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Jul 29, 2011

Move the Commonwealth Games Out Of Sri Lanka Wilderness

by PhilLee — last modified Jul 29, 2011 10:25 AM
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Sri Lanka is bidding to host the Commonwealth Games in 2018 yet the area they propose to build the stadia is currently home to several species of endangered wildlife. Call on the government to withdraw their disastrous bid.

Sri Lanka is set to be on the receiving end of more un-sustainable development due to the Hambantota 2018 Commonwealth games proposal. 


The area the authorities propose to develop the games' infrastructure is one of the last remaining strong holds for the endangered Leopard, Elephant and Sloth Bear, as well as countless other endangered flora and fauna that plays a crucial role in Sri Lanka's rich but declining bio-diversity. 


Over the last few years, the once lush green Island of Sri Lanka has gradually started to become a concrete jungle. Once the bio-diversity is lost, Sri Lanka will loose it's popularity with eco tourists, and it's people and tourism will suffer. 


Hence, we urge you to take immediate action to stop amending the flora and fauna act to permit buildings near nature reserves and move the Commonwealth games out of Sri Lanka's wilderness.


Take action

This action has been initiated by Rainforest Protectors, Sri Lanka

Jul 27, 2011

Environmental activists concerned over escalation of crimes against social leaders in Latin America

by PhilLee — last modified Jul 27, 2011 11:00 AM
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Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean (ATALC) expresses its solidarity with the family of Marlon Lozano Yulan, a youth leader of the Ecuadorian organisation Tierra y Vida (Land and Life), who was murdered on 20 July in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Marlon Lozano Yulan
Marlon Lozano Yulan, courtesy of Twitter. 
We, as members of ATALC, are seriously concerned about the wave of persecutions and murders of social leaders in Latin America.


We expresses solidarity with Marlon Lozano Yulan's family and repudiate this new assault against the life of a social leader, something which, unfortunately happens too often and with total impunity in Latin America.


Meanwhile, we express our most heartfelt solidarity with all the comrades of Tierra y Vida, and other Ecuadorian organizations that go through similar atrocities on a regular basis.


On July 20, two hired hooded assassins fatally shot Marlon Lozano Yulan in downtown Guayaquil. Tierra y Vida's acting Secretary, Raquel Silva, told Friends of the Earth's Real World Radio that the deadly attack was addressed at the organisation's legal advisor, Milton Yulan, who is related to Marlon.


Tierra y Vida focused its work on defending the right to ownership of the peasants in Guayas province over lands that used to belong to estate owners and bankers until the 2000 banking crisis, when they were confiscated.


Tierra y Vida suspects that sectors opposed to land distribution, which defend land concentration in the hands of corporations and economic groups were involved in the murder of the young activist.


In response to these incidents we call on the social movements and grassroots organizations of the region to strengthen their solidarity. We also demand the Ecuadorian authorities carry out the necessary investigations into the murder of Marlon Lozano Yulan, and  punish those who are responsible.


An alarming trend

We also call on the Ecuadorian and regional authorities in charge of enforcing human rights, the judiciary and human rights organisations to implement the necessary mechanisms to prevent acts like this, which go against the right to peaceful protest.


On May 24, producer Jose Claudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria do Espirito Santo, were murdered. They were known in Para state for their struggle for land and defense of the Amazon forest. 


Three days later, in Rondonia state, Adelino Ramos was also killed while he was selling vegetables in the state's capital. He had exposed the actions of big wood corporations in the border between the states of Acre, Amazonia and Rondonia. Hundreds of Brazilian environmental activists have received death threats according to the Land Pastoral Commission.


In Central America, the death threats and persecution of social leaders have become part of the daily reality. The case of Honduras, with a government that succeeded the dictatorship, is the most concerning one.


On July 14, Nery Jeremias Orellana was murdered. He was a 26 year-old journalist who worked with social movements and who was a member of the Broad Front of Popular Resistance. In 2010, 14 people working in the media were murdered in Honduras.


We are on alert over the current violence against social movements in Ecuador and the region and will continue to speak out against abuses whenever we hear of them.


further information

Find out more on the case of Marion Lozano Yulan on the Real World Radio website

Jul 20, 2011

Heroic Malaysian campaigner passes away

by PhilLee — last modified Jul 20, 2011 11:32 AM

Friends of the Earth International learned today about the death of Bato Bagi, a passionate campaigner against the controversial Bakun Dam and a friend of our colleagues in Malaysia. Below is their statement.

Bapa Bato BagiIt is with great sadness that we at Friends of the Earth Malaysia wish to inform you that our long time comrade, warrior and friend, Bato Bagi, one of the main crusaders in the Bakun Dam case passed away peacefully yesterday evening after a short fight against leukaemia.


We are extremely saddened by this sudden turn of events, especially when the Bakun legal action, which he has brought forward fearlessly, will probably be determined by the federal court this coming August. Bapa Bato never lost hope that justice will one day be served for the Bakun-affected communities. 


Bapa Bato Bagi, as known by all – is made of extraordinary strength, courage, kindness and generosity. Of course there is also that unforgettable wit, spoken with his distinct, booming voice. We have all been touched and inspired by him in so many different ways. To have been allowed to work with and for him is the sort of sacred privilege that one can only receive with humility and gratitude.


May his good soul rest in peace.


Find out more about the Bakun Dam case