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FORUM-ASIA condemns Tawang killing

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) strongly condemns the excessive use of force by police which has led to the death of two protestors in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh in the north-eastern state of India on 2 May 2016. Two people were shot dead by police at around 4 p.m. and many were injured when a group of people protested against the arrest of Mr. Lobsang Gyatso, a Buddhist monk who has been actively opposing mega dam projects in Tawang. FORUM-ASIA demands the Government of India to conduct a prompt, full, impartial, and independent investigation into the death of the two protestors and take actions against those responsible.

On 2 May 2016, a group of people gathered outside the Tawang police station to support Mr. Lobsang Gyatso and demand his release. Being denied of bail, he was brought back and secretly taken into the police station bypassing the protestors in the front of the police station. The police opened fire at the protestors without any warning when they tried to move towards the police station. Media report indicated that the two protestors—21-year old Nyima Wangdi, a monk from Tawang and 31-year old Tsering Tempa, a resident of Jangda village—were shot twice and shot in the forehead, respectively, with seven others injured. Mr. Lobsang Gyatso was given bail after a few hours.


Authorities in Arunachal Pradesh have approved the construction of about 168 mega dam projects in the state. Thirteen of these projects, which are to be located in Tawang, have been opposed by the indigenous people of the state.


Mr. Lobsang Gyatso is the Secretary of the Save Mon Region Federation (SMRF), an organisation of the Monpa community in the Mon-Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh. Under his leadership, the SMRF has been protesting against ecologically destructive hydropower projects, demanding accountability in state development projects, and campaigning against corruption.


FORUM-ASIA was informed that, on 26 April 2016, Mr. Lobsang Gyatso was arrested for allegedly leading a group of people from Gongkhar village where the 6 MW Mukto Shakangchu project is coming up, and later released on bail. He was rearrested on 28 April 2016 for his critical comments regarding the protests recorded in an audio clip circulated on social media, and later denied bail.


“The right to freedom of assembly is a human right and not a privilege. This right should be exercised without arbitrary interference from the State. State also has the obligation towards ensuring protection of the right to freedom of assembly”, says Evelyn Balais-Serrano, Executive Director of FORUM-ASIA. “Credible investigation must be ensured in this case to fix the accountability of the law enforcement officers for a shooting without prior warning”, she adds.


In February 2016, two United Nations Special Rapporteurs, Maina Kiai and Christof Heyns, recommended in a joint report that “force shall not be used unless it is strictly unavoidable, and if applied it must be done in accordance with international human rights law”. The report further clarifies that “States and their law enforcement agencies and officials are obligated under international law to respect and protect, without discrimination, the rights of all those who participate in assemblies, as well as monitors and bystanders. The normative framework governing the use of force includes the principles of legality, precaution, necessity, proportionality and accountability.”


“Any use of force must be kept to a bare minimum and be proportionate”, says Anjuman Ara Begum, South Asia Programme Officer of FORUM-ASIA.


FORUM-ASIA believes that an independent investigation on the whole incident is essential, focusing on the role of political leaders and police officials, in order to ascertain the proportionality of the force used and to fix accountability for the loss of human life.


FORUM-ASIA condemns the killing of the protestors and calls on the Government of India to ensure freedom of assembly and to protect the life and liberty of the protestors.

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Prize money debating competition on Jan 10

12 Dec 2015 - 3:49pm | AT News

A prize money debating competition will be held on the topic of "Mutual divisiveness is the prime impediment in securing the future of indigenous people" on January 10, 2016 at Gauhati Commerce College Auditorium, Guwahati. The competition is open for all students from Class XI to those pursuing Post Graduate studies. Participants can speak in either Assamese or English. Best debater will be awarded with Rs.10,000 and Rs.5,000 for second best debater. The last date of submission of entries is December 15. Interested participants can contact for further details  9864570051 or  8749843983 (Whatsapp No : 9864626265) or through e-mail : The competition is being organised by Axom Jatiya Gana Xangram Parishad.

Media should disseminate proper information about HIV/AIDS

22 Sep 2009 - 10:52am | editor

A State Level Advocacy workshop was organized by Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) in association with Guwahati Press Club on 22nd September 2009 at the press club auditorium, where good number of media persons took part and participated in interaction programmes.

Inaugurating the workshop V.S. Bhaskar, IAS (Commissioner & Secretary to Health & F.W. Department, Government of Assam) appreciated the role of media in making people aware of HIV/AIDS. He further requested the media persons to continue playing the proactive role and disseminating the proper and correct information regarding different aspects of the sensitive issue. Though he admitted that Assam is a low prevalence state, it has more vulnerability, he asserted. “Primarily Assam is the gate way to the Northeast, and more and more people from high prevalence neighboring states come here for various regions,” Bhaskar pointed out.He however claimed that because of the government efforts and satisfactory media support, the awareness level is increase among difference section of people in the society. The senior official expected continued media engagement to make more people aware of the issue.

Addressing the gathering Ms M. Hagzer Barman, IAS (Project Director, ASACS) informed the media about the free transportation scheme of Assam Government) for the benefit of the HIV infected people to the Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) centre. “Under this scheme the government bears the travel expenditure of the HIV infected persons who come to the ART centre for treatment,” she also said.

Ms Barman also requested the media to spread the information about the Integrated Counseling & Testing Centre (ICTC) and Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) centers, which are being empowered to function for the respective causes.

Participating as a resource person, Ms Rakhi Chakravorty (Consultant CSM, ASACS) highlighted about various activities of the society. She revealed that a total number of 3,308 persons have been detected as HIV Positive in Assam, and over 900 people are diagnosed as AIDS patients. She insisted for more people coming to the Voluntary Blood Testing centers and hence expected for media’s support. “The HIV Positive persons have the same right to leave a dignified life like others in the society. Hence the society should provide care & support to the infected and affected HIV persons,” Ms Chakravorty said.

Talking about voluntary blood donation programme, Dr. N.N. Tishya (Deputy Director, ASACS), said that any healthy person of age 18 to 60 years with more than 45 kg weights or equal to 45 kg weight can donate blood without any problems. He advocated for voluntary donation to make ensure that safe and sufficient blood in need.

Dr. N.N. Sonowal (Assistant Project Director, ASACS) suggested for frequent media awareness programmes and appreciated the Guwahati Press Club for its initiative. Vote of thanks was offered by GPC secretary Nava Thakuria.

GMCH allays kala azar fear

21 Feb 2008 - 9:16am | editor
The fears of kala azars that gripped the people across the state have been allayed by the Guwhati Medical College Hospital authorities on Thursday. According ton information, the confirmation was followed by the report of testconducted on eleven people which have proved negative. These people have been rushed to the Guwahti medical College Hospital very recently. The doctors feared it to the case of kala azars in view of the symptoms which has clear resemblance of this fata disease. These people who have been rushed to the hoispital including two children from Panikhaity area in the outskirt of the city. All but a woman patient have fled from the hospital whil they were undergoing treatment at the GMCH. The hospital authorities hve already lodged a complaint with the police citing thier names and address.