MINELRES: MRG e-Bulletin: May 2009

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Sun Jun 14 15:20:04 2009

Original sender: Minority Rights Group International <no-reply@mrgmail.org>

May 2009

Welcome to the Minority Rights Group International (MRG) email bulletin.
Simply click on the links below in order to access the full news story
or publication on MRG's website, or alternatively visit


Humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan government on 19 May announced the end to the country's
three decade old conflict. Thousands of civilians were killed in the
last phase of fighting in the north of the country. In the past few
months tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced and at present
some 280,000 are being housed in cramped, displaced camps where there is
a shortage of food, water and medical supplies. 
See pictures from displaced camps:

Dalits in India face attacks and intimidation in polls, fear of more
violence to come
Dalits in India have come under serious attack and intimidation,
preventing many from voting in the country’s much publicized elections,
and human rights organisations are warning of further violence and
targeted attacks in the next phase of voting. 
Read more:

Minorities under threat as situation escalates in Swat Valley
MRG is extremely concerned about the developing security situation in
NWFP and FATA, and in other areas of Pakistan, and the threats to
minorities, from the Taliban and other armed groups, as well as from
government forces and US forces operating in the country. For the last
two years, Pakistan has been the most significant riser in our annual
listing of Peoples Under Threat around the world. 
Read more:

Tackling discrimination against Muslims
On 24th April in Geneva, Director Mark Lattimer introduced an event on
racism organised by Minority Rights Group International and the
International Commission of Jurists. He noted that the attacks of 9/11
significantly changed global security priorities, and with it the
perception of minority communities, in particular Muslim communities.
Counter-terrorism measures since have led to allegations of racial
profiling, attacks on freedom of religion, expression and association,
and grave violations of rights to physical integrity. 
Read more:

Attack on Iraqi Mandaeans condemned
Minority Rights Group International expresses concern over continuing
attacks against Iraq’s Mandaean community. 
Read More:

MRG Blog

Cambodia’s Genocide Tribunals
Thirty years after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge government in
Cambodia, responsible for the killing of up to 2 million innocent
people, the trial has begun in Phnom Penh of one of its most notorious
cadres. Farrah Tek, a Cambodian-American studying at the University of
Mary Washington, who has recently finished an internship with MRG in
London, explains the significance of this trial for Cambodians. 
Read more: http://minorityrights.wordpress.com/2009/05/

India’s unofficial apartheid
Emma Eastwood, MRG’s Media and Events Officer, is in Chennai, Tamil
Nadu, training local Dalit organisations on how to use the media to
fight caste-based discrimination. 
Read more:

Meet MRG’s new Regional Information Officers

MRG has launched an exciting new programme called Minority Voices, aimed
at getting across to the European media stories from minority and
indigenous communities from across the world. The programme includes a
variety of interesting projects such as media trainings, launching of a
web hub, short films and publications. We will keep you informed about
in the months ahead. To help facilitate the flow of news from across the
world we have appointed three regional information officers in Asia,
Latin America and Africa. We also have a new media officer based in our
Europe office (Budapest) to work together with the London team to get
these stories into the international media.

Meet our new team:

Jared Ferrie will be covering Asia. He is a freelance journalist and
correspondent based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He has previously reported
from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka West Africa and the Caribbean. For more
information, and to contact Jared, please visit www.jaredferrie.com.

Bernadett Sebaly is based in the Budapest office. She will be working on
raising awareness of minority issues among journalists in EU member
states, and increasing the inclusion of minority voices in the EU media.
She has previously organised various other human rights campaigns. 

Mohammed Matovu has practised journalism in the East Africa region and
has vast experience in the field of development communication. Mohammed
will help build the capacity of MRG’s partners in Africa on how to tell
their stories in local and international media in a compelling way, at
the same time as providing story leads to the European media itself.

Maurice Bryan is a writer and knowledge management consultant who
specializes in examining the role played by history, culture and
communications technology in facilitating a rights-based approach to
social and economic change. Over the past two decades he has worked in a
variety of countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
He is currently based in Central America.

MRG in the News

A selection of MRG's news coverage over the past month
“Neither side has any reason to celebrate.” Farah Mihlar comments on the
recent fighting in Sri Lanka:

Pakistan’s religious minorities report violence:

Minorities under threat as situation escalates in Swat valley:

Reviving Pakistan’s pluralist traditions to fight extremism

Turkey: IHOP prepares anti-discrimination bill

Lending an ear to minority voices

Campaign Updates


Kenyan authorities bid for Lake Bogoria heritage status without
consulting true custodians of land.

MRG received this message from Endorois leader Wilson Kipkazi:

It is with shock and dismay for me and the general members of Endorois
Community, to learn through the press that the Kenya Wildlife Service
and National Museums of Kenya are campaigning to have Lake Bogoria in
the Rift valley declared a world heritage site.

As you are aware, Lake Bogoria is under dispute for having been
converted by the Government of Kenya in 1973 into a game reserve without
consulting the Endorois community of their intentions, hence resulting
in the eviction of the members of our community without compensation nor
given alternative land to settle. According to us this is another
scandal in the offing since what is happening is similar to what
happened in 1973 - the Government is doing things without consulting the

The Government has been holding seminars among themselves ignoring the
community and expecting us to embrace what is illegitimate arrangements.
We would appreciate Lake Bogoria becoming an international heritage, but
with community consent and also knowledge of the benefits for all.

Please add your voice so that this indigenous community in Kenya can
share in the profits of lucrative tourism in the Rift Valley. You can
also check out the Trouble in Paradise Flickr photostream and join the
Trouble in Paradise Facebook page.


MRG is still campaigning to get the voices of minorities and indigenous
peoples included in a global climate change deal that is expected to be
reached in December 2009. If you have not yet signed up please give us a
show of hands in support of communities combating climate change.

We are planning to compile a list of all the interesting comments we
have on our site. If you are from an indigenous or minority community
and have comments or photos on the impact of climate change please
e-mail us showofhands@mrgmail.org.

Jobs and Internships

Internship: environmentally savvy intern
MRG is considering the possibility of installing a photovoltaic
generating unit on the roof of the building that we lease. If possible,
we would like to apply for a grant or an interest free loan to cover the
cost of such a unit and the costs of installing it. We would like an
intern to take this on and to try to organise it for us. This will

* liaising with staff internally
* liaising with MRG's landlord
* researching suitable grant/loan schemes, checking our compliance with
their conditions and drafting applications 
* researching suitable units and costs and benefits of different

When applying please explain whether you have relevant experience of
already having completed this process for another similar organisation,
whether you have advised on this process or how else you are aware of
the sorts of issues this would raise and how they can be tackled.

Please send a CV and cover email to claire.thomas@mrgmail.org as soon as

The successful candidate would be expected to start work immediately but
would not need to work from MRG's offices apart from coming in to attend


Iraqi Refugees from Minority Communities
Schedule for publication in August 2009, this new report looks at the
present and the future for the thousands of vulnerable Iraqi refugees
living in neighbouring countries and in Europe.

State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2009
Minority Rights Group’s flagship annual book, produced this year in
conjunction with UNICEF, is on the theme of education. It will be
published and launched in July 2009.


World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

The World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples covers 220 of
the world's countries and dependent territories, and features profiles
of about 700 minorities/indigenous peoples and is an excellent one-stop
shop for journalists, academics, researchers, policy makers and

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is a non-governmental
organization working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and
linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples worldwide, and to promote
cooperation and understanding between communities.

MRG is a registered charity no. 282305, and has consultative status with
the United Nations Economic and Social Council and observer status with
the African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights.

Minority Rights Group International
54 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LT, UK
Tel: 020 7422 4200
Fax: 020 7422 4201
Email: minority.rights@mrgmail.org
Website: http://www..minorityrights.org

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