Letter from Barry Pittard to the
President of the UN Association of Australia



From: Pittard, Barry

To: margaret.reynolds@bigpond.com

Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2002 2:48 PM

Subject: Seeking a Human Rights path, re Sathya Sai Baba

To:  Professor Margaret Reynolds, President, United Nations Association of Australia.

Dear Margaret,

In addition to my Open Letter to the Indian Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, which I sent you earlier today, I include some further salient documents, which state some key allegations against Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, India.  Before anything else, it is worthwhile looking at:


which some colleagues and I have written, and gets, I think, to the much of the kernel of the matter.

The UNESCO Media Advisory which a small group of us obtained after some hard campaigning is included below or found on:


(but is not there anymore, but on Bibalex org we can still find the UNESCO Media Advisory).

I shall grant the importance of getting a conviction of Sathya Sai Baba in India.  However, we have vast difficulty in this regard because of endemic corruption obtaining there, especially in the case of one so uniquely powerful and influential as Sathya Sai Baba, whom extraordinary numbers in the highest power echelons regard as God fully incarnate and here to save the world.

I have taken a brief look at some of the U.N. Human Rights polity about signatories, designated as 'state parties.'  To be sure, India appears not to be a signatory in one area where I thought we may be able to pursue Sathya Sai Baba.  However, for all I know, perhaps India may be going to become a signatory, and I don't want to be ignorant of such an occurrence, and any moves towards it, if our case were to be served by such changes. 

I really need to be in touch with someone who knows the U.N. Human Rights policy area and practice with a sharp sense of what is static and what is changing in UN HR polity in ways that may plausibly serve our case.  If there are any less obvious but still viable ways to pursue a HR path to pursue Sathya Sai Baba then I certainly wish to know about them.

One possibility that has occurred to me is that, whatever may be the case in other areas, it may be possible to get the U.N. to ensure that the seriousness of the worldwide allegations against Sathya Sai Baba is sheeted home to U.N. officials from India and other countries who continue to support, visit, worship as the Avatar or as a saviour, meet for worship at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and in some cases publicly extol Sathya Sai Baba.  I wonder if there are ways of doing this.

I shall be glad to have your insights and assistance,

Barry Pittard, Queensland, Australia.  Phone:  07 5442 9597 

Media Advisory


Paris, September 15 - UNESCO has decided it will no longer sponsor nor take part in a conference it had been due to co-organize with the Institute of Sathya Sai Education (ISSE, Thailand) and The Flinders University Institute of International Education (Australia), in Puttaparthi, India, from September 25 to 29. The decision means UNESCO is no longer associated in any way – through sponsorship, organization or participation of any kind – with the conference on Strengthening Values Education: Innovative Approaches to Teacher Education for Peace and International Understanding.

UNESCO’s withdrawal was prompted by several factors. Certain decisions were taken by the ISSE without consultation, such as plans to hold some of the sessions at the Ashram of the Sathya Sai movement in Puttaparthi, and the inclusion of some speakers in the conference program without their previous consent. Furthermore, the Organization is deeply concerned about widely-reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been leveled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba. Whilst it is not for UNESCO to pronounce itself in this regard, the Organization restates its firm moral and practical commitment to combating the sexual exploitation of children, in application of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires States to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and violence.



Answer from Margaret Reynolds,

President of the UN Association, Australia



----- Original Message -----

From: Margaret Reynolds

To: Pittard, Barry

Sent: Sunday, October 06, 2002 6:20 PM

Subject: Re: Seeking a Human Rights path, re Sathya Sai Baba

Dear Barry,

Thank you for your representations.

I have forwarded them to the secretariat of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in Delhi for action.

With thanks




Reply from Barry Pittard to Margaret Reynolds,

President of the UN Association, Australia



Some delicate passages have been omitted...

----- Original Message -----

From: Pittard, Barry

To: Margaret Reynolds

Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2002 3:02 PM

Subject: Re: RE: Seeking a Human Rights path, re Sathya Sai Baba

Dear Margaret,

Thanks so much for forwarding to the Director, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in New Delhi, Maja Daruwala

Maja has it right: 

I think it is all probably true; certainly the stuff about the murders and the subsequent investigation is also true. What to do about it I don’t know. He has a huge following; the criminal justice system runs on the signals from ruling politicians and the ruling classes many of whom are Sai B worshippers. Even left to itself it is pretty defunct. I am sure there are plenty of people with Sai B who are feathering their nests and worse; I am not sure he is not one of them himself. But his philanthropy is legend and why not the money he is gifted daily is also legend and also unaccounted for from what I know – so its hard to think of going up against the guy but the media could be alerted especially if there were an investigative story abroad the wires and the television would pick it up.


Margaret, please link me with some very well-informed creative U.N. thinkers, and feel welcome to remain in the loop.

Best Regards,

Barry Pittard