Saturday, April 1, 2017


April01, 2017 (C) Ravinder Singh

Way back in 1999 I had reported in my most expensive Report on Narmada Basin Projects with color photos that was widely circulated in print form – CAG is reported Gujarat governments failures 18 years later.
NCA reports just 2,82,725 hectares area under Narmada Canal Command was served in its latest report against over 18,00,000 hectare in DPR.

Even worse Rs.10,000 Cr SAUNI program to Fill Surashtra & Kutchh Dams with Narmada Waters for over 4 years after Spending lot of money – SSNNL has refused to allocate water for the scheme.

Gujarat has TOYED with the idea to BUILD Fresh Water Lake in Sea – A Bridge across Sea – but no water is being released even for Industries downstream. Sea water has moved in 40 kilometers.

In another CAG report most Municipalities have No Sewerage Service – Sewage is released in to ground or rivers untreated.


To highlight the UN Secretary-General’s TOGETHER campaign,

United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan

in collaboration with National progressive Schools Conference
and RPR Gallery



2 – 7 April 2017, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Lalit Kala Akademi Galleries,
Rabindra Bhavan, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi

An exhibition of prints by veteran artist SHYAM SHARMA
Inspired by the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi

along with UN panel displays and film screenings

REMEMBER SLAVERY: Recognizing the Legacy and Contributions of people of African Descent
THE STATE OF DECEPTION: The Power of Nazi Propaganda



Many people are victims of intolerance and suspicions that may not appear in statistics – but degrade people’s dignity and our common humanity. In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats. 
We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbours as “the other”. 

Discrimination diminishes us all.  It prevents people – and societies – from achieving their full potential.
Let us draw strength from the values of inclusion, tolerance and mutual understanding that are at the heart of all major faiths and the United Nations Charter. 
People everywhere need to feel that their cultural identities are valued – and at the same time to have a strong sense of belonging to the community as a whole. As societies become ever more multi-ethnic and multi-religious, we need political, cultural and economic investments in cohesion, so that diversity is rightly seen as a richness, not a threat.
The United Nations is launching an effort to promote respect, safety and dignity for all.  We call it the TOGETHER campaign. 

Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights.
Together, let us build bridges.
Together, let us transform fear into hope.  

— United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres 

An exhibition of prints by artist SHYAM SHARMA
Inspired by the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi


Printmaking has been integral to India’s art tradition and several renowned painters especially from Bengal have made seminal contribution to the art of printmaking and works like Nandlal Bose’s leno cut “Bapu” are iconic.

I am a print maker and have created a series of fifty prints – Gandhi – SANMATI. The series was created using an indigenous process i.e the rubbing process of print-making. The process includes creating stencils and engravings on blocks creating different shades of a single colour and evoking textural contexts. These monotype prints were then enhanced through ‘Cincole” or the collage technique.

Following my long oeuvre as a teacher at the Patna Arts College, I experimented in diverse print-making techniques. I have used flat wooden blocks to play with chiaroscuro, the effect of light and shade. I made engravings on blocks of clay which were used in printing impressions on paper. The memory of soil cracks on the engraved clay bocks yield amazing  texture and give fresh perspective to the prints.

With time and experience, the subjects of my paintings have changed too. The series on display, inspired by the life, ideals and philosophy of the Mahatma ‘Gandhi – truth of time’, is based on the philosophy of life of the Mahatma. To my mind, it follows the artistic trajectory of Nandlal Bose’s leno cut “Bapu”.

I am delighted that the works are being presented in Delhi by the United Nations Information Centre to promote the UN Secretary-General’s TOGETHER CAMPAIGN.
For further information/media queries please contact

Rajiv Chandran, National Information Officer for India and Bhutan M: 9810606833


The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is an occasion to salute the peacekeepers of today who serve in some of the world’s most volatile and dangerous environments. This day was commemorated today with the Centre for UN Peacekeeping (CUNPK) at the Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi, jointly with UN Women and the United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan (UNIC) at a panel discussion on ‘UN 70 and UN Peacekeeping’. The Manekshaw Centre also set up a Peacekeeping exhibit produced by UNIC a couple of years ago but is still very current.
UNIC Director Mrs. Kiran Mehra-Kerpelman delivered the message of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: “United Nations peacekeeping has given life to the UN Charter’s aim “to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security.” Through years of struggle and sacrifice, the iconic Blue Helmet has earned its place as a symbol of hope to millions of people living in war-ravaged lands…As we commemorate seven decades of the United Nations, let us all do our part to ensure effectiveness of this flagship enterprise of the Organization.” He also said that to meet new challenges, he had appointed a High-Level Independent Panel to assess the state of UN peace operations today – both peacekeeping and special political missions – and the emerging needs of the future.
The Panel was presided over by Lt. Gen. Philip CamposeVice Chief of Indian Army Staff, PVSM, AVSM**, VSM, ADC who paid tribute to the UN Peacekeepers for their exemplary level of professionalism in upholding the high ideals of the United Nations and making a more peaceful, just and equitable world. He called for a one-minute silence to honour those who had fallen in the line of duty. He reminisced about his stint at UNPROFOR in 1992 calling it one of the first missions of modern day peacekeeping. “Our work is central to whatever else the UN undertakes in conflict zones”, he said. “In Northern Iraq, during our weekly morning assessment meetings of the situation in Iraq, all 14 Heads of UN Agencies were always present”. He also said how new technologies had emerged which should help face the emerging needs of the future but that training was a crucial link. “We have made a niche for training at the CUNPK which has brought us worldwide acclaim.” He also lauded women’s contribution to peacekeeping. “On this day, we renew our commitment to the ideals of the United Nations. We have come together to celebrate this day,” he said.
Mr. M. Muhawar, Joint Secretary Political, Ministry of External Affairs delivered the message of Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs in which she honours the brave men and women who serve far away from home and who should be recognized. She paid tribute to those who had laid down their lives.
Lt Gen I.S. Singha, VSM presented his challenges in UNPKO in Middle East and said that Peacekeeping has become very challenging over the years. He said that at crunch time, you are the person on the ground and you have to take the decisions. New York Control Centre will help you thereafter in anyway. He said that there was no black and white solution in the Middle East, but lots of shades of grey. “The more you think you know about the region, the less you are equipped to predict what will happen the next day”, he said. He gave a very good overview of the current situation. “Indian peacekeepers have been in that region from the very beginning and have stayed throughout the mission”, he noted with pride.
Lt. Gen. Chander Prakash, SM, VSM (Retd.), talked about the challenges in UNPKO in Africa, which he said were totally different from other regions. Some of the reasons for strife are historical factors, borders dispute, ethnicity, oppressive regimes, political instability, military coups, poor economic performance, high unemployment and external interests, among others. Today there are 9 peacekeeping missions in Africa out of a total of 16 in the world. Peacekeeping in Africa is not traditional peacekeeping and multi-dimensional responses are needed. Peacekeeping and peace-building go hand in hand, to alleviate human suffering. He described the pitiful condition of the civilians in many of those areas. He said that female peacekeepers are very important to gain the confidence of the population. We need to win the hearts and minds of the local population he said. Above all, a pro-active public information strategy is needed to dispel misinformation and skewed perspectives. Let us have the right mindset on this Peacekeepers Day.
Col. P.P. Singh, Director, Staff Duties 3A (UN) presented a wonderful kaleidoscope of India’s peacekeeping history. Today India is the third largest contributor of troops. “The UN remains the only world body capable of grappling with emerging challenges,” he noted.
UNIC produced a monograph to mark 70 years of India’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping which was launched by all the dignitaries present and was well received by the audience.
Dr. Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, Representative, UN Women for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka said that UN peacekeeping had evolved in order to meet new challenges. A key element of this evolution had been the recognition that women are vulnerable targets and easy casualties during conflicts. Today, attacks on women are an instrument of warfare. The international community has also realized that women peacekeepers play a critical role in peacekeeping operations. We now know that more than 70 percent of those displaced due to conflict are women and children. “This is where the role of women peacekeepers becomes crucial,” she said. “Women personnel can foster a sense of stability, security and trust between the peacekeeping mission and the community, as well as with survivors of armed conflict. They can respond to the trauma or specific needs of women survivors.” Female peacekeepers act as role models in the local environment, inspiring women and girls in often male-dominated societies to push for their own rights and for participation in peace processes. Based on this understanding, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations has made significant efforts to incorporate the needs of women in the planning, execution, and evaluation of its missions. This involves, among other things, increasing women’s representation in mission leadership, police and military components to gender units and, more recently, women protection advisors.
Dr. Reichmann Tavares proposed the vote of thanks on behalf of Mr. Louis-Georges Arsenault, Acting UN Resident Coordinator and Head of the UNICEF office in India.


New era of stronger European Investment Bank activity across India and South Asia
Finance Minister Jaitley inaugurates the new EIB Regional Representation for South Asia in New Delhi, following agreements for EUR 450m of new support for sustainable transport and renewable energy projects
The European Investment Bank’s first permanent office in India was formally opened earlier today, by Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister of the Republic of India, Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for South Asia and H.E. Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union to India.
At the formal opening of the European Investment Bank Regional Representation new contracts totalling EUR 450 million were agreed that will support sustainable transport and renewable energy investment in India. This includes a new EUR 250 million for construction of the Lucknow Metro that represents second tranche of a total EUR 450 million backing for the project.
A EUR 200 million loan to the State Bank of India to finance construction of new large scale solar power schemes across the country was also signed at the office opening. This will support plans to install 20 GW of grid connected solar power by 2020 under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.
The new office, to be located with the European Union Delegation to India in Shanti Niketan in New Delhi, will strengthen links between countries across South Asia and the European Investment Bank, the world’s largest international public bank. The presence of EIB staff in New Delhi will enable greater private sector investment in the country by ensuring better access to the EIB’s products and initiatives and providing direct guidance on possible technical and financial support provided by the Luxembourg headquarters of the EIB.
The new Regional Representation represents the first ever permanent presence of the European Investment Bank in India. The office will be headed by Donal Cannon an experienced banking specialist who during an 18 year career with the EIB has previously managed financial transactions supporting infrastructure and corporate investment, across in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.
“The European Investment Bank has supported long-term investment across India for more than 20 years. This has included harnessing renewable energy, strengthening industry and reducing carbon emissions. As the world’s largest multilateral public bank and a global leader in financing climate action, the EU Bank recognises that the time is right to increase our engagement across South Asia. This is part of the European Union’s efforts to strengthen its important relationship with India and South Asia as a whole. The opening of a regional office of the European Investment Bank in the sub-continent will ensure closer ties with public and private partners across the country, where our financial support and technical expertise can strengthen long-term investment crucial for improving lives and transforming economic opportunities across the region.” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.
“Opening of the EIB New Delhi office will unlock new opportunities for the European Investment Bank to support transformational investment and broader activities across South Asia. Visits to see the flagship Lucknow Metro and transformational upgrading of wastewater infrastructure in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo in recent days have shown how EIB backed new investment is helping to improve the lives of millions of people across the sub-continent.” said Andrew McDowell, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.
“We are delighted to have the European Investment Bank co-located in the European Union Delegation premises here in India”, said H.E. Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union to India. “The EIB has invested substantially in India’s clean energy, and public transport sector in recent years. We believe that bank funding will be important in achieving the objectives of sustainability and climate change mitigation and adaptation that India has set for itself”.
“The EIB’s decision to open an office in New Delhi is a confirmation of the European Union’s growing engagement with India”, he added.
In recent years the EIB has supported sustainable transport, renewable energy, small business and industrial investment across India.
The European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 1.7 billion for long-term investment in India since the first operation in 1993.

Background information:
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

Press contacts:
Richard Willis,, tel.: +352 43 79 82155 / Mobile:  +352 621 55 57 58
Website: – Press Office: +352 4379 21000 –
Follow us on Twitter @eib


31 March 2017


Discussions earlier today between Indian Prime Minister Modi and EIB President Werner Hoyer reflected the shared climate and environmental priorities of India and the European Union.
Prime Minister Modi took the opportunity to express his gratitude to the EIB for delivering on a promise to open a permanent office in India made at the EU-India summit in Brussels a year ago.
The role of the EIB was recognised as key to strengthening EU-India relations and the Prime Minister emphasised that he expected that the new office would strengthen support for infrastructure investment and enable closer cooperation between the EIB and Indian banking sector.
The Prime Minister further highlighted India’s commitment to increase renewable energy generation to 175 GW, improve supply of clean water across India and improve waste management in 500 cities around the country.
President Hoyer used the opportunity to confirm the EU Bank’s commitment to support climate related investment in India and areas where the unique experience of the EIB as the world’s largest financier for climate investment and renewable energy could be shared.
The President of the EIB outlined the EIB’s own experience of crowding-in investment from commercial banks and other investors. Harnessing private sector support for the gigantic objectives of climate related investment was recognised by both the EIB and India as essential given the limited resources of public budgets.
The EIB President highlighted India’s role as a key global player and emphasised the even greater importance of multilateral cooperation during a period of global political uncertainty.
The EIB’s experience of strengthening support for sustainable investment through cooperation with international capital market participants and the EIB’s pioneering role as the first issuer of green bonds worldwide ten years ago.
President Hoyer, Andrew McDowell EIB Vice President responsible for South Asia, Donal Canon EIB Regional Representative to South Asia, and Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union to India called on the Prime Minister at his official residence following the inauguration of the EIB’s Regional Representation to South Asia opening in New Delhi by Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earlier.

Background information:
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

Press contact:
Richard Willis,, tel.: +352 43 79 82155 / Mobile:  +352 621 55 57 58
Website: – Press Office: +352 4379 21000 –
Follow us on Twitter @eib


CPR is pleased to invite you to a talk on
Prenatal sex selection and its future
Monday, 3 April 2017, 11:30 a.m.
Christophe Z Guilmoto
Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research
Image Source
This presentation contextualises India’s prenatal sex selection within a larger framework of countries with a history of similar processes. India’s story with its skewed sex ratio at birth is well-known, even if its dynamics are still poorly understood. This presentation will briefly discuss the process of demographic masculinization from the 1980s, and examine the few demographic, social, and economic invariants found across countries affected by the rise in sex selective abortions. The present will focus on spatial patterns, one of the most distinct determinants of observed variations in sex ratio and conclude by considering how the known factors behind gender bias can help decipher the future of skewed sex ratios.
Christophe Z Guilmoto is a senior fellow in demography at the French Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) based at CEPED in Paris. He teaches at Université Paris Descartes and at the EHESS in Paris, and is also a frequent visitor to Jawarlahal Nehru University in New Delhi. He worked initially on historical demography, international migration and fertility decline in Senegal and India. Over the last decade, his research has mostly focused on sex selection, starting with India’s and China’s experience and covering later Southeast Asia, Southeast Europe, and the Caucasus. He has organized several meetings and published on both theoretical and estimation issues in relation to prenatal gender bias. He is the author of the UNFPA report on sex imbalances at birth in 2012 and has co-edited in 2016 a book on the demography of China, India and Indonesia.


In ‘Housing For All’ era major settlement under threat of demolition
GBGBA survey: No evicted families will be able to afford formal housing
Scheme cannot ensure ‘Housing For All’ but a law can
GBGBA has written to NHRC for urgent intervention
Mumbai | 1st April: In a contradictory move of the state government of Maharashtra against its claim of providing ‘Housing For All’-a central scheme, various department of Maharashtra government has started an eviction drive in various informal settlements (slums) across Mumbai. These are those very settlements which were promised basic services during BMC election campaign trail. Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andoln (GBGBA) has written to National Human Rights Commission pointing out the violations of various human rights in this demolition drive.
A major settlement-more than 10 years old comprising at least 600 households-called Sidhharth Nagar near MHADA colony in Andheri West is under threat from the revenue department. This settlement was partially demolished as part of a three days eviction drive, on 22nd March. However, on GBGBA mass campaigning and subsequent pressure built on the authorities, the demolition has been halted for a short period. This period will last until the exams in the BMC schools are over. Around 300 children from this settlement go to the nearby municipal school.
Among many major losses the demolition (if it happens) will cause, physical health of children and women of this settlement will be at high risk. A recently prepared survey report conducted under ‘Integrated Child Development Services Scheme’ (ICDS) in Siddharthnagar has highlighted the need for additional nutrition supply to children in this area. Any denial of this service will add to their already pathetic life. A mother, whose house was demolished on 22ndMarch, was quoted saying that “My child is just 5 months old, the eviction has caused extensive damage to the ration that I had collected last week and I have nothing to eat on my own neither do I have money to buy supplementary food materials. I need to eat at least something in order to feed my child. I pleaded to authority repeatedly not to demolish my house as me and my family have no other place to resettle. But my efforts went in vain and now see where I have landed without any home and penniless to support my family”.
A preliminary survey conducted by GBGBA has shown that the income of these households are irregular and so low that they cannot afford a formal housing and hence these people are forced to live in informal settlement. Any eviction will render these families homeless forcing them to live under the sky as only shelter which can put their lives at risk especially of young ones and vulnerable to many infectious communicable diseases.
Another most inhuman act of the state came into our notice very recently when a team of GBGBA visited a Dalit community living on a pavement along the Western Express Highway toward Airport opposite to Vakola Police Station, to provide portable housing unit which can protect pavement dwellers from all weathers. This housing unit designed by BillionBricks.
Broken settlement in Santa Cruz
This settlement was brutally evicted by BMC on 10th March to ensure that a passing by minister from that road do not face this settlement. The authorities threw mud on the pavement and planted trees on it. An individual of the community describes this situation as, “we were cooking our daily meal, when the BMC (Bombay Municipal Corporation) vehicles came and started breaking our tents and threw mud and soil in our food. Almost all the community was broken and we ran to the highland situated near the community.’’ “We were asked to be in the highland near the community, and after the government convoy passes by, we can again come back and settle down”, said another individual. This settlement comprised of migrants from Jalna district of Marathwada region who settled in the city years ago but were never able to afford a formal housing. While the dreams and desires of children from privileged class have no limits, a small girl from this community- Priya dreams of sleeping on a bed. She was quoted saying “I want to sleep once in a bed; will I ever get one?’’.  
Priya with her mother in a potable housing unit
There are several settlements like this in Mumbai which are under threat of eviction from various department of Maharashtra government for one or the reason. Despite guarantee of all fundamental rights including ‘right to life’ through Article 21 of the Indian Constitution to each citizen of India, we see a lot of them are violated in the absence of clear law to protect these rights especially right to shelter, right to health, right to quality life and so on. A bench comprising of Chief Justice of Delhi High Court and Justice Dr. S. Murlidhar best explains the eviction phase when it states that “what very often is overlooked is that when a family living in a Jhuggi (slum) is forcibly evicted, each member loses a bundle of rights – the right to livelihood, to shelter, to health, to education, to access to civic amenities and public transport and above all, the right to live with dignity”.
Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan has recently raised a demand for a separate legislation which can ensure every needy person a decent housing and livelihood in lines with Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. This demand resonates with one of the many recommendations made by the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing based on Rapporteur visit to India last year.
Central government has introduced a scheme with a claim to provide ‘Housing For All’ however, the provisions of the scheme are such that it will cater to the need of few while excluding the most needy persons.
Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan has written to National Human Rights Commission on Thursday pointing out the violation of various human rights due to evictions that have taken place and that may take place in near future.
Attached are complain letters to NHRC.
National Alliance of People’s MovementsNational Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 24374535 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : |
Twitter : @napmindia



In the Annual General Body Meeting of Delhi Medical Association  held on 31st March 2017 at DMA, Dr. Vijay Kr. Malhotra  has assumed the office of Delhi Medical Association as President along with Dr. Satish Tyagi  as Hony. State Secretary, Dr. Rajiv Sood andDr. Alok Bhandari as Sr. Vice President and Vice President respectively  for the year 2017-18.

The list of other office bearers of Delhi Medical Association are –

Hony. State Secretary                         –            Dr. Satish Tyagi
Hony. Finance Secretary                 –                Dr. Puneet Dhawan
Hony. Jt. Secretaries                                –       Dr. Piyush Jain
Dr.  N.K. Gupta
Hony. Asst. Secretaries                        –           Dr.  Arvind Chopra
Dr.  Arvind Narayan
Dr.  M.K. Grover
Hony. Editor, Journal                               –         Dr.  Dr. P.D. Garg
Hony. Asso. Editor Journal                           –    Dr. Sunita Lamba
Associate Editor, DMA News Bulletin      –         Dr.  G.S. Grewal

Dr. Satish Tyagi
Hony. State Secretary



Sanjeev Kumar records career-best second place finish

Chittagong, Bangladesh, April 1, 2017: Bangladeshi golfing icon Md Siddikur Rahman lived up to the expectations of the home crowd that turned up to cheer him at the Bhatiary Golf & Country Club (BGCC) in Chittagong as he registered an imposing six-shot victory at the inaugural City Bank American Express Chittagong Open on Saturday.

Siddikur shot a clinical two-under-70 in the final round to keep the trophy in the host nation of Bangladesh. He ended the Rs. 40 lakh event with a remarkable 16-under-272 total.

India’s Sanjeev Kumar finished runner-up at 10-under-278 after his impressive final round of four-under-68. It turned out to be the Lucknow golfer’s career-best finish.

Siddikur (69-66-67-70), the overnight leader by seven strokes, drove home the advantage on the final day with considerable ease as none of the other golfers posed any threat to his lead. As a result Siddikur bagged his sixth title on the PGTI. It was also his first win on the tour since his triumph in Dhaka exactly one year back.

The 32-year-old Rahman was three-under through 11 holes on Saturday after chipping-in for birdie on the fifth and also setting up tap-in birdies on the 10th and 11th with a couple of top-class chip shots. The two-time Asian Tour winner made another chip-in on the 16th, his second of the round and fifth of the week, to cruise home despite the bogeys on the 12th and 17th.

“My chipping was the best aspect of my game this week. I made five chip-ins through the tournament. I didn’t leave myself too many long putts, especially on the last day. I felt I kept up the intensity through the final round and was therefore in total control.

“I was really excited and pumped up due to the massive crowd that came out to cheer for me today. It feels really nice to win another tournament in my home country Bangladesh. This will give me loads of confidence for the rest of the Asian Tour season,” said Siddikur, who is a leading celebrity in his country.

He added, “I would like to thank all the sponsors, the BPGA, the PGTI and the Bhatiary Golf & Country Club, for making this event happen. More such events in Bangladesh will help raise the level of the sport in the country.”

Sanjeev Kumar (70-71-69-68) climbed from his overnight tied third to second place courtesy his 68 in round four. Sanjeev, who struck six birdies and two bogeys on Saturday, thus finished the event as the highest-placed Indian golfer.

The 25-year-old Sanjeev’s career-best finish and second top-10 of the season also propelled him from 12th to sixth position in the PGTI Order of Merit.

Sanjeev said, “I’m delighted with this result. I’ve been playing really well since last year and the results are gradually getting better for me.”

Delhi’s Shamim Khan (70) finished third at eight-under-280. He continues to lead the PGTI Order of Merit.

Md Zamal Hossain Mollah (even-par-288) and Md Jakiruzzaman Jakir (one-over-289) were the other two Bangladeshis in the top-10 as they finished ninth and tied 10th respectively.


New Delhi/March 31, 2017: The Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland has been urged to address the spiralling human rights violations in Cameroon, press President Biya to restore fundamental freedoms and refer the matter to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG).
In an appeal to Scotland, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)—an accredited body of the Commonwealth community—has expressed its deep concern over the ongoing political crisis, violation of human rights and the rule of law in the Cameroon. “It is now clear that the deteriorating situation in Cameroon merits greater attention from the Commonwealth,” CHRI said, adding that despite assurances by the Cameroon’s Minister of External Relations to the office of the Commonwealth Secretary General during a recent visit to London, there is no discernible progress on addressing the human rights abuses being committed against the Anglophonic community in Cameroon.”  
The current crisis developed in early October of 2016, with a lawyers’ strike in Bamenda, the capital of the Northwest region, and unrest in the Southwest region capital, Buea. The unrest was sparked by the violent dispersal of citizens peacefully protesting the banning of two Anglophone civil society organisations, the Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC) and the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC).  “Instead of engaging in dialogue, the government authorised the use of force to disperse protesters,” CHRI said.
The right to life, freedom of speech and expression, and freedom of assembly and association are guaranteed under the preamble of the Constitution of Cameroon; Article 6 (1) & 9 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) recognizes the right to life and prohibits arbitrary deprivation of life; and the Commonwealth Charter provides for rule of law, respect for protection and promotion of civil and political rights, and open dialogue and free flow of information. These rights were being violated by authorities in Cameroon.
“The use of tear gas and live ammunition against protesters has so far resulted in four deaths and dozens of injuries. The police have also been responsible for arbitrary arrests and unwarranted detention. Since the protests began, hundreds have been arrested. Those who have not been able to afford bail continue to be detained at undisclosed locations. Furthermore, in an act of enforced disappearance, eight protesters remain missing.” The statement points out that “the targeting of the Anglophone judiciary, and arrest of a sitting judge run directly contrary to Latimer House Principles,” which assert the relationship between the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary.
In addition, CHRI said the Cameroon government was preventing access to information. “In January, authorities also blocked internet services in the English-speaking provinces.”
About the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
Headquartered in New Delhi, with offices in London and Accra, The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) is an independent, international organisation committed to protecting and promoting human rights in Commonwealth nations. CHRI works towards strengthening access to justice (through prison and police reforms) and building a culture of transparent governance (through the Right to Information). CHRI also monitors human rights-related trends and developments across the Commonwealth and makes formal submissions to treaty bodies and inter-governmental agencies, including the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Sanjoy Hazarika
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
Address: Third Floor, Siddharth Chambers1, 55A, Kalu Sarai, 
New Delhi, India, 110016

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