidden war of Salwa Judum.

Deep in India’s central jungle, weaker section of India’s tribal societies who already suffered socio-economic and educational backwardness, remains unheard of their man made and state sponsored crime on humanity. (Picture: Children without acute food and amenities)


The People’s Convention demands from Chhattisgarh Government

1. Disband and disarm Salwa Judum immediately.

2. Stop appointing Special Police Officers.

3. Stop Recruiting children and adolescents below 18 years of age.

4. Allow tribal communities to return to their villages.

5. Government to rebuild burnt and broken homes.

6. Stop harassment and allow free access to journalists, civil society organization, and medical camp and education workers.

7. Repeal the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005

8. Create a conductive atmosphere for dialogue to find political resolution to political issues.

9. Stop arrest, detention and false implication of Human Rights Activists, Social Workers etc. and release all such persons.


The People’s Convention demands from Government of India

1. Stop aiding and abetting Salwa Judum in the name of promoting “local resistance groups.”

2. Institute a high level independent enquiry into all acts of violence-rape, arson, loot, murder and disappearances by Salwa Judum and paramilitary forces and initiate criminal proceedings.

3. Recognize the right to live and dignities of internally displace people living outside Chhattisgarh and ensure their safety.

4. Create a conductive atmosphere for dialogue to find political resolution to political issues.

People’s Convention demands from Naxalite

1. Stop all forms of violence

2. Create a conductive atmosphere for dialogue to find political resolution to political issues.

3. Stop recruiting children and adolescents below 18 years of age

4. Allow safe return of villagers to their home including Salwa Judum supporters.


[1] Salwa Judum: Civil War in Chhattisgarh, CPJC, New Delhi, 2007, p. 6.

[2] The Hindu, May 20, 2007

Images courtesy: http://cpjc.wordpress.com/tag/photographs/

Posted in Article, Salwajudam | Leave a Comment »

Salwa judam faces inevitable End

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 11, 2007

‘Review Salwa Judum’s activities’

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh said here on Sunday that the activities of Salwa Judum, which is fighting the CPI (Maoist) in Chhattisgarh, should be reviewed in the wake of migration of tribals to Andhra Pradesh.

“Tribals in Chhattisgarh are caught between the Salwa Judum and Maoists and are paying the price,” he said at a press conference.

“The Salwa Judum was formed as an outfit aimed at people’s participation. But their activities are something different for the past few months,” Mr. Ramesh said, adding that because of them, the Guthi Koya tribals were fleeing their hamlets and taking shelter in Warangal and Khammam districts of Andhra Pradesh.

“People are running away from the Salwa Judum,” he said.

The former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Ajit Jogi, was also against the role of Salwa Judum, started by Congress leader Mahendra Karma to fight Maoists.

On the landmine attack on the former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N. Janardhana Reddy, Mr. Ramesh said he still felt the activities of Maoists had come down drastically in Andhra Pradesh. “But, the situation has deteriorated in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and parts of Orissa.”

http://www.hindu.com/2007/09/10/stories/2007091059711200.htm

Posted in Salwajudam | Leave a Comment »

Be Ready for Fresh Revolt: Prachanda

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 11, 2007



Nepalgunj, Sep 9/ CPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda on Saturday directed party cadres to be ready for another revolution. He was addressing a workshop of the Tharuwan Rajya Samiti (TRS) in Bhurigaun of Bardiya. Some 500 key TRS leaders and cadres including district presidents, secretaries, committee members and office-bearers of TRS’ sister organisations are attending the workshop that will continue tomorrow also.

Prachanda said revolution was necessary as the government had still not laid the foundation for the constituent assembly election. “The CA can’ be set up under pressure. Therefore, be ready for another revolution,” he said.
Prachanda said that within 10 days the Maoists would try and arrive at a fresh agreement with the seven political parties. Failing this, the Maoists will start their revolution from September 18. He added that unless the political aims were fulfilled, there was no point setting up the constituent assembly.
Prachanda also said that the CPN-Maoist is preparing to convene a round-table conference of all left forces on September 11, adding that efforts will be made to form a new struggle committee of the Maoists and the left forces to jointly launch the revolution.

Speaking to the media at the Nepalgunj airport before returning to Kathmandu, Prachanda iterated that the possibility of the CA poll taking place was getting remote. “The government has not laid the foundation for the CA polls. Therefore, I have directed my party to be ready for another revolution,” he said. He said that atmosphere was not conducive for holding the CA polls, adding that holding the election in such a scenario would be fatal for the nation.
The CA polls can be held only after the government concedes the 22-point charter of demands put forward by his party, said Prachanda. “The seven parties should work harder to create an atmosphere for the polls. Holding the polls in a situation like this would be a farce. The CA polls should be truly historic to be memorable,” he said.

Ruling out the necessity of deploying the army during the polls, Prachanda said that if security arrangements were tightened that would suffice. He insisted that the Maoist People’s Liberation Army also should be deployed during the polls if the Nepal Army is.

Prachanda said the CPN-Maoist was firm in its stand that the nation should be declared a republic before the CA polls. Referring to the recent blasts in Kathmandu, he said that it proved that the atmosphere was not right for the polls. He lauded the Nepali Congress party’s decision to go for a federal democratic republic, adding that it would certainly help in creating a proper situation for the polls.

Meanwhile, a Maoist party source said Prachanda, CPN-UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal and Ekta Kendra general secretary Prakash also discussed the ideal model of a republic during their recently held talks.

Posted in Nepal | Leave a Comment »

Details about Jose Maria Sison’s Arrest

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 11, 2007



Philippine Revolutionary Leader Arrested in the Netherlands
by Dave Pugh

Jose Maria Sison has been a leading figure of the Philippine national democratic revolution for almost 40 years. He is one of the pioneers who revived the anti-imperialist movement in the Philippines in the early 1960s, and he was elected chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines in 1968 when it was refounded on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. For nine years, he was the most prominent political prisoner of the U.S.-supported dictator, Ferdinand Marcos. After living for nearly twenty years in the Netherlands as a political refugee, Sison is in prison again.

On the morning of August 27, 2007, Sison was arrested in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on trumped up murder charges. The Dutch police kicked down doors and ransacked Sison’s apartment. The Dutch police also raided the houses of several staff members of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and confiscated computers and files in an attempt to shut down the NDFP’s international solidarity work.

Sison has been in the crosshairs of successive U.S. puppet Philippine regimes since his release from prison in 1986 as a result of the “people power” uprising that brought down the Marcos regime. While Sison was on a university lecture tour in Europe in 1988, the Philippine government of Corazon Aquino stripped him of his passport. A year later, the military offered a one million peso bounty for his “arrest, capture or neutralization.” Sison has remained a political refugee in the Netherlands since 1988 because of continued threats to his life by the Philippine authorities. As recently as 2000, a special unit was sent to the Netherlands to murder Sison.

In 1992, Sison was invited by the NDFP to be its Chief Political Consultant in peace negotiations with the Philippine government. The NDFP is composed of the CPP, the New People’s Army (which has established more than 120 guerilla fronts on all eleven major islands of the archipelago), and 15 groups based among workers, peasants, women, youth, the religious sector, the Muslim Moro people, and the many indigenous groups in the Philippines. The NDFP’s national democratic program calls for the uprooting of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism in the Philippines, leading to the socialist stage of the revolution.

Over the course of a decade, the NDFP has held peace talks with the Philippine government. The two sides have signed ten bilateral agreements, including the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in 1998. The CARHRIHL requires both sides in the armed conflict to refrain from acts of terrorism against the civilian population and soldiers who are hors de combat. However, the Philippine government has undermined the agreement by objecting to setting up enforcement mechanisms.

More importantly, the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has violated the CARHRIHL and international humanitarian law by orchestrating the murder and disappearance of more than 1,000 civilian political activists during the last six years. These activists have included workers and peasants, priests and pastors, and members of the Bayan Muna (People First) party that recently elected three representatives to Congress in spite of massive voter fraud.

While the Philippine army sends out squads of motorcycle-riding masked soldiers to assassinate those whose only crime is opposition to a corrupt, brutal regime, the revolutionary forces strongly oppose terrorist actions and terrorism as a strategy. The NDF, the CPP, and the NPA recognize that they must gain and maintain the active participation and support of the people in the revolution. They use their limited weapons judiciously and precisely only against the military and those guilty of serious offenses against the people. Nevertheless, the U.S. and the European Union have listed the CPP and the NPA as “terrorist organizations” and have tried to blacken the reputation of Sison by designating him as a terrorist.

In response to a question on this issue at a press conference in 2002, Sison replied, “Terrorism is usually associated with the assassination of innocent civilians, the wanton destruction of property, the maltreatment of captives and the like. These are precisely the kinds of things that the New People’s Army never does. The NPA is treating the people humanely and is respecting their human rights. It abides strictly by its own Rules of Discipline, and the organs of people power follow the Guide for Establishing the People’s Democratic Government, which serves as the Constitution for the areas under NPA control.”

The Dutch police claim that in 2003, Sison ordered the murders of two ex-leaders of the CPP, Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara. At that time, the New People’s Army, based in the Philippines, announced that Kintanar and Tabara were killed resisting arrest and were slated to be tried by people’s courts for serious crimes committed after they left the CPP. Kintanar had been working for Philippine army intelligence, and Tabara was charged with the murder of an elderly peasant leader. The CPP publicly took credit for administering “revolutionary justice” to Kintanar and Tabara. For over 20 years, the CPP has stated that Sison is no longer involved in operational decisions and that he serves the revolutionary movement in an advisory capacity in Europe.

Why Now?

Why has Sison come under attack now? Over the past year, the Philippine government has been on the defensive for its human rights violations. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights have issued reports harshly critical of the Philippine government and army. After hearings in the spring of 2007, 48 U.S. Senators and Representatives sent a letter to the Arroyo government expressing concern that U.S. military equipment was being used to commit human rights abuses.

In July 2007 the Philippine Supreme Court dismissed a long list of charges against Sison and 50 other progressives, including the murders of Kintanar and Tabara, that spanned the period from the founding of the CPP in 1968 to 2006. This legal defeat for the Philippine government may have prompted it to request that the Dutch government file the murder charges against Sison, which mean he will be tried in the Netherlands instead of the Philippines.

The Netherlands has a long and notorious colonial past in Southeast Asia (Indonesia) and South America (Surinam and the Dutch Antilles). Today, it is the third largest trading partner and the second largest investor in the Philippines. Dutch conglomerates such as Royal Dutch Shell (oil), Unilever (consumer products), and Phillips (electronics) are well entrenched. Their exploitation of the labor and natural resources of the Philippines is administered by the Arroyo government and guaranteed by U.S. military equipment and advisors.

The U.S. government was quick to respond to the Dutch police action. American ambassador Kristie Kenney offered to extend support to the Dutch government to prosecute Sison. While the U.S. seems to allowing the Dutch government to take a lead role at this point, Sison could be kidnapped by the CIA or U.S. Special Forces. According to the CPP in the Philippines, the U.S. government has had standing plans to subject Sison to extraordinary rendition and to imprison him in Guantanamo Bay or a secret U.S. detention facility.

At present, Sison, 68, is being held in solitary confinement in the Dutch National Penitentiary, which was used by the Nazis during World War 2 to imprison and torture Dutch resistance fighters. He is being denied warm clothing and medicines for a heart condition. However, Sison is familiar with prison, and his voice will not silenced easily. On August 30, a march on the Dutch embassy in Manila was attacked by truncheon-wielding police, injuring dozens of people. In the last week, demonstrations have been held at Dutch embassies, consulates, and government offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Sydney, Taipei, Vancouver, B.C., Montreal, New York City, and Los Angeles, with more actions planned.

Read Recent posts on Sison

Manthly Review

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Interview With Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 11, 2007



By Enrico Piovesana
PEACE REPORTER
Via Meravigli, 12
20123 Milano, Italia
20 August 2007

Enrico Piovesana (EP): Prof. Sison, could you please tell us briefly about
your personal and political history, from your childhood up to becoming an
“International terrorist”?

Professor Jose Maria Sison (JMS): I am not a terrorist. I stand for
principles and actions that are for the benefit of the people fighting for
national liberation, democracy and socialism. I am a Filipino patriot and a
proletarian internationalist, not an “international terrorist” by any
suggestion. Communists are not terrorists. European governments are wrong
for following the Bush line that communists, progressive mass leaders,
national liberation movements and anti-imperialist governments are
terrorists. The imperialist powers are engaged in fascisation on a global
scale.

By my writings and political acts, I am well-known for opposing policies and
actions that harm or work against the interests of the people. I stand up
for the rights and interests of the people and support their revolutionary
struggles. I have strongly opposed micro-terrorists like Al Qaida and Abu
Sayyaf and macro-terrorists like the US and other imperialist powers that
kill large numbers of people through the daily violence of exploitation,
state terrorism and wars of aggression.

You can get the biographical information about me from the book, At Home in
the World: Portrait of a Filipino Revolutionary. At any rate, here are a few
facts. I was born on February 8, 1939 in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, Philippines. I
took my grade school in this town and high school in Manila. I took my
bachelor and masteral courses at the University of the Philippines and I
taught English literature and political science subjects in two
universities. I was active in the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal mass
movement. I became the chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist
Party of the Philippines from 1968 to 1977. I was arrested, tortured and
detained by the Marcos fascist dictatorship from 1977 to 1986.

I was released from military detention after the fall of Marcos in 1986 and
rejoined the faculty of the University of the Philippines. I went on a
university lecture tour in the Asia-Pacific region and then in Europe from
late 1986 onwards. When my Philippine passport was cancelled in 1988, I
applied for political asylum in The Netherlands. I am now the chief
political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines
(NDFP) in peace negotiations with the reactionary Government of the Republic
of the Philippines (GRP). Ironically, it is in connection with the GRP-NDFP
peace negotiations that the CPP, New People’s Army NPA) and I have been
blacklisted as “terrorists” by the US and other foreign governments upon the
lobbying of the GRP in order to pressure the NDFP towards capitulation.

EP: How would you describe the nature of NPA struggle: history, strength,
spread, activities, social support, mid-term and long-term goals?

JMS: The Communist Party of the Philippines describes the New People’s Army
as the main weapon for protracted people’s war and seizure of political
power along the line of the new democratic revolution under the leadership
of the working class in the concrete conditions of the Philippines. The NPA
was established on March 29, 1969, a few months after the reestablishment of
the CPP in 1968. It has carried out fighting, political, productive and
cultural tasks for more than 38 years. It is deeply and widely based among
the people, mainly the peasantry.

It has more than 120 guerrilla fronts. It operates in 70 of the 81 provinces
of the Philippines, 800 out of 1500 Philippine municipalities and in more
than 10,000 out of the 42,000 Philippine villages. It has been instrumental
in the establishment and development of mass organizations and organs of
political power. It has generated and supported social programs and mass
campaigns for the benefit of the people in mass education, land reform,
production, health, defense, cultural activities and settlement of disputes.

The goals announced by the NPA are to seize political power in order to
complete the new democratic revolution and establish a people’s republic and
then to become the main component of state power and defender of the people
in socialist revolution and construction in the Philippines.

EP: What’s your reply to those who say that nowadays a Maoist guerrilla
fighting for a socialist state is anachronistic?

JMS: The NPA cannot be anachronistic by fighting for national liberation and
democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big
compradors and landlords. It is the new democratic force that is striving to
defeat such anachronistic monsters as imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat
capitalism which exploit and oppress the broad masses of the people.

By the time that the NPA succeeds in defeating these anachronistic monsters,
then the people shall have accumulated the strength necessary for building
socialism under conditions of an imperialism much weakened by accelerated
crisis under such policies as “free market” globalization and global war of
terror spearheaded by US monopoly capitalism. The world capitalist system
has a growing tendency to implode because of the increased number of
competing imperialist powers and the growing resistance of the people of the
world.

EP: The CPP program states that the future socialist State will have special
relations with the People’s Republic of China. Many people say that NPA is
even armed by China. Why do you still consider China a revolutionary state,
even if it has become a completely capitalist country?

JMS: At the time that the CPP program was formulated in 1968, the People’s
Republic of China was still a socialist state and was practically the center
of the world proletarian revolution through the Great Proletarian Cultural
Revolution. But since then, especially after 1976, CPP documents and
publications have been criticizing the revisionists and capitalist
restorationists that have prevailed over the Marxist-Leninists in China. As
you say, China has become capitalist and is no longer a revolutionary state.
I refer you to CPP documents and publications criticizing and condemning
“free market” globalization in sharp contrast to China’s conformity to this
policy pushed by the US and other imperialist powers.

EP: Could you explain what the ‘Oplan Bantay Laya’ is and its effects on
civilians and political activists?

JMS: Oplan Bantay Laya is a “national internal security plan” patterned
after Oplan Phoenix of the US in Vietnam during the late 1960s. It seeks to
destroy the political infrastructure and the guerrilla fronts of the armed
revolutionary movement. It is instigated by the US in the context of its
policy of global war of terror. The US has described the Philippines as the
second front of such global war. It has introduced thousands of US military
troops in the Philippines and increased military supplies to its Filipino
puppets to push them on a counterrevolutionar

y rampage in the name of
anti-terrorism.

Oplan Bantay Laya has brought about the extrajudicial killing, forced
disappearance and torture of more than a thousand progressive legal
activists, including leaders of progressive mass organizations, journalists,
lawyers, religious leaders and other activists who advocate human rights,
social justice and just peace. It has also brought about the brutal
displacement of more than one million people mainly in the countryside, in
addition to a previous level of two million internal refugees. The forced
displacement of the people is calculated to divest them of their land and to
deliver this to foreign mining, agribusiness and recreation companies.

Oplan Bantay Laya aims to destroy the armed revolution and legal opposition
and to intimidate the people. But it has failed to destroy a single
guerrilla front of the NPA. It has only served to fuel the flames of the
armed revolution. The gross and systematic violations of the human rights of
the progressive legal activists have outraged the Filipino people and the
people of the world. The progressive legal mass movement has risen up to a
new level against the escalating acts of violence against the people by the
US and the local reactionaries. Even international human rights
organizations and human rights agencies of the UN have pointed to the
criminal responsibility of the Filipino puppet rulers headed by Arroyo.

EP: The situation will get worse from now on with the new anti-terror law:
the Human Security Act enforced on July 15?

JMS: Indeed, the human rights situation will get worse with the
anti-terror- law, which is deceptively called Human Security Act of 2007. The
definitions of “terrorism” and “conspiracy to commit terrorism” are vague
and overly broad. It becomes very easy for the Arroyo regime to take
punitive actions against any individual,, any organization and any party in
the opposition. The punitive actions include limitless surveillance,
warrantless arrests, indefinite detention without bail, proscription as
“terrorists” and seizure of properties and financial assets.

EP: Do you think that under Arroyo’s leadership, Philippines is going
backward to the Marcos dictatorship era?

JMS: In many respects and to a great extent, the Arroyo regime is already
very much on the fascist road of the Marcos dictatorship. Especially with
the HSA of 2007, the Arroyo regime has gotten a license for martial rule
without having to declare martial law and comply with requirements set by
the anti-fascist provisions of the 1987 constitution

EP: What is the role of US military in supporting Philippines troops? Only
training and logistical support or something more?

JMS: The role of the US military in supporting Philippine troops is not
limited to weapons training and logistical support. It is to indoctrinate
the puppet officers and troops and enhance their subservience, mercenary
character and puppetry to US political and military plans in East Asia and
the world at large, It is to gain intelligence from the puppet forces
against the Filipino people as well as to provide intelligence to the puppet
forces in order to condition their thinking and operations. It is to lay
anew and develop the infrastructure for direct US military presence and
operations in the Philippines and for US military intervention and
aggression in Southeast Asia, East Asia and farther afield.

EP: Official figures put at 40 thousand the death toll of the ‘People War’.
Do you confirm this number? Is it true that the conflict is now in an
escalating phase?

JMS: It is wrong for anyone to ascribe the death toll of 40,000 or whatever
number to the people’s war .. We must make clear that this number refers to
the people killed by the military, police and paramilitary forces of the
reactionary government in the course of anti-NPA campaigns of suppression as
early as during the time of the Marcos fascist dictatorship. Since after the
fall of the Marcos regime, the number would have significantly increased to
60,000 with the count of victims in the brutal campaigns of anti-communist
military suppression under the regimes of Aquino, Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo.

Being the army of the people, the NPA strictly directs its fire against the
military, police and paramilitary forces of the oppressive regime. There is
an estimate that since 1969 the NPA has killed more than 30,000 enemy troops
and wounded many more and the reactionary military and police have killed
around 10,000 Red fighters and more than 50,000 civilians. These figures
exclude the casualties in the fighting between the reactionary armed forces
and the Moro liberation forces.

EP: What about the peace negotiations started in Brussels in 1995?

JMS: The peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the
Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines
(GRP) have made some progress in the form of agreements within the framework
of The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992. The most significant of the
agreements is the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and
International Humanitarian Law, which is the first item in the substantive
agenda of the peace negotiations.

But under various pretexts, the GRP has blocked the further advance of the
peace negotiations by repeated attempts to require the NDFP to capitulate
and by repeated declarations of prolonged recesses, suspension of talks and
even the termination of the negotiations. The peace negotiations become
paralyzed every time the GRP demands the surrender of the revolutionary
forces and stops the negotiations as a process for addressing the roots of
the armed conflict and agreeing on social, economic and political reforms
for the benefit of the people.

EP: What do you think about the other Philippine armed conflict: the one
between goverment and Moro Islamic Liberation Front? And what is your
opinion about the Abu Sayyaf Group?

JMS: The Moro people have the right to national self-determination,
democracy, development and peaceful enjoyment of their ancestral domain.
They have the right to secede from an oppressive state and to demand
regional autonomy in a nonoppressive state. The Moro Islamic Liberation
Front (MILF) is waging a just revolutionary armed struggle along the line of
upholding, protecting and promoting the national and democratic rights and
interests of the Moro people.

The Abu Sayyaf is different . It was originally organized by the CIA and
Philippine military intelligence in 1991 in order to make trouble on the
flanks of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). But when the MNLF
capitulated to the GRP in 1996, the Abu Sayyaf appeared to run out of
control of the CIA and Philippine reactionary military. Now, it is being
used by the US as pretext for the continuing presence of US military forces
in Mindanao and the entire Philippines.

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