Press release from Citizens for Justice and Peace on Kandhamal victims
Citizens for Justice and Peace
Indigenous Peoples’ Victim Survivors from Kandhmahals District Orissa demand:
(Backgrounder of Deelegation )
Nirant, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai – 400 049. Ph: 2660 2288 email: email@example.com
A delegation of 20 tribals and indigenous peoples from the Kandhmahals region of Orissa badly traumatised by the communal violence accompanied by local activists are in the capital since March 23 and will meet the Election Commission on Wednesday March 25, 2009. The delegation is appealing to the Election Commission to address seriously the issue of disenfranchisement of over 22,000 indigenous peoples from this district and either consider postponement of elections in these areas or implement special measures to ensure their franchise for the displaced.
Over the three day visit, the delegation has also met the National Human Rights Commission, the National Minorities Commission and the office of the United Nations Commmissioner for Human Rights. To address the critical issues of the state meetings with national political parties have also been organised.
On March 23 the petition file by victims and activists came up for hearing before the apex court and Chief Justice Balakrishnan posted it along with the Archbishops matter for hearing on April 6. The main prayer in the petition is for restraining the Orissa administration from forcible closure of relief camps and the stay on the functioning of the camp courts that in the situation where tribal Christians are unable to be pesent at the hearings are in effect rendering tribals landless.
Teesta Setalvad, Secretary