On the cyberstand – Live Encounters Magazine December 2011 Special Edition!


Tribal India – On the edge of survival
Randhir Khare

2011 – Another year of living foolishly?
Mark Ulyseas

The Belo Monte Dam and a call for the Clean Renewable Energy in Brazil
Atossa Soltani & Caroline Bennett, Amazonwatch

Chernobyl, a marriage proposal and climbing Mount Kinabalu
Carmen Roberts, Fast Track BBC

Eichmann To Al-Bis: Israel’s Revolving Door?
Natalie Wood

The Truth in Mustard
Terry McDonagh

Photo Gallery
Jill Gocher

Generation Expat
Sue Healy

Bad Medicine
Dr. Mukesh Batra

A poem for John di Martino
John Chester Lewis

The Road to 2012
Vasumi Zjikaa

The revolution in the revolution

The revolution in the revolution has yet to begin but the signs are there – corpses lying in the morgue in Cairo. Soon Libya will follow. The killing has just begun. The gutters will run red with hatred and revenge. And when enough innocent people have been murdered in cold blood then the Brotherhood will arrive to preach death to the infidels…

All this has come about because certain Western nations decided to assist the ‘revolution’ in overthrowing the prevailing regimes with an unwritten understanding that they would get a slice of the natural resources…

There has never been an Arab Spring.

It was a product manufactured and slickly marketed by media and vested interests.

A Banker Aires His Views On The Right Of The Elite To Control Everyone’s Lives.

A friend from Queensland just mailed me this link. A must see for those who have been robbed blind by this scum…

The Banker Aires His Views On The Right Of The Elite
To Control Everyones Lives. A Must Watch For Anyone Who Is Angry About The Current Finanacial Situation! This Is Whats Really Going On!

Performed By Mike Daviot
Written,Directed and Produced By: Craig-James Moncur

Eye on the Amazon: People Power Unites!

Amazon Watch
November 2011

Dear Mark,

It’s an exciting time to be on the planet, working for a more just and harmonious world. As we enter the season of “Thanksgiving,” it’s important to reflect on all the positive change brought about by peoples’ movements in 2011: From the indigenous movement in Bolivia where a 65-day march forced the cancellation of a new road in the rainforest, to the environmental movement that forced the delay of the Keystone XL pipeline, to the local communities of the Xingu River in Brazil who briefly occupied the Belo Monte Dam site, to the occupy movement around the world inspired by the movement for an Arab Spring, it continues to be an amazing year of hopeful change.

The planetary challenges we face require rapid and fundamental shifts that can only happen by joining together a diverse mosaic of movements. We invite you to join Amazon Watch in standing with the indigenous peoples movement in critical battles for justice and ecological balance. As we move into the holiday season, we ask you to consider a year-end donation and to explore other ways you can support our work, while making green energy and financial choices at the same time.

For the Earth and Future Generations,

Atossa Soltani
Atossa Soltani
Atossa Soltani
Executive Director

Occupy Belo Monte!

Occupy Belo Monte!

Brazil Campaigner Christian Poirier sends this dispatch from the field after witnessing a daring occupation of the massive Belo Monte Dam work camp and Trans-Amazon highway led by a coalition of indigenous peoples, local farmers, fisher folk, and members of social movements. On October 27th, protests paralyzed work on a portion of the dam complex, sending a strong signal that there is widespread resistance to the federal government’s plans to bulldoze the Xingu River and their rights.


Host a Message from Pandora House Party!

Host a Message from Pandora
House Party!

In solidarity with the Xingu Alive Forever Movement (MXVPS) in the Brazilian Amazon, Amazon Watch is organizing international house parties to support the battle to defend the Xingu River and the rights of local communities. We invite you to join us to harness the power of this critical moment to support those fighting to stop the Belo Monte Dam! Join caring people from around the world in organizingA Message from Pandora house party fundraiser to help raise critical funds and awareness. We’ll provide videos and all you need to host an event in a convenient tool kit.


18 Years of Fighting Chevron

18 Years of Fighting Chevron

This month marks 18 years since the start of the landmark legal battle to hold Chevron (formerly Texaco) accountable for nearly 50 years of reckless pump and dump oil operations in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The company’s operations led to abandoned oil pits still littered throughout the rainforest, billions of gallons of toxic wastewater dumped into rivers and streams, noxious flaring gases rising into the sky, towering black plumes of smoke from burning crude, and a public health crisis racking indigenous and mestizo farmer communities, including cancer, spontaneous miscarriages, and birth defects. In recognition of 18 years of fighting for justice, the Cofán recorded this heartfelt song for you.


A Tribute to our Indigenous Partners

A Tribute to our Indigenous Partners

Delve into the lives of the indigenous rainforest guardians who call the Amazon their home and who know the forests intimately in this three-part series, The Privilege of Working with Indigenous Rainforest Guardians. Amazon Watch volunteer Hank Edson illuminates the critical importance of making the foundation of our activism a strong partnership with the indigenous peoples who still retain an authentic, sustainable connection to the ecosystems we hope to save, nurture and preserve.


Bolivian Indigenous March a Success

Bolivian Indigenous March a Success

In response to indigenous protests, last month Bolivian President Evo Morales canceled a controversial road project slated to slice through the pristine TIPNIS rainforest reserve. The road’s cancellation illustrates the growing power of indigenous movements on the continent. Over the course of 65 days, marchers braved cold, fatigue and even violent police repression. Undeterred, they garnered increasing national and international support as they walked to the country’s capital La Paz and met with President Morales, eventually winning the cancellation of the road.


Whose God is it anyway?

“I don’t think they (people) are aggressive, I think they are possessive about their religion. That’s why problems occur” – Mrs. Sarah Cohen, speaking to Mark Ulyseas, in Live Encounters.

Is my God greater than your God?
Is my religion better than yours?
And what about atheists…God bless their souls.
And will the Mayan Calendar prove everyone wrong on December 21, 2012?

Does our reaction to words spoken by others about our beliefs, our God, tell us who we are?
Is our reaction merely the ego that resides in us like a recoiling snake ready to strike when confronted with presupposed hatred and bigotry?
Does it really matter what people say or more importantly not say about our religion?

Buddha was a Hindu.

Christ was a Jew.

So why does it make a difference nowadays? Why is there a continuing fragmentation of beliefs morphing into territorial fights for spirituality?

And why are men of the cloth – priests, gurus and “spiritual leaders” exempt from this criticism? Are they not human too?

Why do believers in a faith become filled with anger, defensive and illogical when their faith is questioned?

Is this the ego speaking?

The ego that makes every human being unique.
The ego that fills us with pride, which is sometimes misplaced.
Could it be that the ego in most cases is untrained and therefore lashes out at anything that it perceives threatens its makeshift world of spiritual beliefs?

If people descend into argument and abrasive conversation about someone’s point of belief, why do we respond thereby giving credence to a cretin whose sole aim is to challenge any which way a spiritual belief. Is it so important to confront such people? Or is it wise to listen to their words and contemplate its meaning “before” dismissing them not in anger but in love.

The truth is – If God is with us, who can be against us?
If we have such faith we do not need to joust with those of little faith.
We probably do this because our ego is immature and has yet to find its level.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Letter to Imran Khan

Namasker Khansahib,

I just read this news item, “Former cricketer Imran Khan said he grew up “hating India” due to the bloodshed and violence associated with the Partition but his views changed after he toured India to play cricket. “I grew up hating India because I grew up in Lahore and there was so much the massacres of 1947, so much bloodshed and anger.But as I started touring India, I got such love and friendship there that all this disappeared,” Khan said in an interview to Karan Thapar for CNN-IBN’s ‘Devil’s Advocate’ programme to be aired on Sunday night 13/10/11.”

As you probably know, you have many well wishers in India who would like to see you as the next Prime Minister of Pakistan. If your politics are like the cricket you have played then we in the sub-continent can look forward to peaceful times and lots of competitive sport.

Your party, Tehrik-e-Insaf, has attracted thousands of Pakistanis who are flocking to your rallies in the hope that you may lead them onto the path away from Armageddon.

You said – “I can never, ever be controlled by anyone. If my people give me the mandate to be PM then I will strictly impose civilian authority over the army and ISI.”

This is a noble thought Khansahib. And Pakistan needs someone like you so Indians can talk to a strong democracy…a civilian government.

I am happy that your Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, has ensured that India be granted MFN status, even though India had granted this (MFN) to Pakistan many years ago.

You are aware that it’s only through people to people contact – trade, cultural interaction and sport – that the two nations can make peace and bring about a sense of sanity, to discard the rancidness of history. It would also help to unite families divided since the horrible partition.

Indians are listening to what you have to say not because you are a politician but a revered cricketer:

And therefore trust you.

You have the ball, will you bowl a bouncer?

Khuda Hafeez bhai jaan

Mark Ulyseas
Editor, Liveencounters

Breaking News -TAKE ACTION: Host a Message from Pandora House Party!

Amazon Watch
Dear Mark,

Greetings from Brazil, where the last few weeks have been marked by a series of new challenges to Brazil’s plan to build the Belo Monte Dam, signaling hope that the Xingu River and its people could be spared the tragic consequences of this misguided mega-project.

Host a Message From Pandora house party

The time is NOW to organize and respond to the calls of our allies on the ground.
Will you take action today?

First, a landmark vote by a Brazilian federal judge called Belo Monte’s environmental licensing “illegal” due to its violation of indigenous rights, likely sending the case to Brazil’s Supreme Court.

Then on October 26th, Brazil boycotted a meeting with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and peoples affected by Belo Monte, further isolating its government and damaging credibility on the world stage.

The next day I arrived in Altamira in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon to find hundreds of indigenous and riverbank community members from the Xingu River basin occupying the Belo Monte Dam site and Trans-Amazon Highway, blocking construction of work camps and elevating local resistance. After a judge threatened the protesters with “Shock Troops,” they were forced to de-occupy but vowed to return with more support. Will you help them make it happen?

We must harness the potential of this timely moment to support those fighting to preserve the Xingu! Join Amazon Watch and our allies around the world in organizing A Message from Pandorahouse party fundraiser to help raise critical funds to support the Xingu Forever Alive Movement.Sign up today and start gathering your friends, family and colleagues for an event this month.

This is a defining moment in the battle to Defend the Xingu and Stop the Belo Monte Dam. Your support is deeply appreciated!

For the Amazon and its people,

Christian Poirier Christian Poirier
Brazil Program Coordinator

Letter to the Dalai Lama – go to China!

Dear Sir,

You are the spiritual leader of Tibetans ever since you sought refuge in India in the last century. Since then you have travelled the world representing “Occupied Tibet”.

You have even resigned your position as political leader of the Tibetans in exile; this is note worthy because it is not the job a spiritual leader to delve into politics.

Of late I have been reading with growing dismay of reports of 8 Buddhists and 2 nuns who had set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese interference in Tibetan Culture.

In response you have accused China of cultural genocide. Words are cheap anyone can mouth them.

If you claim who you are then fly to China and in all humbleness of the Buddha help your people in Tibet even if it means your certain incarceration or worse still death.

You are 76 years old. You have lived in comfort and in a country, India, where you have been accorded complete freedom to practice your faith while your own people have suffered greatly under the Chinese.

Make the call. Go to China. And you will be blessed by the Great Buddha.

You have nothing to lose but your mortal life. At 76 you have had a good life hobnobbing with celebrities et al.

Give now the rest of your life by returning to your home.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Words can kill – A message from the Pluralist – IRAC

This is the Israel I know and love. Shukreya Natalie Wood for sending me this newsletter.

Dear friends of IRAC,Racial incitement in the name of Judaism is a regular occurrence in Israel. IRAC works to change this reality. On the last day of the summer Knesset session, we presented a bill supported by twenty Knesset members to better define racial incitement and to regulate enforcement.

Tomorrow, IRAC is organizing a conference in the Knesset to present a report about racist incitement by rabbis. This is the first report of its kind, compiling detailed cases of incitement by state funded rabbis. The forty-page report includes some material that is very difficult, such as the book Torat Hamelech which states that “Jews can kill non-Jewish babies because they may one day grow up to be enemies.”

Incitement is a criminal offense in Israel. Unfortunately, there has been almost no enforcement in the case of rabbis. Forty eight cases have been brought to court and in only one case was there a conviction. None of the rabbis featured in our report, most of whom are state funded, has had a disciplinary case opened against them.

We created this report to remind the Israeli public of the harm that incitement can cause. We are also showing that the racist interpretations that some rabbis have espoused are an extremely fundamentalist approach to halacha, Jewish law . The bible reminds us thirty-six times to treat strangers kindly because we were once strangers in Egypt. By bringing this report to the Knesset, we aim to raise awareness that these rabbis are being financed by the public and that there should be a limit to what they can or cannot do.

Words can kill. The language of incitement that the rabbis use can draw real blood as we learned sixteen years ago when Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. Yigal Amir murdered Rabin at a peace rally that followed a barrage of statements by radicals, among them rabbis, calling for Rabin’s death. Without rabbinic consent this would never have happened. Rabin’s murder was inspired by these extremists. They were using halacha to challenge the law of Israel.

Has anything changed since Rabin’s assassination? A poll was released today stating that 39% of Israeli Jews believe another politically motivated murder is possible. We continue to see the consequences of incitement. Rabin’s death is only the most extreme example but it doesn’t end there. Seven mosques have been burned in the last few months by price tag attacks inspired by rabbis.

The use of provocative language in this country is a dangerous threat to us all. Let’s do something about it.

Anat Hoffman

P.S. We had our first freedom ride last week. See Katie, our Communications Fellows reflections on our new blog post“The wind of social justice” .

Chief Justice Markandeya Katju – media should hold a mirror to itself

There is a storm brewing in India between the “Free Press” and the Honourable Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Markandeya Katju.

It began with His Honour’s recent views of the Indian media. This is what he had to say.

“Media divides people on religious lines…Journalists have low intellectual calibre…Have not studied economics, politics, literature or philosophy…”  Chief Justice Markandeya also suggested “media should hold a mirror to itself “

The sanctimonious reaction from the Indian media has been as predicted.

Coomi Kapoor, General Secretary of the Editors’ Guild of India said, “It is unfortunate that Justice Katju has taken such derogatory tone against people with whom he would be working for the next three years”.

Is this a veiled threat to Justice Katju and does it imply that the Honourable Chief Justice “has” to work “hand in hand” with the Press? And that the Press is above the Law of ethics and therefore is not accountable?

The Indian media has grown unfettered into a billion dollar business. With the advent of cable television viewership now exceeds 600 million people. Often reports are not researched and news that should be news is usually the subjective opinions of the anchors. This is fast becoming a rule rather than an exception.

The Honourable judge has spoken for the illiterate masses who can only watch TV and therefore rely on it for news, views etc.

Dhaniyavad your Honour keep going the Indian Public supports you !

I leave you with this line from a John Fogerty song,

“I know it’s true, oh so true, ’cause I saw it on TV”