Date: 18 June, 2009
Dear Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh,
As the newly formed UPA coalition government is just settling in to govern for the next five years, there is news that Commerce Minister Anand Sharma is already on his way to the United States (US) to bilaterally iron out differences to seal the trade deal that was launched during the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) 4th Ministerial Meeting in Doha. At stake in these trade negotiations are hundreds of millions of livelihoods in the farming and non-agriculture sectors that India has fought hard to preserve over the past eight years since the launch of the Doha Development Round.
It has been well over 3 months since the final day of the WTO's MC6 here in Hong Kong. However, for those of us on the street voicing our opposition to the WTO, our struggle in Hong Kong did not finish with the end of the conference.
After the Hong Kong ministerial meet of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last December, not much progress seems to have been made in key areas of the ongoing negotiations. The recent meeting of the G-6 countries, including India, was not very productive.
Korean Peasants League, Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO
Today, the hearing, in relation to the political prosecution against WTO protestors, was ended after all the witnesses finished the testimonies and the final submission by both prosecutor and defending lawyer.
Chee Yoke Heong, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues
A recent report detailing 36 cases of bio-piracy in Africa has been creating ripples at international meetings negotiating a fair deal for developing countries to benefit from their genetic resources and traditional knowledge.
Press Release: La Via Campesina welcomes the release of 11 anti-WTO protestors today by the Kwun Tong Court in Hong Kong. However two members of the Korean Peasants League and one member of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions are still charged with unlawful and unrightful assembly following the December 17 protest organised by La Via Campesina against the WTO Ministerial Conference.
At a police hearing on Jan 18, the Hong Kong government dropped charges against 11 of the 14 individuals it had detained in connection with the protests at the World Trade Organization Ministerial in mid-December. However, charges of unlawful assembly and unauthorized assembly have been formally made against three of the detainees: Kyung Kyu Yang, a vice president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), and In Hwan Park and Il Kwon Yoon of the Korean Peasants
Press Release: Representatives from farmer organisations, trade unions and civil society gathered in front of the WTO today to demand the release of WTO protestors. 12 of the 14 protestors are on hunger strike to highlight the injustice of their case and to protest against the WTO.
The prosecution of 14 people here following a violent demonstration at the World Trade Organization conference last month is turning into a contentious and diplomatically sticky issue for the governments of Hong Kong, China and South Korea.