The groups, which organized the “International Fact-Finding Mission to Defend Land and Life against Hengfu’s Operations in Cambodia,” are asking the intervention of UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food Hilal Elver and Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) director general Jose Graziano de Silva on the land grabbing of more than 13,000hectares by Chinese concessionaire Hengfu Group Sugar Co., Ltd. The mission’s executive summary was submitted to them on Oct. 13, 2018 during the first day of the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) Annual Forum of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security, which will hold its 45th plenary session in Rome, Italy on Oct. 15-19, 2018.
Our Coalitions are enraged by the arrest of five Indian activists on 6 June 2018 on the basis of trumped-up charges for their “provocative speeches” that “incited” the violence on 1 January 2018 in Pune during the Elgar Parishad, the 200th anniversary commemoration protest of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon. These prominent Dalit rights activists who were among event organizers, namely Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, and Rona Jacob Wilson, were also red-tagged and accused as sympathizers of the insurgent Naxalites plotting the assassination of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
We are alarmed by these approvals as they set the stage for the commercial production and distribution of Golden Rice in Asia, particularly in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines where rice is a staple food. We continue to challenge the false claim that Golden Rice, genetically-engineered to produce beta carotene, will help address the high incidence of Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in these rice-producing and consuming countries.