This week Just Asia begins with nine mothers cementing their feet in front of the Indonesian Presidential Palace on April 12. The mothers are calling on President Widodo to stop the development of a cement factory in Rembang, Central Java, which will damage a resource rich environment. Just Asia speaks to Mr. Ki Bagus Hadi for details.
Next, New Year’s Day in Burma, April 17, saw the release of 83 prisoners under a Presidential Amnesty. Aiming for national reconciliation and peace, the amnesty freed many land and labor rights activists, writers and journalists. Many political prisoners are still behind bars however, requiring State Security Council approval for release. Just Asia caught up with two released prisoners: rights activist Nay Myo Zin, and writer Htin Lin Oo.
Moving to India, on April 9 a massive explosion on the grounds of a 500 year old temple in Kerala killed over 100 people. Just Asia speaks to Urmila Pullat, lawyer and alumnus of the University of Oxford, who is working at the India desk of the Asian Human Rights Commission, on various aspects of this incident.
Next, the Pakistan military is escalating its operations in the province of Balochistan, in order to establish the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The project aims to make use of Balochistan’s Gawader port. Any resistance to the project and to assert local control over resources is met with brute force. Aerial bombardments are particularly affecting women and children. More than 100 persons were arrested from different districts and their whereabouts are now unknown.
In Thailand, the EnLaw Thai Foundation petitioned the Court on April 18 to revoke an order exempting certain businesses from the Town and City Planning Act. An earlier order to amend the environmental law allows the approval of subcontractors prior to an Environmental Impact Assessment being completed. Facing wide opposition from civil society, the two orders have pushed through mega projects, such as the construction of garbage power plants in residential areas.
Finally, the Urgent Appeals Weekly features several stories from Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan and Nepal.
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