Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Yinka Dene Alliance

Yinka Dene Alliance [http://yinkadene.ca
"Freedom Train" [http://freedomtrain2012.com]
Save the Fraser Declaration [http://savethefraser.ca]

Red areas show the extent of First Nations opposition around the proposed pipeline and tanker route | Map courtesy of the Yinka Dene Alliance

2012-04-28 "First Nations resist Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline with cross-Canada Freedom Train; The Yinka Dene Alliance departs on Monday for a nationwide journey on the Freedom Train, to storm Enbridge's AGM in opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline" by Alexis Stoymenoff from "Vancouver Observor" newspaper
British Columbia's Yinka Dene Alliance will embark on a nationwide "Freedom Train" journey on Monday to defend First Nations laws banning oil pipelines and tankers on their traditional territory.
The Alliance, a leading group of First Nations that has been active so far in opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker route, says the trip is an important step in protecting their rights, their land and their water from the threat of an oil spill.
The Freedom Train is set to depart on Monday from Jasper, Alberta, and will be stopping in several cities before arriving in Toronto for Enbridge's annual shareholders meeting on May 9.
“We’re travelling across Canada to tell Enbridge that they will not be permitted to build their pipelines through our lands, period,” said Chief Jackie Thomas of the Saik’uz First Nation, in a news release.
“The fight against Enbridge is a fight for our freedom to govern ourselves and to choose our own future. We will not accept the government imposing a decision on us and forcing this pipeline through our lands,” she stated.
At each stop along the way, the train will be met with support from other First Nations groups across the country. Rallies, feasts and events are planned in Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg, and representatives will be picked up to join the group in each city. Up to 40 people representing at least ten different Nations will be on board the train, including youth and elders.
Chief Martin Louie of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, a member of the Yinka Dene Alliance, said the journey will build on the support from other Canadians to ensure the protection of traditional lands.
“We need a healthy environment to ensure a healthy future for our children,” he said.
The Yinka Dene Alliance is part of the same group responsible for the Save the Fraser Declaration, which includes signatories from over 100 First Nations officially banning proposed pipelines and tankers on their territories. Coastal First Nations have also signed a similar declaration, solidifying Aboriginal opposition across territories that cover the the majority of Enbridge's proposed route.
Though members of the Yinka Dene Alliance were present at Enbridge's last annual meeting in Calgary, this year's delegation is expected to be the largest yet. Leaders say they put out a call for solidarity, bringing First Nations allies out from the prairies and Ontario to join in support of the cause.
Tzeporah Berman, who recently left her post at Greenpeace International to head up an anti-oilsands coalition, said the Freedom Train also has the support of non-Aboriginal groups taking a stand against oil and gas development.
"Their whole message is really powerful. They're saying, 'We're a Nation, we have laws, and we're asking you to recognize them'," Berman told the Observer.
"We're just standing behind to support them," she said.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

2012-06-21 Indigenous People's Declaration against the "RIO+20" conference:
"We, Indigenous Peoples from all regions of the world have defended our Mother Earth from the aggression of unsustainable development and the over exploitation of our natural resources by mining, logging, mega-dams, exploration and extraction of petroleum. Our forests suffer from the production of agro-fuels, bio-mass, plantations and other impositions of false solutions to climate change and unsustainable, damaging development.”
 “The Green Economy is nothing more than capitalism of nature; a perverse attempt by corporations, extractive industries and governments to cash in on Creation by privatizing, commodifying, and selling off the Sacred and all forms of life and the sky, including the air we breathe, the water we drink and all the genes, plants, traditional seeds, trees, animals, fish, biological and cultural diversity, ecosystems and traditional knowledge that make life on Earth possible and enjoyable.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

2012-06-19 "Will Africa’s Elephants be Extinct in 10 Years?" by Tara Holmes
Africa’s majestic elephants are in serious trouble.  Like any other species on the planet, the animal is being severely impacted by a changing climate and a growing human population, but it is also being slaughtered to the brink of extinction.
Prized for their ivory, which on today’s market can sell for over $1,500 a kilo, African elephants are particularly susceptible to poachers.  The growing demand for ivory-based products in Asia, particularly in developing China, is fueling the new rage in illegal trade in Kenya and Kenyan officials are at a loss for what to do.  As a recent CNN report stated: “If this level of killing continues, if elephants continue to be slaughtered for trinkets and statuettes, in ten years time, most of Africa’s elephants will be gone…”
The numbers are staggering.  Samuel Wasser, a recognized authority on the disappearance of elephants, has warned that no more than 400,000 African elephants remain in the wild today.  As a point of comparison, there were over one million at the beginning of the 1980s.  We’re clearly at a major moral crossroads: hundreds of species are lost daily and those that remain are struggling for habitat and resources.  The elephant, one of the planet’s most socially intelligent creatures with a long human history, is now among those creatures being thoughtlessly eradicated, but in this case, for decorative artwork.
Unfortunately, this issue remains predominately buried in the media with little international attention. Local communities, governments and animal welfare groups, however, are working diligently to bring this important topic to the spotlight in an effort to raise awareness and ultimately save the African elephant from extinction, mainly citing the important place elephants hold in the larger web of African wildlife, as well as noting their larger global significance.
So what can you do?  First and foremost, should you ever witness ivory being sold, immediately document and report it. You can also contact your elected officials to express your concern in hopes the U.S. may continue to push for increased international trade regulations under CITES.  In the end, however, this problem comes down to global accountability and market demand; as long as ivory is prized, there will be illegal poachers on the supply side.  What we really should be asking is: is it worth it?  I think we all know the answer to that question.

Monday, June 18, 2012


"Union of Native Ayoreos of Paraguay (UNAP)"

2012-06-15 "Rancher’s Tricks Against Indigenous in Paraguay Backfire" by Paul Canning from "Care2" [http://www.care2.com/causes/ranchers-tricks-against-indigenous-in-paraguay-backfire.html]:
Ranchers in Paraguay who tried to trick an indigenous tribe into signing away their land have got their comeuppance [http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/8405].
The ranchers wanted legal access to land of the Ayoreo, who live in the northern Gran Chaco, the vast semi-arid plain stretching into Bolivia. They wanted to build a road which would have cut lands in half and threatened uncontacted tribal members. The Ayoreo say: “We don’t want them [the ranchers] to disturb the forest. It is an important area used by our uncontacted relatives.”
Ranchers’ agents visited and permission was refused — so they allegedly forged signatures on documents sent to the government. But just days later the same government office received a letter from Ayoreo organization OPIT denouncing the ranchers’ strong-arm tactics.
Paraguay’s Department for Indian Affairs (INDI) has denounced the scam, saying it “could lead to countless violations against environmental laws and against uncontacted indigenous families.”
Brazilian owned companies River Plate S.A. and BBC S.A have both been previously caught illegally clearing land that belongs to the Ayoreo. Satellite images from 2011 revealed their brazen destruction of almost 4,000 hectares of forest inhabited by uncontacted Indians, and led to the companies being charged with illegal deforestation.
Amnesty International’s latest report on Paraguay said there has been progress in resolving land claims of indigenous communities in 2011 [http://www.lanacion.com.py/articulo/72784-ddhh-en-paraguay-amnistia-lanza-su-informe.html]. However, the lack of an effective mechanism for complaints relating to traditional land remains a concern.
Last year the government reached an agreement with a landlord for the return of land to the Yakye Axa, following a significant victory at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR). The government has also signed an an agreement to start the process of returning land to the Sawhoyamaxa community and has formally recognized the land claims of Kelyenmagategma.
The government last year indicted on various charges, including “breach of trust,” four members of the Amotocodie Initiative (IA), an NGO who say they are working to protect the Ayoreo. IA are opposed to a British organized scientific expedition called “Dry Chaco 2010″ which they think could harm the rights of isolated indigenous people. However, UNAP, the Union of Native Ayoreos of Paraguay, say they were lied to about the expedition and not properly consulted [http://infectiousenthusiasm.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/museum-expedition-and-the-uncontacted-ayoreo-again/].
It has only been 25 years since the last manhunt of Ayoreos, in which the US-based fundamentalist missionary organization the New Tribes Mission was closely involved [http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/8200].

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jamahiriya Campaign to Free the Secretary of the Libyan People's Congress


People around the globe are setting fire to currency notes starting June 12, 2012 in an ongoing protest against the continued unlawful imprisonment in Tunisa, of the Secretary of the Libyan People's Congress.
Doctor Mahmoudi Baghdadi, the Libyan People's Secretary, had to flee to Tunisia to seek refuge and safety on August 19, 2011, but has since been silenced so he cannot be a voice for those who elected him. Baghdadi is now being held unlawfully in Tunisia since August 21, 2011 with plans to send him back to the mayhem in Libya.
June 12 is people's human rights day since 24 years ago when on 12 June, 1988 the Green Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms was declared after a million people in thousands of basic people's conferences held in Libya and abroad had deliberated on human rights. A worldwide Green Charter Movement now calls for these rights and freedoms everywhere.
In 2011 puppets of global bankers launched a fake Arab Spring using the spark of a Tunisian who set fire to himself. Millions in neighboring Libya now live under a brutal tyrany as a result.
The Green Charter Movement which advocates for real human rights and freedom has launched a campaign asking good people world wide to publish videos of themselves burning money.
Today in Tunisia, the campaign was launched with many Tunisians setting fire to their money. The same in Russia, parts of Europe, China, America and Australia. This is the start of a viral campaign.
“We value human life and we protect it. We do not kill ourselves as that is what our oppressors want. Nor do we value the money and property of our oppressors. We would rather set fire to it”, said a spokesperson for the Green Charter movement.
The Green Charter Movement has called on people everywhere to set fire to money, not themselves, in protest at the unlawful holding of the Libyan People's Secretary, a symbol of millions of oppressed and terrorized Libyans suffering under an imposed dictatorship.
According to the Movement burning banknotes is not only symbolic, but an act of sacrifice and freedom from the control of bankers who print pieces of paper to rule us with. “Show your anger at the bankers who oppress us all!”
“Demand freedom for the Libyan People's Secretary being held unlawfully in Tunisia. Burn bank notes in protest and upload your videos, adding the key word "#GreenCharter" !” said a press release from the Green Charter Movement.
“Instead of taking a day off work, and traveling to the city to hold up a sign saying 'Free The People's Secretary', you save the money that would have been lost and spent, and can burn some of it in an effective protest statement and use the rest of the money saved, for good causes”, the GCM said.
“If need be you can burn money every week until the People's Secretary is free, and this is still going to be cheaper than protesting in the city, so the argument that burning money is bad, is simply not true.
The press release suggested that those who are spiritual or religious may offer a suggested prayer at the time of burning paper money:
"...Take this false wealth to hell! Destroy the false wealth of the bankers and oppressors! Protect us, reward us with REAL wealth many times this value!"
-- The above statement is a joint news release by the International People's Conference Organization and other organizations. Further background information follows here below.

The "Burn False Wealth" idea originated from the Leader of the International Green Charter Movement to set fire to money as a means of protest to draw attention to Dr Baghdadi's plight. These actions are open to all persons without limitation nor any restriction.
Some precautions to take include:
* Show the bank note(s) to the camera so the currency can be seen as real, at the start of the video
* Hold up a sign, or speak "Free the People's Secretary" or “Free the Libyan People's Secretary”
* Show the burning of the currency clearly, but practice first with a cut piece of blank paper
* You can be anonymous by concealing your face, or you can show it, what counts is burning cash
* Send your videos to: burn4freedom@gmail.com

For more information about IPCO see: [www.PeoplesConference.org]
For more information about IGCM see: [www.GreenCharter.com]
For more information about the Mathaba News Network see: [www.mathaba.net/about]
For more information about Doctor Baghdadi Mahmoudi, see: [http://wiki.greencharter.com/index.php?title=Baghdadi_Mahmoudi]

Saturday, June 9, 2012

2012-06-09 Lakotah Warriors blockade Nebraska state-sponsered liquor stores

"Help Support Indigenous Solidarity in Whiteclay" from "Deep Green Resistance"
In June, Deep Green Resistance participated in a blockade of liquor stores in Whiteclay, NE. At the end of August, we will be going back to stand with the women of the Pine Ridge Reservation in the ongoing fight against the genocide of the Oglala Lakota Nation.
Video of Whiteclay blockade on June 9th with members of Deep Green Resistance, Unoccupy Albuquerque, Occupy Lincoln, and Lakota organizers:

2012-04-30 "In Solidarity with Pine Ridge – DGR Great Plains Announces Action at White Clay, NE" from "Deep Green Resistance"
The film Battle for White Clay, a documentary about the ongoing genocide in White Clay, Nebraska
March for Justice 2012: Always in Memory of Wally Black Elk and Ron Hard Heart
 Date: June 9th, 2012 at 12 pm
 Location: Billy Mills Hall, Pine Ridge, SD
 A Day of Action against White Clay, NE

White Clay, Nebraska is an unincorporated village with a population of 14 people in northwest Nebraska. The town sits on the border of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota (also known as the Oglala Sioux Tribe), only 200 feet from the official reservation border and less than 3 miles from the center of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, the largest town on the reservation. On June 9th, the fight against White Clay continues.
Sale and possession of alcoholic beverages on the Pine Ridge is prohibited under tribal law. Except for a brief experiment with on-reservation liquor sales in the early 1970s, this prohibition has been in effect since the reservation lands were created. White Clay has four off-sale beer stores licensed by the State of Nebraska which sell the equivalent of 4.5 million 12-ounce cans of beer annually (12,500 cans per day), mostly to the Oglalas living on Pine Ridge. These retailers routinely violate Nebraska liquor law by selling beer to minors and intoxicated persons, knowingly selling to bootleggers who resell the beer on the reservation, permitting on-premise consumption of beer in violation of restrictions placed on off-sale-only licenses, and exchanging beer for sexual favors.
Many people have died in the streets due to exposure, as the state of Nebraska fails to address the breaches of state law and countless deaths as a result of dealers in White Clay. As long as the liquor stores in White Clay remain in business, the genocide of the Oglala Lakota people will continue.
Deep Green Resistance Great Plains and other Deep Green Resistances organizers across the country are coordinating support for the Oglala Lakota activists organizing the action against the liquor peddlers in White Clay. We stand with the people of Pine Ridge and the organizers of this action against the continuation of genocide. Stand with us as we send the message: “No more liquor in White Clay!”
On June 9th 1999 two Lakota men, Wally Black Elk and Ron Hard Heart, were brutally murdered in White Clay. It is in their memory that we will march for justice. We are seeking material support, in the form of food and donations for caravans and for the action itself. Additionally, we will be collecting donated fans and air conditioners to bring to elders on Pine Ridge.

If you’re interested in attending this day of action, please contact TR Mckenzie, coordinator of DGR Great Plains at trmckenzie[at]riseup[dot]net or one of the regional organizers:

Eastern Iowa – Nate Adeyemi:
 (815) 632-7243
 Wisconsin – Ben Cutbank:
 (262) 208-5347
 Omaha/Lincoln, NE – Christie Schoening:
 Colorado – Alex Budd:
 (720) 425-4955
 Western IA/Eastern SD – T.R. McKenzie:
 (605) 868-8111
 West Coast – Xander Knox:
 (253) 906-4740

Deep Green Resistance Indigenous Solidarity Guidelines.
 1. First and foremost we must recognize that non-indigenous people are occupying stolen land in an ongoing genocide that has lasted for centuries. We must affirm our responsibility to stand with indigenous communities who want support and give everything we can to protect their land and culture from further devastation; they have been on the frontlines of biocide and genocide for centuries, and as allies, we need to step up and join them.
 2. You are doing Indigenous solidarity work not out of guilt, but out of a fierce desire to confront oppressive colonial systems of power.
 3. You are not helping Indigenous people, you are there to: join with, struggle with, and fight with indigenous peoples against these systems of power. You must be willing to put your body on the line.
 4. Recognize your privilege as a member of settler culture.
 5. You are not here to engage in any type of cultural, spiritual or religious needs you think you might have, you are here to engage in political action. Also, remember your political message is secondary to the cause at hand.
 6. Never use drugs or alcohol when engaging in Indigenous solidarity work. Never.
 7. Do more listening than talking, you will be surprised what you can learn.
 8. Recognize that there will be Indigenous people that will not want you to participate in ceremonies. Humbly refrain from participating in ceremonies.
 9. Recognize that you and your Indigenous allies may be in the minority on a cause that is worth fighting for.
 10. Work with integrity and respect, be trustworthy and do what you say you are going to do.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gullah / Geechee Nation

Gullah/Geechee Nation Headquarters:
[PO Box 1109, St. Helena Island SC 29920]
[843-838-1171] [GullGeeCo@aol.com]

Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition:
PO Box 1207, St. Helena Island SC 29920
[843-838-1171] [GullGeeCo@aol.com]

Gullah/Geechee TV Nayshun Nyews [http://www.youtube.com/user/AMPTurnItUp]
Gullah/Geechee Riddim Radio [http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gullahgeechee]

The Gullah/Geechees came together to declare themselves as a nation on July 2, 2000 with international observers and media present.

The Gullah/Geechee Nation exist from Jacksonville, NC to Jacksonville, FL. 
It encompasses all of the Sea Islands and thirty to thirty-five miles inland to the St. John’s River. 
On these islands, people from numerous African ethnic groups linked with indigenous Americans and created the unique Gullah language and traditions from which later came “Geechee.”  
The Gullah/Geechee people have been considered “a nation within a nation” from the time of chattel enslavement in the United States until they officially became an internationally recognized nation on July 2, 2000.  
At the time of their declaration as a nation, they confirmed the election of their first “head pun de boddee”-head of state and official spokesperson and queen mother. 
They elected Queen Quet, Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com).
Queen Quet is the first elected Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

Official flag of the Gullah/Geechee Nation

The Gullah/Geechee Nation Declaration states:
Mission -
To preserve, protect, and promote our history, culture, language, and homeland and to institute and demand official recognition of the governance (minority) rights necessary to accomplish our mission to take care of our community through collective efforts which will provide a healthy environment, care for the well beings of each person, and economic empowerment.

Goals -
As we are the authentic original Gullah/Geechee Nation with direct linkage to our ancestral legacy, we stand as custodians of Gullah/Geechee culture and protectors of our human rights. Henceforth, being the ONLY and TRUE keepers of the Gullah/ Geechee cultural legacy, upon us falls the responsibility to promote in an accurate and positive manner all aspects of Gullah/ Geechee culture by emanating knowledge and healing souls. This process is guided through the release of the full story of the foreparents of Gullah and Geechee ancestral souls and the wisdom of our elders.
WE intend to protect the development and construction of Gullah/Geechee culture through the establishment of appropriate institutions and law by the exercise of our human rights. Presently this is being achieved through and during conferences, workshops, festivals, and other celebrations of culture and the continuation of oral traditions, living history, crafts, skills, and reconnection to the soil. The establishment of this Constitution will guarantee the continuation by the exercise of our minority right to self-determination.
WE will link with organizations, other nations, and institutions that are contributing positively to the cultivation of our nation.insuring that those connections are carried out with dignity and honor.
In the tradition of our foreparents we will record in written form OURSTORY as a living testament to our Gullah/Geechee legacy. We will also broaden our continuum through the use of electronic and video and audio means of documentation. Through the exercise of our human rights, we will be the keepers of this material as we accept the responsibilities of defining ourselves and our ancestors.
WE will preserve, maintain, and reclaim ALL elements of our homeland which will FOREVER be our base of existence as we carry out these goals. With these goals in mind, Gullah/Geechee people take formal recognition of their nation and their human right to self-determination within the context of their minority governance rights, and thereby, the Gullah/Geechee Nation Wisdom Circle Council of Elders, by its hands, spirit and soul undertakes the task of creating and ratifying the first Constitution of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

The Gullah/Geechee Nation Constitution is 21 pages long.  It is the document of governing principles by which the Wisdom Circle Council of Elders and the Assembly of Representatives operated as the right and left hands of the Head-of-State.

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation is the chair of the General Management Plan for the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission.

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) spends an afternoon with an Afro-Latin delegation and representatives of the US Department of State at the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition's "Gullah/Geechee Ga'dun." The visitors came for cultural exchange and to learn more of the aspects of African retention in the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.officialgullahgeechee.net). In this concluding part of this episode, each guests provides a greeting to the Gullah/Geechee Nation concerning what they learned from their journey and their wishes for the Gullah/Geechee Nation
Gullah/Geechee TV Nayshun Nyews Ep 96 Pt 1-Afro-Latin Visitors with Queen Quet

Gullah/Geechee TV Nayshun Nyews Ep 96 Pt 2-Afro-Latin Visitors with Queen Quet

2012-06-02 "Land preservation key theme in Gullah Geechee plan" by Robert Behre

MOUNT PLEASANT — Land preservation, including new legislation that would make it easier for families to hold onto heirs property, emerged as a key theme Friday in a new Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor plan.
But it was only one element of a 272-page document that aims to perpetuate the unique culture created by slaves and their descendants.
About 100 people gathered here Friday to hear the details and suggest where the effort should go from here.
The presentation capped a project in the works for more than four years, as the National Park Service and Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor Commissioners sought a way to preserve and promote a culture found in a coastal area as large as Maryland — one that runs from Pender County, N.C., to St. Johns County, Fla.
For Commissioner Veronica Gerald of Conway, the effort reminded her of her great-great-great-grandmother, “Bina,” who was kidnapped as a 9-year-old and became a slave on Brookgreen Plantation outside Georgetown.
“What I like about the management plan is that Bina comes to the table today,” she said. “I don’t want to be corny, but their living was not in vain.”
Commissioner J. Herman Blake, a humanities scholar in residence at the Medical University of South Carolina, said Gullah’s culture is marked by its language, emphasis on family and community, spiritual life, education, political resistance, gender equity, an entrepreneurial spirit and community-based conflict resolution.
It also is marked by longtime ties to the land, but rising coastal property values and, in some cases, a growing number of heirs will claims to property has threatened longtime Gullah communities.
Commissioner Willie Heyward, a lawyer, said while many people view land as a commodity to be bought and sold, “it is diametrically opposite as to how Gullah Geechee folks look at property. Property sustains the family, and it should not be sold.”
Heyward said a South Carolina bill would make it more difficult for an heir with less than a 25 percent interest in a property to force its sale — and it would require more public notice. He said education and mediation among multiple heirs owners also is part of the answer.
“Gullah Geechee culture is intertwined with the land, and I would hate to see what would happen in the future without the land,” he said.
Both Mount Pleasant Town Councilwoman Thomasena Stokes-Marshall and Remleys Point resident Ed Lee asked the commissioners for help with a new land dispute that threatens some residents at the foot of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge.
Commission Chairman Ron Daise said the commission has no federal dollars but will be looking for contributions and partners.
“Donations will be accepted, even today,” he said.
Both commissioners and audience members praised the plan, which the commission adopted. It will be posted online next month.
Commissioner Antoinette Jackson of Florida outlined the plan’s emphasis on promoting heritage tourism in the corridor, which will be marked by special highway signs.
“We have a story to tell,” she said. “You have a story to tell, and people want to hear it.”

2012-06-01 "Public sees plan to preserve sea island culture"
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. - Parts of a plan to preserve the culture of slave descendants along the nation?s Southeast coast have been unveiled.
The management plan for the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor reaching from southeastern North Carolina to just past St. Augustine, Fla., has been in the making a dozen years. It was previewed at a Friday meeting in Mount Pleasant.
The culture is based on farming and fishing with, among other things, its own creole language, history, cooking and crafts such as weaving sweetgrass baskets.
The plan envisions roads to direct people to Gullah and Geechee sites and focuses on education, preservation of sites and developing economic opportunities.
Renowned artist Jonathan Green told the corridor commission there also needs to be an emphasis on art to help preserve the culture.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

2012-06-02 "Three rare elephants found dead in Indonesia" from "AFP"
Three critically-endangered Sumatran elephants have been found dead in an oil palm plantation in western Indonesia and are believed to have been poisoned, an NGO said Saturday.
Villagers found the dead animals on Thursday in a government-owned oil palm plantation in the eastern part of Aceh province. They were estimated to be four and five years old, local environmental group Fakta said.
"We suspected that they died after consuming bars of soap laced with poison we found near the carcass," the group's chief Rabono Wiranata told AFP.
"It seems that the elephants have died around one week," he said.
The animals are usually either killed by villagers, who regard the beasts as pests that destroy their plantations, or by poachers for their tusks.
Early last month, two other Sumatran elephants were found dead in the west of the province.
There are fewer than 3,000 Sumatran elephants remaining in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, marking a 50 percent drop in numbers since 1985.
WWF changed the Sumatran elephant's status from "endangered" to "critically endangered" in January, largely due to severe habitat loss driven by oil palm and paper plantations.
Conflicts between humans and animals are increasing as people encroach on wildlife habitats in Indonesia, an archipelago with some of the world's largest remaining tropical forests.