On eve of constitutional referendum, politicians and media urged to act responsibly

first_img November 18, 2016 Find out more Help by sharing this information BoliviaAmericas Organisation Receive email alerts Transcripts of Radio Oriental’s “Nuestra Palabra” programmeAs Bolivia prepares for a 25 January referendum on a new constitution that President Evo Morales has sought from the time he took office in January 2006, Reporters Without Borders appeals to politicians and news media to act with responsibility. Ever since the constituent assembly began its work in August 2006, the call for a new constitution has fuelled political violence and polarisation, in which both state and privately-owned media and their staff have been protagonists and victims.The welcome intercession of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in September and the consensus reached a month later between the government and the main opposition party (Podemos) have partially checked a political crisis that has undermined press freedom and the safety of journalists.But the adoption of a new constitution will not suffice to resolve the past antagonisms or prevent future abuses. Reporters Without Borders is therefore addressing this message to Bolivia’s citizens, leaders and news media.Against hate mediaAn organisation that defends press freedom and free expression, Reporters Without Borders believes it has a duty to denounce the use of news media to incite racism, violence or murder. It was for this reason that the organisation condemned the behaviour of Jorge Melgar Quete, who was arrested on 13 October in Riberalta, in the northeastern department of Beni. Melgar’s commentaries on Beni’s Canal 18 TV station were just hate-filled rants against the indigenous origins of many Bolivians and the country’s democratically-elected president. In an opinion piece published in the dailies La Razón and La Prensa on 21 October, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard voiced outrage at the fact that the media were being used to express such views. For the same reason, as a warning, we are publishing on our website passages from “Nuestra Palabra”, a hate programme hosted by lawyer Luis Arturo Mendivil on Radio Oriental, a station he owns in the eastern city of Santa Cruz. Mendivil’s radio editorials glorify the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista, a radical Santa Cruz-based group that has carried out repeated physical attacks on state media such as Canal 7 TV and the Red Patria Nueva radio network because of their perceived support for the central government in La Paz.Against the “media war”The prefects of four departments that are seeking autonomy – Rubén Costas of the eastern department of Santa Cruz, Savina Cuéllar of the southern department of Chuquisaca, Mario Cossío of the southern department of Tarija and Ernesto Suárez of the northern department of Beni – reiterated their opposition to the new constitution on 13 January. That is of course their democratic right. But they have a duty to oppose any use of the media to incite hate or violence on their behalf, or any physical attack on media or journalists they do not like. The authorities and activists who support the government or the ruling coalition, such as La Paz’s Popular Civic Committee, must also respect this principle as regards the privately-owned media and those media perceived as pro-opposition. Comments by President Morales questioning the “dignity” of journalists elicited heated protests by journalists in La Paz on 15 December.Finally, the current development of new state-owned media, including a daily newspaper, has prompted fears of the emergence of a government-controlled press. Public media should not be used by governments to respond in kind to the attacks coming from part of the opposition press. But there is nothing illegitimate about the development of state media as long as their editorial independence is guaranteed. Against impunityThe dramatic surge in threats and physical attacks on the press during the political crisis caused Bolivia to plummet to 115th position (out of 173 countries) in the 2008 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index – a fall of 47 places from its ranking in the 2007 index. A significant factor in this fall was the murder on 29 March 2008 of Carlos Quispe Quispe, 31, a journalist employed by Radio Municipal Pucarani (in La Paz department).The trial of his alleged murderers has been postponed several times and has still not taken place. Similarly, Army 2nd. Lt. George Peter Nava Zurita and 11 other people have never been brought to trial after being charged with “terrorism” for the bombing of privately-owned TV station Canal 4-Unitel on 21 June 2008 in Yacuiba, in Tarija department. And no one has been brought to trial for the attacks on Canal 7 and Red Patria Nueva in Santa Cruz.So far, the only person to be sanctioned for physical attacks on the press is Adolfo Cerrudo, the head of La Paz’s Popular Civic Committee, who has been implicated in several incidents including threatening to rape a woman journalist employed by the daily La Razón in March 2008. Cerrudo was belatedly placed under house arrest on 14 November.The protection of civil liberties and the safety of journalists become empty words when violations are left unpunished. Justice should not be a question of ideology or political affiliation. And in this case it requires a dialogue between the government, the entire political class and journalists’ representatives. Such a dialogue has yet to take place.ConstitutionIt is not the job of Reporters Without Borders to evaluate of the entire constitution. That is the Bolivian people’s sovereign right in the referendum. There was, however, a controversy about article 108.2, which says: “Information and opinions expressed in the communications media must respect the principles of truth and responsibility.” At the request of six journalists’ organisations, a reference to media “self-regulation” was added to this article in October. Reporters Without Borders believes that such self-regulation is precisely what is entailed by media responsibility.Article 106.1 affirms “the right to communication and the right to information,” while 106.2 affirms “the freedoms of expression, opinion and information and the right to freely express ideas by any means of dissemination without prior censorship.” Finally, article 107.3 says “the media will not be able, directly or indirectly, to form monopolies or oligopolies” and commits the state not only to recognising but also to “promoting the creation of community media with equal conditions and opportunities.”The constitution complies with the inter-American system’s legal requirements and precedents but it does not settle the issue of how broadcast frequencies are allocated or the issue of access to government information, which is the subject of a much-discussed bill. One must be clear about this. Reporters Without Borders believes that a resumption of the “media war” would be prevented if respect for a single principle were made paramount – the principle of diversity of opinion and the free flow of ideas in all the media, whatever their tendency. The referendum campaign offers an excellent opportunity to show such respect. BoliviaAmericas Reporters Without Borders is posting an example of Bolivian hate media on its website as a warning amid the continuing political tension in the country. It consists of passages from the transcripts of editorials by lawyer Luis Arturo Mendivil on a Santa Cruz-based FM radio station in which he makes extremely racist comments about the country’s indigenous population. January 19, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 On eve of constitutional referendum, politicians and media urged to act responsibly Bolivian journalist hounded after accusing boss of sexual harassment to go further February 1, 2018 Find out more RSF_en June 12, 2020 Find out more Covid-19 emergency laws spell disaster for press freedom News News News Follow the news on Bolivia News Editor still unable to return to Bolivia after six months in exilelast_img read more

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Indonesia’s Pertamina begins trials on 100% palm oil biodiesel

first_imgThe latest trial follows the completion of 100% palm oil biodiesel trials on jet fuel at the end of December last year A Pertamina’s gas station in Indonesia. (Credit: Yoshi Canopus/Wikipedia) Indonesia’s state energy company PT Pertamina has commenced trials on diesel made completely out of palm oil at its Cilacap refinery on Java Island.The latest move follows completion of 100% palm oil biodiesel trials on jet fuel at the end of December 2020.Pertamina spokesman Hatim Ilwan quoted by Reuters as saying that the trials for the new diesel, dubbed Green Diesel, at the Cilacap refinery commenced on 09 January 2021 and is planned to be continued till 16 January of the same year.Ilwan was quoted by the news agency as saying: “This trial will continue until it is ready and safe to use as fuel that can be used by the community.”Indonesia is undertaking a mandatory biodiesel programme with 30% palm oil content, known as B30.The government, however, is mulling to increase energy production using the vegetable oil in order to reduce fuel imports.Due to the reduced fuel prices this year, the programme has become less economical. As a result, plans to increase the biocontent to 40% is being consider but funding issues are delaying the programme, the report said.Ilwan said: “The Green Jet Fuel meanwhile, uses refined, bleached and deodorized palm kernel oil (RBDPKO) or palm kernel oil.”Ilwan added that the facility will have the capacity to produce 3,000 barrels of the fuel per day in the early stages of commercial production.The capacity represents three time increase in the planned capacity for Dumai refinery in Riau Province where the company completed the first round of the trial, Nikkei reported.last_img read more

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BAVO to hold Green Dot crash course

first_imgThe Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) will host a Green Dot crash course session on Wednesday as part this week’s Green Dot Action Week programming.“Green Dot Action Week celebrates the impact Green Dot has had on our campus in the past ten years while also calling the Saint Mary’s community to action,” BAVO coordinator Liz Coulston said in an email. “Through Green Dot, we are sending the message that violence is not tolerated on our campus, and everyone in our community is expected to do their part to keep the campus safe.”The week aims to build community through events including a spa night and Wednesday’s crash course.“The biggest objective of the week is to share a little bit about Green Dot and how it helps strengthen our College community,” said Sarah Miesle, the sports information director, in an email.Miesle, who has led Green Dot training sessions for students as well as faculty and staff groups, will facilitate the event.The crash course session will differ from bystander trainings in its level of structure, to allow attendees to ask more questions and share more stories, Coulston said.“The crash course … is the only [event] of its kind this year, designed specifically for Green Dot Action Week,” Coulston said.Green Dot sessions occur in the forms of shorter overview sessions, which last less than an hour, and full bystander trainings, which last about five hours, Coulston said. Overviews are held several times throughout the year, depending on need and availability, but only one full bystander training will be held this year.“The biggest thing students can hope to learn at the crash course is that Green Dot is something that is super accessible to anyone and everyone,” she said.Green Dot actions don’t have to be attention-grabbing or dramatic, Miesle said.“It’s about being a good neighbor, a good friend and a good person. Because of that, Green Dot is something I truly believe in and hope that other people can believe in by attending these trainings,” Miesle said.Miesle said Green Dot is something that people should regularly think about. In her sessions, she compares it to studying for an exam — the content is practiced and considered so it can be properly applied.“We always hope that when someone comes to a Green Dot session of any type, they leave with a little more confidence in what it means to be a bystander and how they always have a way to help in any situation,” she said.The Green Dot crash course will take place in Spes Unica 134 at 7 p.m. No registration is required for this event. The full bystander training session will be held on Sunday Feb. 2, for which online registration is required.Tags: BAVO, Green Dot, Saint Mary’s 2015 valedictorian namedlast_img read more

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F1: Raikkonen Takes Monaco GP Pole, Hamilton 14th

first_imgKimi Raikkonen is on pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton took 14th at Formula 1’s biggest race. The 37-year-old Finn is at the front of the grid for the first time in nine years – his last pole was the 2008 French Grand Prix.Raikkonen edged out team-mate Sebastian Vettel by 0.043 seconds, with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas 0.002secs further back. Jenson Button will start from the back after qualifying ninth on his return to F1 because of a grid penalty. Hamilton struggled with a lack of grip, and had to abort two laps after almost crashing, and then came across another crashed car on his final lap. The Mercedes driver had been struggling since second practice on Thursday afternoon and, despite setup changes for yesterday morning, he was still struggling going into qualifying. He was 10th in the first session, 0.3secs off Bottas, but the second session began unravelling from the start.Meanwhile Ferrari face a dilemma. As their main title contender, Vettel will start as a strong favourite for victory today, but Bottas is in the same place on the grid as he was when he won in Russia a month ago. Ferrari have never said that Vettel has number one status but it is widely believed within the paddock that he does.Ferrari therefore face a conundrum – do they let the two drivers race and potentially have Raikkonen win, or engineer a situation that enables Vettel to take the flag and maximise his points gain against Hamilton, who is six points behind heading into the race?Raikkonen said: “We know what we are doing. We are racing for the team. We have certain rules. We are allowed to fight but we cannot take each other off. People expect it to be something different from the last two years. Nothing has changed. People just try to make a stupid story out of nothing.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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