08December2019

Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

Opinion

Save the Biodiversity

It become an emergency
To seek the aid of the “residents” to save their “houses”
Once the wealth is exhausted 
No one will be there to renew 
Everyone has the right 
To utilize the resources
But remember within the limit
Who should ask you to save the forest?
Who should ask you to keep the water clean?
Do they only require it?
Are not the children of Mother Nature?
Save the forest to nest the birds…
Save the water to ensure the world…
Plant trees for your 
Grandson to harvest the fruit…

L.ELAYA RAJA 
Field Assistant 
Biodiversity project
ANIFPDCL



  • Written by L.ELAYA RAJA
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To whom it may concern (Garcia? Simon? Cabanillas? Pastor?)

I am submitting the poem below for publication. It highlights the excuses made and lies told by Peru's government about the violence at Bagua in the Amazon on 5 June last year when Peruvian police attacked peaceful indigenous protesters. The names mentioned in the title are those of the officials in charge at the time, none of whom have accepted responsibility for what happened: president Alan Garcia, prime minister Yehude Simon, Minister of the Interior Mercedes Cabanillas, and Minister of Justice Aurelio Pastor. These last three have now all left their posts. Indigenous leader Alberto Pizango is still in political exile in Nicaragua.
 
This poem is an adaptation of a poem by the British poet Adrian Mitchell.

Kind regards,
James Pliny
 
 
To whom it may concern (Garcia? Simon? Cabanillas? Pastor?)

'Free trade' shot me dead on the 5th of June.
Now I wear t-shirts made on the moon.
  Say it was the Left who made them do it,
  say the Church put them up to it,
  say they didn't know why they were there,
  say they were too stupid to care,
  and exile them to Nicaragua.
  Tell me lies about Bagua.

'Democracy' shot me dead on an Amazon highway.
Now I have my own party, vote my way.
  Say it was them who attacked,
  say the police just fought back,
  say it was the Left who made them do it,
  say the Church put them up to it,
  say they didn't know why they were there,
  say they were too stupid to care,
  and exile them to Nicaragua.
  Tell me lies about Bagua.

'Progress' shot me dead at the Devil's Bend.
Now I earn money I've nowhere to spend.
  Say it was the US's fault, not yours,
  say that was why you made the laws,
  say it was them who attacked,
  say the police just fought back,
  say it was the Left who made them do it,
  say the Church put them up to it,
  say they didn't know why they were there,
  say they were too stupid to care,
  and exile them to Nicaragua.
  Tell me lies about Bagua.

'Development' shot me dead, left me there to bleed.
Now I see a doctor whenever I need.
  Say it was a crime to have protested,
  say they should all be arrested,
  say it was the US's fault, not yours,
  say that was why you made the laws,
  say it was them who attacked,
  say the police just fought back,
  say it was the Left who made them do it,
  say the Church put them up to it,
  say they didn't know why they were there,
  say they were too stupid to care,
  and exile them to Nicaragua.
  Tell me lies about Bagua.

'Peru' shot me dead, took me away in a bag.
Now I know how to die for a flag.
  Say you'll do a thorough investigation,
  say you'll give them compensation,
  say it was a crime to have protested,
  say they should all be arrested,
  say it was the US's fault, not yours,
  say that was why you made the laws,
  say it was them who attacked,
  say the police just fought back,
  say it was the Left who made them do it,
  say the Church put them up to it,
  say they didn't know why they were there,
  say they were too stupid to care,
  and exile them to Nicaragua.
  Tell me lies about Bagua.

In memory of all those who died.
  • Written by James Pliny
  • Hits: 1911

They came

First they came for the tribes’ land,
said it was empty and stole it,
but we did not speak up because we were not tribesmen,
and our laws encouraged it.

Then they came for what was under the tribes’ land,
said it was rich and dug it up,
but we did not speak up because we were not tribesmen,
and our economy needed it.

Then they came for the tribes’ culture,
said it was primitive and destroyed it,
but we did not speak up because we were not tribesmen,
and our own culture confirmed it.

Finally, they came for the tribes themselves,
said they weren’t real people and killed them,
but still we did not speak up because we were not tribesmen,
and our science proved it.

There was no need to come for us
because we were on their side.

No longer!
Now we will speak up!

=============================================================================

To The Editor

It’s about the devastation and destruction of indigenous peoples’ lands and cultures around the world. I’d like to release it as a commemoration of the very recent, tragic events in northern Peru - in which policemen and an unknown number of indigenous people were killed. Many are still missing.

It particularly criticises the failure of people to speak out against this devastation and destruction. I offer it as a part acknowledgment of what has happened, and as a rallying-cry for doing all we can to stop it continuing.

It’s called ‘They came’ and is a re-working of a poem with the same title about the Jewish Holocaust, attributed to Martin Niemoller.

James Pliny

 

  • Written by James Pliny
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