Another protest is going on amongst the university students
and their teachers in Sri Lanka, against the attempt by the government to reduce
expenditure in education and limit the opportunities for education under the
guise of modernization. They demand that the percentage of expenditure on the
education budget should be increased to 6\% of the GDP. The government is
resisting this protest by closing down all the universities indefinitely.
A third protest of the most unusual nature is taking place in India,
where a group of indigenous people have submerged themselves neck deep
in water for over 12 days now, protesting against eviction from their
land without compensation. They are being evicted for the construction
of the Omkareshwar Dam, and they are protesting against the illegal
increase in the water level, beyond the level that was allowed by the
Supreme Court of India. There protest is called Jal-Satyagrah.
In this unique form of protest held in East Nimaar region in Khandwa
district of Madhya Pradesh state, the villagers have been sitting within
the dam's catchment area, claiming that they are willing to drown to
death rather than be denied their rightful claim for adequate
rehabilitation for the lands they have lost.
All three protests are supported by large sections of people, who see
the protests as justified.
All these protests are conducted in a most peaceful manner and are
spontaneous movements. The protesters are persons who are directly
afflicted by the problem who feel compelled to act.
In all three instances, governments are slow to address the demands of
the protesters. However, such powerful protests cannot be ignored.
Thanks to modern technology, these are no longer are local protests; the
whole world is watching.
[Article released by the
Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong.]