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Myanmar coup opponents say no faith in ASEAN as envoys visit | ASEAN News

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Opponents of Myanmar’s military coup have declared that they have lost faith in regional diplomatic efforts to end the crisis in the country, as two ASEAN envoys met military ruler Min Aung Hlaing in the capital Naypyidaw.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has led the main international diplomatic effort to find a way out of the crisis in Myanmar, a country in turmoil since the military’s February 1 overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government.

“We have little confidence in ASEAN’s efforts. All of our hopes are gone,” said Moe Zaw Oo, a deputy foreign minister of the shadow National Unity Government (NUG) that the military has declared treasonous, and whose members have been branded as “terrorists”.

“I don’t think they have a solid plan for their credibility,” he said of ASEAN on Friday.

Moe Zaw Oo was speaking in a streamed news conference that was disrupted across Myanmar by internet outages.

Two sources briefed on the outage, who declined to be identified for security reasons, told the Reuters news agency that authorities had ordered the shutdown.

On Friday, the military leader Min Aung Hlaing met ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi and Erywan Yusof, the second minister for foreign affairs for ASEAN chair Brunei, army-run Myawaddy TV reported.

The report said the meeting discussed cooperation on humanitarian issues, holding an election once the country was stable, and the alleged irregularities in last year’s election that led to the military intervention.

Country in chaos

The military, which ruled Myanmar from 1962 to 2011, had promised to return democracy within two years.

The visit was part of a five-point consensus reached at a meeting in Jakarta of the bloc’s leaders late in April, which was attended by Min Aung Hlaing and celebrated by ASEAN as a breakthrough.

ASEAN has yet to announce the visit and it was not immediately clear if the envoys planned to meet opponents of the military or other stakeholders.

 

Myanmar has sunk into chaos since the coup, with countrywide strikes, boycotts and protests paralysing the economy and tens of thousands of people displaced by heavy fighting between the military and ethnic minority rebels and newly formed militias.

At least 845 people have been killed by security forces and more than 4,500 jailed, according to an activist group. The military has disputed those figures.

Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, 75, is among those held, charged in two different courts with offences ranging from breaching coronavirus curbs and illegally importing walkie-talkies to a violation of the Official Secrets Act, punishable by up to 14 years in jail.

Her lawyer voiced concern on Friday that she had no legal representative in the most serious of the cases, which also includes her Australian economic adviser, Sean Turnell, but had listed all of them as representing themselves.

“We have concerns that they won’t have any legal representatives and there won’t be any transparency,” Khin Maung Zaw told Reuters.

The NUG, comprised of pro-democracy groups and supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi’s governing party, on Friday said it would end conflicts in Myanmar and write a new federal constitution but would first need to defeat the military coup leaders.

Protesters take part in a demonstration against the military coup in Dawei on  Thursday [Dawei Watch via AFP]

NUG defence minister Khin Ma Ma Myo said militias called “People’s Defence Forces” had been formed nationwide, but must work together with existing armed groups.

“The NUG government will call for a war at some point. When that time comes, we must work together to defeat the junta,” he said.

“At the moment, it is not important who the leader is, it is important to defeat the common enemy – the terrorist regime.”

Meanwhile, protests continued across the country on Saturday, including in the city of Mandalay, where hundreds of people took to the streets to denounce the military leadership and call for the restoration of democracy.

Similar protests were also reported on social media in Launglon township, Tanintharyi Division on Saturday, while residents of Hpakant’s Saitaung staged a candlelight strike on Friday evening.





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Climate colonialism and the EU’s Green Deal | Climate Change

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Since the beginning of the year, the Amazon Rainforest, our largest tropical forest full of ecosystems essential to global climate regulation networks, has had 430,000 acres (174,000 hectares) cleared and burned to supply the logging industry and clear land for livestock breeding. Between August 2019 and July 2020, another 2.7 million acres (1.1 million hectares) were destroyed. Much of the wood and meat produced in Brazil from this deforestation ends up in Global North markets.

In Southeast Asia, deforestation linked to the palm oil industry also continues. Between 2018 and 2020, almost 500,000 acres (202,000 hectares) of rainforest were cleared in just three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea, leading to Indigenous communities losing their land. The demand for palm oil from top food brands in the Global North remains high, despite their commitments to reduce use.

Meanwhile, the push for greener sources of energy, particularly in the Global North, is driving the demand for metals like nickel, cobalt and lithium. Labourers in mining communities working to extract these metals face dangerous and degrading working conditions.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the use of child labour in cobalt mines is widespread, putting the lives of children at risk, damaging their health and depriving them of education. In Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, lithium mining uses large quantities of water, accelerating desertification and polluting underground waters and rivers, putting the health of local communities at risk.

According to data gathered by London-based NGO Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, there have been 304 complaints of human rights violations by 115 companies mining these minerals.

Although the end of colonialism was declared decades ago, its last effects in the form of these extractive industries are clear. The system of Indigenous land takeovers, resource extraction, labour exploitation and wealth transfer set up by European colonialists continues to operate and dispossess people in the Global South.

It is against the backdrop of this neo-colonial reality that the European Union announced its Green Deal at the end of 2019.

Underpinned by an apolitical narrative that humans have already changed the Earth’s climate and degraded the majority of its ecosystems, so action needs to be taken, the Green Deal completely ignores the fact that the Global North was the main driver of climate change and environmental degradation across the world.

European governments and corporations not only damaged and destroyed the environment on the continent and exploited local marginalised communities, but have been engaged in the same exact behaviour and worse, on all other continents.

The natural world in Africa, Asia and Latin America has been destroyed through the capitalist economic systems deployed by the Global North which normalised, expanded and strengthened hyper-extraction through overproduction and over-consumption.

The European Green Deal does not outline how it will reconcile and repair the losses and damages EU countries have caused to ecosystems and communities outside of Europe. Nor does it acknowledge how these damages force people in the Global South to migrate to Europe’s shores, where they experience pushbacks, must less offer a solution.

The European Green Deal also ignores the environmental impact of Europe’s drive for renewable energy and electric mobility on other parts of the world, where resources for this economic shift will have to be extracted. It also does not pay attention to how climate change and environmental degradation have disproportionately affected its own marginalised communities and the poor and destitute in the Global South.

In other words, in the pursuit of making the EU the first climate-neutral region in the world by 2050, Brussels is falling back on its old ways and deploying what we call climate colonialism.

The EU’s apolitical narrative on climate change – ignoring the impact of colonialism and capitalism and heavily influenced by the very corporations who profit from them – could result in climate action that is not only non-impactful but, worse, could be unsustainable and damaging for marginalised communities on the continent as well as the Global South.

It relies on tech solutions and silver-bullet ideas, promising to lead a “green, sustainable” economy with electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines and other exciting renewable innovations.

But the question is, who will this be sustainable for?

In order not to fall into climate colonialism, the European Green Deal needs a clear plan to eradicate harmful extractive models, recognise its historical responsibility in the climate crisis, and provide accountability for the damage EU companies cause in the Global South.

Working within the same system that causes injustice will only reproduce injustice. We at Equinox have put forward a number of important recommendations that could help steer the Green Deal away from its capitalistic, colonial foundation and towards new holistic, intersectional approaches that put social and racial justice at its core.

Among these recommendations are a clear commitment to racial justice, integrated policies linking the EU’s Anti-Racist Action Plan to the Green Deal, institutional reform, and a new relationship with civil society.

Only by acknowledging that it is perpetuating colonial capitalism, and committing to ending this approach, can the EU’s Green Deal be truly effective in addressing climate change. For far too long, European governments and companies have wreaked havoc across the world. It is time for justice, accountability and a complete overhaul of economic systems. Our collective survival depends on it.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Cameroonian Namondo Replaces Rosa Malango As Un Resident Coordinator In Uganda

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The United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres has appointed Susan Ngongi Namondo of Cameroon as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda, with the host Government’s approval.
Ms Namondo is replacing Rosa Malango of Equatorial Guinea who first came to Uganda in 2016 as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Representative and Coordinator, and was in 2019 appointed Resident Coordinator reporting to the President and Secretary General of the United Nations.
Malango was recently promoted by Guterres to serve as Director, Economic Affairs for Regional Economic Commission headquartered in Europe.
Mrs Malango first communicated publicly on June 10, 2021 at the commemorations of Heroes Day at Kololo Independence Grounds that the UN Secretary, General Antonio Guterres had promoted her to serve as Director, Economic Affairs for Regional Economic Commission headquartered in Europe.
“It has been an honour for me to serve as United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda during the past five years. The UN Secretary General has now promoted me to serve as Director Economic Affairs for the Regional Economic Commission under our headquarters in Europe. I will be coordinating the work of the economic Commission in Africa, Asia, the Americas as well as Europe,” she said.
“Today is my last Heroes Day in my current capacity. But I believe that Uganda has the potential to serve as a beacon of hope, peace and prosperity for the African continent and the world,” she added.
Ms. NGONGI NAMONDO PROFILE
Ms. Ngongi Namondo has over 25 years of experience in development work, including 19 years leading development professionals in the areas of policy formulation and programme planning across four different United Nations agencies at the national, regional and headquarters levels.
Within the Organization, she most recently served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Eritrea, after occupying other senior positions with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), including Representative to Ghana and Comoros, and Deputy Representative to Liberia. She also served the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Ngongi Namondo worked with the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI), an international scientific organization, and global non-profits including Caritas Internationalis and Catholic Relief Services.
She holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and in animal science from the University of Maryland, USA as well as master’s degrees in public administration from Columbia University, USA and in animal health from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom.

The post Cameroonian Namondo Replaces Rosa Malango As Un Resident Coordinator In Uganda first appeared on ChimpReports.



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Chad’s Football Dream

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Football is a passion in Chad but the national team has yet to qualify for top African and world tournaments.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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