Guyanese freedom fighter Janet Jagan dies


This is Guyanese TV on Janet Jagan.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Leader of Guyanese freedom fight dies aged 88

Sunday 29 March 2009

FORMER Guyanese president Janet Jagan died on Saturday in Georgetown, the capital of her adopted country. She was 88.

US-born Ms Jagan, who always described herself as a communist, was elected president after her husband Cheddi Jagan died in 1997. She resigned in 1999 due to poor health.

The couple met in Chicago in 1940, where Mr Jagan was studying dentistry and Ms Jagan was a Communist Party of the USA activist.

Despite their different backgrounds – Jewish and Hindu – they married and moved to Guyana. In 1950, they founded the People’s Progressive Party, with Ms Jagan elected general secretary.

Despite persecution by the British colonial authorities, the two led the strugle for freedom for the south American nation until independence in 1966.

Ms Jagan was a dedicated fighter for Guyanese independence and Caribbean unity during years of corruption, gerrymandering, election-fixing and repression by British colonialism and the People’s National Congress government of Forbes Burnham, which worked to divide the country’s black and Indian communities.

See also here. And here. And here.

From the obituary in The Independent:

In her later years “Comrade Janet” wrote children’s stories, including When Grandpa Cheddi was a Boy (1993), Patricia, the Baby Manatee (1995) and Anastasia the Ant-Eater (1997). She also became a noted patron of the arts, helping to found the National Art Gallery in Georgetown.

Jessica Huntley – tireless Guyanese fighter for ordinary working people passes on: here. And here.

While I was in Suriname, I met people who had fled Guyana because of (United States government supported) Burnhamite communalist divide and rule policies. There are no such big intercommunal tensions in Suriname.

This is not a man’s world- ending violence against women in Guyana: here.

Georgians against Saakashvili regime


This is a video from Georgian protest singer Utsnobi.

From British weekly The Observer:

Georgia‘s new unrest led by protest singer …

* Matthew Collin in Tbilisi

* Sunday 29 March 2009

Georgia, which fought a disastrous war with Russia over South Ossetia last year, is bracing itself for a political showdown as the opposition tries to oust President Mikheil Saakashvili amid simmering discontent over his role in the conflict.

The opposition will take to the streets of Tbilisi to demand Saakashvili‘s resignation on 9 April – the 20th anniversary of the day when the Soviet army killed some 20 people as it crushed Georgian independence demonstrations.

In recent weeks, anti-Saakashvili posters have appeared all over the capital, while the opposition has also been boosted by a television show featuring a popular singer conducting interviews with opposition activists and local celebrities from a specially constructed “prison cell”. The protest singer Giorgi Gachechiladze – known as Utsnobi, or “The Unknown” – has said that he will remain in self-imposed incarceration until Saakashvili steps down.

Earlier this month, Utsnobi held a protest concert near the president’s residence, drawing several thousand. The 9 April demonstrations are hoped to draw far greater numbers.

The Georgian authorities have accused the opposition of accepting money from Russia to fund its anti-government campaign, although no proof has yet been offered. …

Officials have also claimed that opposition leaders are aiding Georgia’s enemies in Moscow by creating political instability and trying to overthrow the country’s pro-western government.

Several senior figures in Saakashvili’s government have defected to the opposition, accusing him of starting an unwinnable war that enabled Russia to strengthen its grip on the rebel regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

“He lost the war and 20% of Georgian territory, hundreds of people died and tens of thousands lost their homes,” said Nino Burjanadze, who was one of the leaders of the “Rose Revolution” in 2003 that swept Saakashvili to power. “In any normal democratic country, the president would be impeached,” said Burjanadze.

The mood in Tbilisi has become increasingly tense in recent days after the authorities released covertly recorded police videos of opposition activists allegedly buying automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

But Burjanadze, whose activists were among those arrested, insisted that the authorities released the tapes to intimidate opposition supporters.

“They understand that a lot of people will come to the protests and they decided to frighten them and discredit my party and the opposition,” she said.

Burjanadze suggested that there could be a repeat of the crackdown on opposition rallies in November 2007, when similar surveillance videos of alleged coup plotters were also widely publicised.

“We are absolutely sure that what the government and the president are doing is preparing an alibi so they can justify using force against people,” she said.

Gay and lesbian struggle in Nepal


This is a Nepalese TV video on the Blue Diamond Society.

From Green Left Weekly in Australia:

The Blue Diamond Society is the largest LGBTI (lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender and intergender people) rights organisation in Nepal. The society’s coordinator, Subash Pokharel, spoke with Ben Peterson about the current situation for LGBTI people and how it relates to the process of transforming Nepal since the overthrow of the monarchy and declaration of a republic by an elected constituent assembly last year.

A more extensive version of that interview is here.

LESBIANS, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals face widespread harassment, bullying and discrimination across Europe, according to an EU report released on Tuesday: here.

Women protesters demand sack of army chief in Nepal: here.

Nepal’s cursed palace opens its doors: here.

Nepal update 2 November 2009: here. August 2010: here.

Centuries Old Nepal Banishment Ritual Endangers Girls and Women: here.