Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Zealand tags CPP-NPA international terror organizations

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 12, 2010) – New Zealand has blacklisted the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, adding the two organizations in its international terrorist groups.

The CPP and NPA were among six other international terrorist groups – Indian Mujahideen, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the military wing of Hamas (Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades), the Real Irish Republican Army, the Continuity Irish Republican Army and Hizbollah's military wing (the Islamic Resistance) – that have been designated under New Zealand's Terrorism Suppression Act.

Prime Minister John Key said the designations help implement New Zealand's international obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373, which aims to prevent the activities of terrorists.

He said all seven entities had carried out terrorist acts, including the indiscriminate killing of civilians.

"As a result of the designations, any assets held by the groups and found in New Zealand, either now or in future, will be frozen, and it will be a criminal offence to deal with property, or make property or financial services available, to the entities," Key said.

Under New Zealand’s Terrorism Suppression Act, other support such as fund-raising and recruiting or harboring terrorists is a criminal offence, regardless of whether a group is designated as a terrorist entity or not.

Key said the designations were part of the New Zealand’s support for the building of an international defense against terrorist activities. Nearly 500 terrorist groups and individuals are now listed in New Zealand.

The CPP and the NPA are fighting for decades for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. Philippine authorities have repeatedly accused the two organizations of terrorism and murdering innocent civilians suspected of spying for the government or those who refused to join the rebel group in the provinces.

There were no immediate statement from either the CPP or the NPA, or the Philippine military about the designations, but rebels are expected to condemn the terror tag, which came as Manila proposed to resume peace talks with communist leaders.

Peace talks between Manila and the CPP collapsed in 2004 after rebel leaders accused then President Gloria Arroyo of reneging on several agreements, among them the release of all political prisoners in the country and for the government to put a stop to extrajudicial killings victimizing political activists.

The communist insurgency in the Philippines, the longest in the world, had killed hundreds of thousands of people during the last four decades. The United States and European Union have previously tagged the CPP and the NPA as international terrorist organizations. (Mindanao Examiner)

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