Category Archives: Indigenous Articles

A Matter of Life and Death

SouthViews, No. 103, 8 April 2014,

By Martin Khor

Of all the issues currently being negotiated on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, none are more important than the ability of patients to get life-saving medicines at affordable prices, which many fear may be a victim of the agreement.

If you or some family members or friends suffer from cancer, hepatitis, AIDs, asthma or other serious ailments, it’s worth your while to follow the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations, now going on in Singapore.

It’s really a matter of life and death. For the TPPA can cut off the potential supply of cheaper generic medicines that can save lives, especially when the original branded products are priced so sky-high that very few can afford them.

The fight for cheaper medicines has moved to cancer and other deadly diseases, when once the controversy was over AIDS medicines.

Recently, a cancer specialist in New Zealand (one of the TPPA counties) warned that the TPPA would prolong the high cost of treating breast cancer because of new rules to protect biotechnology-based cancer drugs from competition from generics. And this will affect the lives of cancer patients. Continue reading


Pentagon Proposes to Bomb Pristine Island Chain to Smithereens

By Koohan Paik, IFG Asia Pacific Program Campaign Director

Please see below this article, by Leevin Camacho and Daniel Broudy, about the Pentagon’s plans to offer up some of the last pristine, uninhabited and biodiverse spots left in the world, for FULL-SPECTRUM live-fire training. 

Two-thirds of Tinian, and the entire islands of Farallon de Medinilla and Pagan, as well as one-third of Guam (the ravaged island’s last undeveloped jungles) would be destroyed by this plan. How can these activities possibly coexist with George Bush’s 2009 designation of this area as the “Marianas Trench Marine National Monument” to preserve the environment????


‘Sweetening’ the Pentagon’s Deal in the Marianas: From Guam to Pagan グアムからパガン島へ マリアナ諸島基地作戦に色づけするペンタゴン

By Leevin Camacho and Daniel Broudy — The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 27, No. 1, July 8, 2013

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A Brewing Storm in the Western Pacific

By , IFG Board of Directors, July 23, 2013 (Foreign Policy In Focus)

China’s aggressive territorial claims, Washington’s “pivot” to Asia, and Japan’s hawkish bluster add up to a volatile brew in the Asia-Pacific.

A storm is brewing in the Western Pacific.

As the Asia-Pacific region descends into a period of destabilizing conflict, the Philippines is quickly becoming a frontline state in the U.S. strategy to contain China—the central thrust of the Obama administration’s so-called “Pivot to Asia.” In the most recent development, the Philippine government has offered the United States greater access to its military bases.

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Friends of the Earth Blog – New Video: “Peril in the Pacific”

Friends of the Earth, U.S. has released a new video, “Peril in the Pacific: Trans Pacific trade agreement threatens people and the planet.” The video highlights the threats to the environment and human rights posed by the secret negotiation of the TPP deal and in particular its draft investment chapter.
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On the Front Lines of a New Pacific War

By Koohan Paik and Jerry Mander (IFG Asia Pacific Program)
Originally published December 14, 2012,  The Nation

The US military’s aggressive Asia-Pacific strategy is escalating tensions with China and prompting local resistance throughout the region.

In Seoul, 5,000 anti-base protesters joined Gangjeong villagers who had marched, over a four-week period, up the length of the nation to the capitol. Credit: Fielding Hong

On the small, spectacular island of Jeju, off the southern tip of Korea, indigenous villagers have been putting their bodies in the way of construction of a joint South Korean–US naval base that would be an environmental, cultural and political disaster. If completed, the base would hold more than 7,000 navy personnel, plus twenty warships including US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and destroyers carrying the latest Aegis missiles—all aimed at China, only 300 miles away.  Continue reading

Korean Village Could Be First Casualty of US Military’s “Pacific Pivot”

BY KOOHAN PAIK – (IFG Asia Pacific Program Campaign Director)
Originally published OCTOBER 29, 2012 — Earth Island Journal

Residents of Jeju Island are protesting construction of new joint US-South Korean Navy base

In November 2011, President Barack Obama, joined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, announced the “Pacific Pivot,” a strategy to shift the US military’s focus to the Asia-Pacific region. The announcement was a signal to China that the United States would not permit its ascendance to advance any further into the US’s historic zone of economic and military domination, which dates back to the nineteenth-century occupations of the Philippines, Guam and Hawaii. But the announcement of the Pacific Pivot also raised a red flag for environmentalists, Indigenous peoples of the region, and small states within the Pacific Basin, who fear the consequences of this new geopolitical struggle. As an African saying goes: “When the elephants battle, the ants get crushed.”  Continue reading

Dispatches from Jeju-#3, 06/14/2012

Koohan Paik is reporting this month from Jeju, South Korea, where an horrendous military base construction—for the eventual use of the U.S. missile-carrying fleets, aimed at China—is underway. The base development is destroying a magnificent coral reef, very rare wildlife species, and a wonderful traditional community of farmers and oyster-fishers. The U.S. already has more than 400 bases in the Pacific.
The philosopher and food critic, Epicurus, once said that the city of Siracusa, in Sicily, had the best food in all the world. But Epicurus had not visited Gangjeong Village, on Jeju Island, Korea. Surprisingly, Gangjeong and Siracusa have much in common. Th ey share the latitude of 37 degrees, a Mediterranean climate, and rich volcanic soil. As a result, the fruits and vegetables that grow in these places burst with flavors unknown in more northerly climes. Both Jeju and Sicily are surrounded by waters abundant with a diversity of marine flora and fauna. And both have been home to dedicated farmers perfecting cultivar propagation and livestock breeding techniques since prehistory. Continue reading