Tuesday, December 18, 2007

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS -INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIP 2008

Dear friends and partners:

Greetings! Please find below our call for application for the 2008 International Internship Program. Please help us disseminate the information.

Thank you and good wishes,

International Cooperation Team

518interns@gmail.com

(please use this email addy when replying or in sending application)

CALL FOR APPLICATION

THE MAY 18 MEMORIAL FOUNDATION

INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

The May 18 Memorial Foundation was founded by Gwangju citizens, sympathetic overseas Koreans, and from individuals who sacrificed and got indemnification from the government. It was created on August 30, 1994 by people who believe it's important to keep the ideas and memories of the 1980 May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising alive and remembered.

The International Internship Program on Human Rights is a program of the Foundation created to contribute in the development of democracy and human rights throughout Asia. It is also an opportunity for interns to learn and experience the history and process of the development of human rights and democracy in South Korea. Specifically the purpose and aim of the program are the following: 1) To improve international solidarity and networking and 2) To promote Gwangju as Asia's Hub for Human Rights Movement.

The Foundation is looking for two interns who will serve for 10 months from March-December 2008. Applicants female or male should not be more than 25 years of age, with a minimum of 3 years NGO or social development work experience on the issues of human rights, democracy and peace. Must be proficient in English and working knowledge of Korean is an advantage. Must be computer literate (email/internet, blog/web page, lay-out/design, etc).

Living allowance will be provided to successful interns. Housing will be provided for free but utilities (telephone/internet, electricity, and gas) will be paid for by interns. The Foundation will pay for the round trip airfare of interns.

Please download the application form if you are interested to apply from any of these links/sites:

http://eng.518.org/main.html?TM18MF=B04&bc_table=ENG_NOTICE&form_act=V&bnum=38&page=1

http://themay18.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/call-for-application-2008-international-internship-program/

Deadline of application is on 15 January 2008. Short listed applicants will be emailed for an online/webcam interview through Skype or Yahoo messenger.

Visit our blogsite archive to learn more about the internship program – 518interns.blogspot.com


--
Chanho Kim
Director International Cooperation Team
Email: surnadal@hanmail.net
Mobile: +82 10 4462 6650

Contact info:
The May 18 Memorial Foundation
5.18 Memorial Culture Hall
Seo-Gu, Sangmudong 1268
Postcode 502-260
Gwangju, Republic of Korea
Phone: +82 62 456 0518
Fax. +82 62 456 0519
Email: may18interns@gmail.com
Website : www.518.org
Blogs: 518solidarity.blogspot.com
518interns.blogspot.com
518folkschool.blogspot.com

Call for Application - 2008 International Internship Program

Dear friends and partners:

Greetings! Please find below our call for application for the 2008 International Internship Program. Please help us disseminate the information.

Thank you and good wishes,
International Cooperation Team
518interns@gmail.com


CALL FOR APPLICATION
THE MAY 18 MEMORIAL FOUNDATION
INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

The May 18 Memorial Foundation was founded by Gwangju citizens, sympathetic overseas Koreans, and from individuals who sacrificed and got indemnification from the government. It was created on August 30, 1994 by people who believe it’s important to keep the ideas and memories of the 1980 May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising alive and remembered.

The International Internship Program on Human Rights is a program of the Foundation created to contribute in the development of democracy and human rights throughout Asia. It is also an opportunity for interns to learn and experience the history and process of the development of human rights and democracy in South Korea. Specifically the purpose and aim of the program are the following: 1) To improve international solidarity and networking and 2) To promote Gwangju as Asia’s Hub for Human Rights Movement.

The Foundation is looking for two interns who will serve for 10 months from March-December 2008. Applicants female or male should not be more than 25 years of age, with a minimum of 3 years NGO or social development work experience on the issues of human rights, democracy and peace. Must be proficient in English and working knowledge of Korean is an advantage. Must be computer literate (email/internet, blog/web page, lay-out/design, etc).

Living allowance will be provided to successful interns. Housing will be provided for free but utilities (telephone/internet, electricity, and gas) will be paid for by interns. The Foundation will pay for the round trip airfare of interns.

Please download the application form if you are interested to apply from any of these links/sites:

http://eng.518.org/main.html?TM18MF=B04&bc_table=ENG_NOTICE&form_act=V&bnum=38&page=1



http://themay18.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/call-for-application-2008-international-internship-program/

Deadline of application is on 15 January 2008. Short listed applicants will be emailed for an online/webcam interview through Skype or Yahoo messenger.

Visit our blogsite archive to learn more about the internship program – 518interns.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

518 Nominated to the OneWorld's Person of 2007

Ms. Anna Malindog, Executive Director of PPDD nominated The May 18 Memorial Foundation for the Oneworld's Person of 2007 - Nominate a Trailblazer, check out the link below:

http://oneworldus.civiblog.org/blog/_archives/2007/11/27/3377573.html#1052271

Thanks Anna for the nomination.

This is the call for the award:
OneWorld's Person of 2007 - Nominate a Trailblazer

Who do you think should be OneWorld's "Person of 2007"? Maybe it's someone who was working at the grassroots to bring change to their community or their country. Maybe someone working to improve governments' policies towards marginalized people. Or someone who raised issues that others were neglecting.

Al Gore came in second place last year, after a close vote where OneWorlders chose Dr. Rashad Zidan and the women of Iraq as the People of the Year, for "their tireless work to keep families together through the terrors of war." Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf certainly deserves some consideration this year for what she's done to bring stability to Liberia after years of war. What about Muhammad Yunus, the "father" of microfinance? Or Matt Flannery, the founder of kiva.org, which is bringing microfinance into the living rooms of the United States.

It doesn't have to be a single person either. Is there a corporation, an organization, or other group you'd like to nominate? The founders of Skype were nominated last year, for "helping connect people from all around the world." So was the town of Kinsale, Ireland, which has adopted a plan to wean itself off of fossil fuels. How about Bill Clinton? Hillary?

We'll leave it there. Now you tell us who you would nominate for OneWorld's Person of 2007 -- and why! Leave your nomination(s) in the comment fields below by Wednesday, December 19.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Please enquire about the death threats to Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi of the PVCHR

From: AHRC Urgent Appeals
Date: Dec 4, 2007 7:42 PM
Subject: INDIA: Human rights activist facing threats for reporting cases in Uttar Pradesh
To: pvchr.india@gmail.com


URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal



4 December 2007
------------------------------------------------------
UA-335-2007: INDIA: Human rights activist facing threats for reporting cases in Uttar Pradesh

INDIA: Threats to human rights activist; corruption; intimidation
------------------------------------------------------

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) regarding the recent threats to Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi, the convener of the PVCHR in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh state. It is reported that Dr. Lenin has been receiving calls over his telephone from unidentifiable telephone numbers threatening him that if the PVCHR continue reporting cases of hunger and starvation deaths from Uttar Pradesh state he will be shot dead and that the staff of the PVCHR will be implicated in false cases and the organisation forced to close down.

CASE DETAILS:

The AHRC has been contacted by Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi at 8:21pm Hong Kong time today that he has been receiving anonymous life threatening calls in his mobile phone since 4:45pm, Indian Standard Time (IST). The callers are reportedly threatening Dr. Lenin that he would be shot dead and that the staff of the PVCHR charged with fabricated cases and his organisation, the PVCHR, forced to close down since the PVCHR has been reporting cases of starvation deaths and malnutrition from the Uttar Pradesh state, India.

In the past two years the PVCHR has been instrumental in reporting cases of starvation and malnutrition from Uttar Pradesh, of which the case of Pritam, a three-year-old boy from Ambedkarnagar district of the state, who died from starvation on 25 November 2007, has been widely reported in the state as well as national media. Since the media started covering the news, the local staff of the PVCHR who has been working in the village where Pritam lived, Mr. Manoj Kumar, also has been receiving threats. For further details regarding this case, please see UA-333-2007.

Once the news regarding Pritam's death started coming out through the media, print and electronic, the other political parties in the state also have taken up the opportunity to sling dirt at the state administration. The state Chief Minister Ms. Mayawathi has appeared in all television news channels at about 1pm IST alleging that the cases reported by the PVCHR are false and inflated. The cases reported by the PVCHR are based on authentic documents, which also include medical certificates from local hospitals concerning the physical condition of each victim.

THE AHRC IS ALSO IN POSSESSION OF THESE DOCUMENTS AT OUR HONG KONG OFFICE, SINCE THE PVCHR FROM THE BEGINNING WAS EXPECTING THIS BACKLASH BY THE STATE ADMINISTRATION.

It is unfortunate that state administration is denying the cases reported by the PVCHR and the AHRC, instead of taking immediate actions against the corrupt government officers, who by criminal neglect in their duty, has pushed innocent children and poor persons to die from starvation in the state.

The AHRC is aware that the state administration led by Ms. Mayawathi has in the past has taken strict actions upon cases that were reported by the AHRC and the PVCHR, which has resulted in improvement of the living conditions of the poor and vulnerable communities in the state. The AHRC and the PVCHR expects that the state administration would immediately contact Dr. Lenin to assess the situation and would take all necessary precautions to safeguard the life and security of Dr. Lenin, the PVCHR and its staff.

For further information regarding some of the cases reported by the PVCHR in 2007 please see HU-002-2007, HA-004-2007, HA-005-2007, HA-006-2007, HA-008-2007, HA-009-2007, HA-010-2007, HA-011-2007, HA-012-2007, HA-013-2007, HA-014-2007 and HA-015-2007. For further cases please see the website of Urgent Appeals.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write to the authorities mentioned below expressing your concern about the incident and calling for an urgent intervention in the case. The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders calling for an intervention in this case.

To support this appeal, please click here:

Sample letter:

Ms. Mayawati
Chief Minister
Chief Minister's Secretariat, Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh
INDIA
Fax: + 91-522-2230002/2239234
Email: csup@up.nic.in

Dear Chief Minsiter,

INDIA: Please enquire about the death threats to Dr. lenin Raghuvanshi of the PVCHR

Name of the victim: Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi, Convener, the PVCHR, SA4/2A, Daulatpur, Varanasi district, Uttar Pradesh
Date of incident: November 4, 2007 at about 4:45pm (Indian Standard Time)

I am writing to express my concern regarding the case of Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi, the convener of a local human rights organisation based in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Dr. Lenin, as you might be aware, is the convener of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR). I am informed that at about 4:45pm, Indian Standard Time, Dr. Lenin started receiving anonymous calls on his mobile telephone threatening him that he will be shot dead and that fabricated cases would be registered against the staff of the PVCHR and that the PVCHR will be forced to close down since the PVCHR has been bringing shame to the state. It is unfortunate that you, as the Chief Minister of the state, have appeared on all major television channels alleging that the PVCHR and the AHRC has been reporting false cases from Uttar Pradesh just hours before Dr. Lenin started receiving anonymous threatening calls.

I am informed that the copies of the records like medical certificates of the victims of all the cases reported by the PVCHR from Uttar Pradesh has been also transferred to the AHRC office in Hong Kong for their verification and safe custody on a regular basis.

I am informed that the state administration in the recent past was in fact positively responding to all the cases reported by the PVCHR and the AHRC. I am also aware that, after the recent change in the state administration, in several cases the Chief Minister's office has directly intervened to resolve the issues of poor villagers whose cases were brought to the attention of your office by the PVCHR and the AHRC.

I hope that in this case too your office will positively respond, thereby taking all immediate precautions to ensure the safety of Dr. Lenin and the rest of the staff at the PVCHR. I am informed that the AHRC has already communicated this matter to the office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders calling for an intervention in this case.

I therefore urge you to take immediate steps through your office to ensure that:

1. A written complaint is recorded regarding the anonymous life threatening calls received by Dr. Lenin;

2. That the state administration will do everything legally possible to ensure the safety of the field activists of the PVCHR, and;

3. That the state administration will ensure that the work of the PVCHR in Uttar Pradesh state will continue unhindered.

I hope that you will take appropriate actions in this case at the earliest.

Yours sincerely,

---------------------

PLEASE ALSO SEND A COPY OF YOUR LETTER TO:

1. Ms. Veena Kumari
District Magistrate
Varanasi, Kachahari, Uttar Pradesh
INDIA
Fax: + 91 542 2501450

2. Mr. Shripad Sirodakar
Senior Superintendent of Police
Varanasi, SSP Office, Kachahari, Uttar Pradesh
INDIA
E-mail: sspvns@up.nic.in

3. Dr. Kashmir Singh
Inspector General of Police
Varanasi Zone
Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh
INDIA
E-mail: igzonevns@up.nic.in

4. Mr. Vikram Singh
Director General of Police
1-Tilak Marg, Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh
INDIA
Fax: + 91 522 2206120, 2206174
E-mail: police@up.nic.in

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrchk.org)
-----------------------------------------------

Asian Human Rights Commission
19/F, Go-Up Commercial Building,
998 Canton Road, Kowloon, Hongkong S.A.R.
Tel: +(852) - 2698-6339 Fax: +(852) - 2698-6367




--
Dr. Lenin (Ashoka Fellow)
Mobile:+91-9935599333
Please visit:
http://www.universalrights.net/heroes/display.php3?id=101
www.pvchr.org
www.webspawner.com/users/pvchr
www.pvchr.blogspot.com
www.sapf.blogspot.com
www.antiwto.blogspot.com
www.rtfcup.blogspot.com
www.dalitwomen.blogspot.com
www.lenin-shruti.blogspot.com

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/930408838

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Call for “Cancel One-semester Suspension of Lee Song Yong” Petition

Publish Post
Please support the call of DEMA !



Dear All,

DEMA had initiated an online petition on PetitionOnline. com that call for cancellation on one semester suspension of Lee Song Yong.

We calls upon the UPM to cancel the unreasonable punishment towards Lee, state the checking procedure of security guard and take action against the security officers who had abused their power.

We hope you could spend a moment and consider signing the petiton. Please take a look and support this online petition on

http://www.petitiononline.com/notoUUCA/petition.html


The petition is directed to Y. B. Dato’ Mustapa bin Mohamed (Higher Education Minister of Malaysia).

Thanks for your support.

Best Wishes,

Malaysia Youth and Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

VOTE 4 IROM SHARMILA - Unsung Hero



Sharmila has been nominated for the Indian of the Year award...It is given by NDTV and LIC. the polling has already started...

the last date being 1st December 2007.

you can vote here..

http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/poll_ioy2007.aspx

scroll down to unsung heroes category...

or

SMS in India : To vote for Irom Sharmila
sms I 29 to 56388
SMS in UK : To vote for Irom Sharmila
sms I 29 to 63880
SMS in UAE : To vote for Irom Sharmila
sms I 29 to 6388
Phone : Dial 5056388

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Peace Building in Manipur Examined



IMPHAL, Nov 17: Issues relating to peace building in Manipur, with particular emphasis on the role that the public and civil society must play, were thoroughly examined today in a one-day workshop held at the GM Hall, Imphal.

The workshop, `People`s Dialogue on Peace Building in Manipur from Religious and Civil society`s Prespective was organised by the People`s Initiative for Peace, Manipur.

Dr Lenin Raghuvamshi, joint winner of the Gwangju Human Rights Award 2007 along with Irom Sharmila, participated in the workshop, and in his address strongly emphasised the need to guarantee the full democratic and human rights of citizens for any peace process to be meaningful.

Dr Ksh Bimola, dean of social science, Manipur, gave the key note address, observing that the pain of conflict has been felt in Manipur for a long time, and the people of the state have a broad feeling that this should stop.

People don`t feel that violence arising out of conflict cannot bring any solution, and they feel that it is time to act and speak out for peace. The formation of the PIPM prompted by this need, she said, adding that the PIPM feels that not only the path of violence should be abandoned, but a real new start needs to be made for Manipur.

Various speakers, including Maulana Sayed Ahmed, Jameut-Ulma, Chand Thingmei, development secretary, Manipur Baptist Convention, Dr Hawlngm Haokip, president ALM, Prabhu Manamali, ISKCON, Pradeep Phanjoubam, editor, IFP, Laingam, secretary All Manipur College Teachers Association, and AK Kom, secretary, UCM, spoke on peace building in Manipur from different prespectives.

A draft declaration was adopted at the end of the meet, which took the stance that real and lasting peace can only be achieved by involving civil society directly in the peace process, and stressed the need to guarantee democratic and internationally agreed human rights of civilians, and give them the role they deserve in the peace process.

The declaration appealed to the political leaders in Manipur and the government of India to help stop violence and save the lives of the civil population, and strongly urged that military forces should work according to the legal framework of the country, and as well international treaties on humanitarian law.

It further urged all insurgent groups to prevent, and stop the violence in Manipur and look for alternative ways of responding to the demand and interests they want to represent.

It further appealed to all the people of Manipur to help prevent and avoid violence and speak out for peace and move forward for a process of building peace.

The declaration called for the repeal of the AFSPA, in conformity with the long-felt needs and demands of the people which is supported by the Justice Reddy review committee report.

It also took the stance that peace process should be started that includes all citizens of Manipur, and called for taking up a programs for demobilisation, disarmanent and rehabilitation. It also sought initiation of a support program for orphans, widows and women affected by violence, immediate and independent monitoring of the human rights situation in Manipur, and supported a free press, protected from corruption and violence.

It also stressed the importance of providing education for all, creation of employment opportunities, and guaranteed access to land, and called for a state-wide program to fight corruption.

It was stressed the need for inclusion of women in decision making bodies, and the development of a structure where all civil society can share roles and responsibilities for peace.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Observe 19th November as nation wide protest against continuation of AFSPA!!



From: NPMHR Delhi <npmhrlink@gmail.com>
Date: 14 Nov 2007 15:50
Subject: Observe 19th November as nation wide protest against continuation of AFSPA!!
To: NPMHR South <npmhr_south@yahoo.co.in>

Please join a protest on

19th November against AFSPA
outside Peary Lal Bhavan (ITO),

New Delhi

between 2 and 4 pm

Organized by

Manipur Students Association, Delhi (MSAD),

Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (MASS),

Naga People's Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR),

People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR)

NO MORE ARMY RULE!

DEMAND REPEAL OF ARMED FORCES (SPECIAL) POWERS ACT, AFSPA

FRIENDS,

  • Why is it that nearly 40 million people in North East and Kashmir live under army rule?
  • Why is it that in some parts, this army rule has continued unabated for nearly 60 years?
  • How can a country which boasts itself as the largest democracy justify army rule and continue to suppress its citizens?

Friends, Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act is a law which gives the state just such a license: a license to kill with impunity, to shoot at sight anyone on mere suspicion, to occupy or destroy any building, to enter any home and to arrest anyone without a warrant. A license that is available to even a non commissioned army officer of the lowest rank. And to take such action the officer needs no permission from a superior and is not answerable to anyone. And it is not easy to prosecute the security forces for offences as the Act provides immunity to them. Wherever such absolute power exists, those empowered turn criminal. So, rapes, torture, custodial deaths, enforced disappearances or fake encounters happen and happen repeatedly, precisely because guilty officials know that the law protects them.

Beginning in 1958 when it was enacted, today the Act covers most of North East and Jammu and Kashmir. Both the enactment and its long duration have been justified on the grounds that the North East and Kashmir are disturbed areas and therefore need a strong law to tackle militancy and insurgency. But consider for a moment the following:

  • Should peoples’ aspiration be dealt with militarily? More importantly, should the Indian state, or for that matter, any democratic state, demand subjection and loyalty at the point of a gun? Occupational rule is never just or desirable. And this is precisely what AFSPA does. Today, as many as 11 lakh security personnel are deployed in North East and Kashmir.
  • Coercion and military might, can and does suppress people and the extensive use of the AFSPA is proof of this. Be it the Oinam massacre in the 80s, operation Rhino in the 90s, or the Patharibal massacre and rape and torture of Manorama in this decade, army rule is accompanied with a history of heinous offences which no government can justify.
  • Besides killing and torturing ordinary civilians in the name of militancy, the brutality with which the forces treat families of militants is reprehensible. This is what the security forces are currently doing in Assam, Manipur and Tripura.
  • But political aspirations and convictions are not determined by length of the gun or strength of bullet. If anything, long-term army deployment alienates people instead of convincing them. Continuous protests by the Kashmiri people over widespread crimes committed by the security forces and the lack of any justice to the people against these crimes is a fact that the rest of the nation cannot deny. Protests over Manorama’s rape and murder by the Maira Paibis and the long agitation in Manipur, equally, tell us that army rule is not acceptable.
  • When political solutions are sought, if unaccompanied with sincerity on the part of the government, the possibility of lasting peace recedes. The decade long ceasefire between the Indian government and the Naga people has not meant either withdrawal of AFSPA or reduction in deployment of forces. As a result, the armed forces, have entrenched themselves even more firmly within Naga society.

People have protested against this infamous and draconian Act. People have protested time and again. Irom Sharmila’s heroic resistance in the form of hunger fast since 2000 is very well known. But why haven’t successive governments paid heed to these protests? Simply, because no government has genuinely engaged with the question of people’s aspirations. Moreover, all governments believe in the rule of the strong state. Therefore, by leaving the need of opposing AFSPA to only those who are affected by it, we will aid the present government in believing that there’s nothing wrong in using this draconian law.

There is only one-way: a united protest by all against AFSPA – for its unconditional repeal.

Observe 19th November as nation wide protest against continuation of AFSPA.

Oppose military rule in Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh

Support people’s struggles against military regimes

Manipur Students Association, Delhi (MSAD), Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (MASS), Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR)


Join protest dharna on 19th November against AFSPA outside Peary Lal Bhavan (ITO), New Delhi between 2 and 4 pm

REPEAL

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act -- AFSPA

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 (AFSPA) is one of the heinous draconian legislations that the Indian Parliament has passed in its history. In a brief discussion that lasted for merely three hours in the Lok Sabha and for a paltry four hours in the Rajya Sabha, the Parliament approved the Armed Forces (Assam- Manipur) Special Powers Act with retrospective from 22 May 1958.

Under this Act, all security forces are given unrestricted and unaccounted power to carry out their operations, once an area is declared ‘disturbed’. Even a non-commissioned officer is granted the right to shoot to kill based on mere suspicion that it is necessary to do so in order to ‘maintain the public order’. Section 6 of the AFSPA provides them with absolute impunity for all atrocities committed under the AFSPA. A person wishing to file suit against a member of the armed forces for abuses under the AFSPA must first seek the permission of the central government. This basically vests complete impunity to the armed forces.

This Act gives a complete carte blanche to the security forces and not surprisingly it has been severely abused and misused in various conflict areas of northeastern India. For example in Kohima in 1995, the Rastriya Rifles mistook the sound of a tyre-tube burst from their own convoy as a bomb attack and began firing indiscriminately in the town. The firing lasted for more than one hour, resulting in the death of seven innocent civilians (including two girls aged 3 ½ and 8 years old), 22 were also seriously injured.

Similarly, special anti-terrorist legislations like POTA and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2005 have created a politico-legal system that encourages abuse by security agencies. POTA was extensively abused to victimize the minorities and other marginalized sections of the society as is evident from its selective use against the accused persons in the Godhra case. At the time of its repeal, more than 500 cases of POTA were pending in Gujarat alone and all against religious minorities. It was also widely misused for political vendetta as demonstrated by the arrest of MDMK leader, Vaiko by the Tamil Nadu police on extremely flimsy grounds. It must also be noted that the cases registered under the Act subsist even after the repeal of the Act.

The UAPA Act, which came after the abolition of POTA, is a virtual replica of its infamous predecessors. It retains almost all the infamous provisions of POTA like the wide and open-ended definition of terrorism, and the provisions on terrorist organization and guilt by association. In addition, it has explicably added a new chapter on “terrorist organizations” when the original Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act had an elaborate framework for outlawing “unlawful organizations”. Such a declaration was to come into effect only after confirmation by a tribunal consisting of a high court judge. The absence of similar safeguards in the new statute is extremely critical and paves the path for several abuses.

The AFSPA has sparked widespread and repeated protests against its brutalities and abuses in various conflict areas. There were massive protest campaigns in Manipur in 2004 against the Act after the “rape and killing” of Ms Manorama Devi allegedly by the security forces. The Government of India tried to quell the mounting moral and political pressure by constituting a Committee to Review the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

In October 2006, the human rights community in India was surprised at the disclosure by The Hindu newspaper in which it reported that it had managed to secure a copy of report by Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (the Commission). The Commission, established by central government in November 2004, and headed by Retired Justice B.P. Jeevan Reddy, presented its report to the Government in June 2005. Since then the human rights community had tirelessly called for its findings to be released officially.

One positive aspect of the Commission’s recommendations is that the Commission calls for repealing the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). In addition, the Commission recommends that some of the excessive powers granted to the armed forces under AFSPA be abolished - for instance, the authority to use lethal force against any person contravening laws or orders “prohibiting the assembly of five or more persons”. The legislation proposed by the Commission also includes the “Do’s and Don’ts” attached to AFSPA, and rendered binding law by the Supreme Court, and which impose certain restraints on the behaviour and powers of soldiers deployed under the Act.

Armed Forces Special Powers Act must be understood as an instrument through which the Indian State has ignored political solutions to the questions of autonomy in the region and instead, resorted to increased militarisation to curb all such struggles. There is a need for the human rights community and civil society organizations to view the organic linkages between AFSPA and underpinning questions of impunity, militarization, and pervasive undermining of democracy in North East and Kashmir.

There is an urgent need to demand:

· Unconditional Repeal of AFSPA; and non-retainment of any part of the Act.

· Repeal UAPA

· Rigorously protect the civilian population from violent crimes, including terrorism, and prosecute suspected criminals within the framework of criminal law in conformity with international human rights law and standards;

· Unless war breaks out, ensure that the armed forces operate under strict control of civilian authorities, and are not granted any powers beyond those of civilian law enforcement agencies.

· Amend Section 19 of the Protection of Human Rights Act which prohibits the NHRC and State Human Rights Commissions from independently investigating allegations of human rights violations by the armed or paramilitary forces personnel.

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS NETWORK


Join protest dharna on 19th November against AFSPA outside Peary Lal Bhavan (ITO), New Delhi between 2 and 4 pm

Friday, October 26, 2007

Grantees Selected for the 2007 Grant for Democracy and Human Rights Projects in Asia (GDHRPA)

Congratulations to the six (6) organizations below chosen as grantee for the 2007 Grant for Democracy and Human Rights Projects in Asia.The selection was made by a committee after carefully assessing the merits of the submitted proposals.Memorandum of Understanding will be sent to the grantees to seal approval to the the terms and conditions of the grant.

The 2007 Grant for Democracy and Human Rights Projects in Asia (GDHRPA) supports work that contributes to promoting Democracy and Human Rights and building of international solidarity. The grant is awarded to non-government organizations in Asia who continually play a significant role in strengthening people’s participation and empowerment in creating a civil society that respect human rights and protect democracy and peace and encourages international solidarity.

2007 Grant for Democracy and Human Rights Projects in Asia
List of Grantees

a) Short-term grant - 2 organizations will be supported for specific project, which is up to
one year term ₩3,000,000.00 (single tranche)

WSCF AP Human Rights Defenders (HRD) Manual
World Student Christian Federation Asia Pacific (WCSF AP)
Hong Kong, SAR
Necta Montes Rocas (Regional Secretary)

Bringing CEDAW to the People: A Public Education Project on the CEDAW Convention and Issues Relevant to Women in Singapore
AWARE - Association of Women for Action and Research
Tashia Peterson (CEDAW Coordinator)

b) Mid-term grant - 2 organizations will be supported for specific project, the project can be
implemented for 2 years ₩2,500,000.00 per year (single tranche) or Total of KRW 5,000,000.00

Our Rights: Foundation of Human Development and the Future
TFDP - Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
Quezon City, Philippines
Sr. Crescencia Lucero, SFIC (Exec. Director)

Alternative Education and Community Development for Displaced Children along the Burmese border, Mae Sot
Bangkok, Thailand
People's Partner for Development and Democracy (PPDD)
Anna Malindog (Executive Director)

c) Organizational grant - 2 organizations will be supported for their operating expenses for
specific project, the project can be implemented for 2 years ₩300,000/monthly for 2 years
or Total 7,200,000.00

Forwarding Democracy and Equality by Building Capacity of University Students in Malaysia
Malaysia Youth and Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)
Ooi Tze Min ( Sec. of Administration)

Forwarding Rights and Democracy by Building Capacity of Communtiy-based Youth in Malaysia
EMPOWER
Maria Chin Abdullah (Director/Pres)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

2007 Grant for Democracy and Human Rights Projects in Asia

Announcement!
2007 Grant for Democracy and Human Rights Projects in Asia


Background

The May 18 Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization established on August 30, 1994 by the surviving victims of the 1980 Gwangju Democratic Uprising, the victims, families, and the citizens of Gwangju. The Foundation aims to commemorate and continue the spirit of struggle and solidarity of the May 18 Uprising, contribute to the peaceful reunification of Korea, and work towards peace and human rights throughout the world. Since its establishment, the Foundation has carried out numerous projects in varying fields, including organizing memorial events, establishing scholarships, fostering research, disseminating public information, publishing relevant materials, dispensing charity and welfare benefits, building international solidarity, and awarding Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. The International Cooperation Team (ICT) undertakes the Foundation's international solidarity work throughout Asia and implement this project.

Description

The 2007 Grant for Democracy and Human Rights Projects in Asia (GDHRPA) supports work that contributes to promoting Democracy and Human Rights and building of international solidarity. This grant shall be awarded to non-government organizations in Asia who continually play a significant role in strengthening people’s participation and empowerment in creating a civil society that respect human rights and protect democracy and peace and encourages international solidarity.

Three types of funding are available: (US$ 1 = KRW 918.40, as of 11 October 2007)

Term

Description

Amount

a) Short-term grant

2 organizations will be supported for specific project, which is up to one year term

3,000,000 (single tranche)

b) Mid-term grant

2 organizations will be supported for specific project, the project can be implemented for 2 years

2,500,000 per year (single tranche) for 2 years

c) Organizational grant

2 organizations will be supported for their operating expenses for specific project, the project can be implemented for 2 years

300,000/monthly for 2 years



Other Information

In the past The May 18 Memorial Foundation have been supporting organizations with a yearly support amounting to ₩300,000 for the last two years. Those organizations includes:
• Asia NGO Center in Philippines.
• Advocacy Forum in Nepal.
• YPKP in Indonesia.
• PPDD in Thailand.

The National League for Democracy in Korea was given support for ₩200,000 yearly.

Focus

For this year the GDHRPA funding shall focus on the following:

• Publication, Education, Training and Research in the field of Democracy and Human Rights in Asia.
• Peace, Conflict Resolution, Women’s Rights, Children’s Rights, Labor Rights in Asia.
• Database and Net-work building.

Eligibility

• Applications only for the new project are eligible.
• Organizations or institutions who have been working on the above field for more than 3 years (applications from GO are not eligible).
• Eligible projects are those based in Asia.
• Organization grant is not available for individuals.
• Projects should not receive funding from other source (the foundation discourages co-founding from other funding sources).

Qualification

Applicants need to be able to demonstrate that their organization:
• is duly registered, has a constitution/by-laws, a clear management structure, efficient and effective financial control or systems.
• existing program on Democracy, Peace and Human Rights.
• demonstrate the capacity to effectively monitor project implementation, come up with regular evaluation and accomplishment (outcomes, output, and impact) reports once a year.


Application Procedure

2007 Grant for Democracy and Human Rights Projects in Asia will be closed on 19 October 2007. Related documents should be submitted as follows:

• Application Form (refer to the attachment).
• Project Proposal
• Financial or Accounting and Audit System (Internal or External Audit).
• Record of Funds for the last 2 years.
• Organizational profile, brochure and other related documents.

Application for funding must be submitted by post or e-mailed to may18found@gmail.com. Selected applicants will be informed on 24 October 2007. Insufficient application will not be accepted.

Contact Information

Mr. Chanho Kim
Director International Cooperation Team
The May 18 Memorial Foundation
may18found@gmail.com
surnadal@hanmail.net
Mobile: +82 10 4462 6650
The May 18 Memorial Foundation,
518 Memorial Culture Hall,
Postcode 502-260
Sangmudong Seo-gu, 1268
Gwangju, Korea Republic

Click link to download application form:
http://eng.518.org/main.html?TM18MF=B04&bc_table=ENG_NOTICE&form_act=V&bnum=34&page=1

Friday, October 05, 2007

Blogging Thency's Email - The RED STRINGS

Dear all,

Warm greetings....hope everyone is doing well and in the best of health.

Earlier today, in one of my yahoo groups I came across an email from someone who felt that the circulation of emails, regarding Burma and requests for others to send e-mails urging the concerned parties to take some action with regards to the situation in Burma as spam. I wonder if anyone else feels like this.....I must say that email and the way it was worded kind of shook me.

I mean if you think it's spam, don't pass it on..... Oh well...I guess everyone has their own reasons for reacting the way that they do....Has anyone here come across reactions like that?

On a different note.....there is something I would like to share......I do wonder sometimes if some of the things we do can actually make a difference......but then....I just feel that you know if an action no matter how small....can give people a sense of solidarity and people want to do it...and no one is being harmed then why not......

So on that note...I came across this group that has initiated this action of wearing red solidarity strings as a show of support and solidarity. I thought I'd just pass it on. No compulsion here.... :) It's okay if you are unable to join this or if it's not your cup of tea...but do pass this on to others who might be interested......Thanks a million.......

lotsasunshineluvhugsmuacks,
thency

ps : sorry for crossposting :P

<<>>

Why Red Strings?
═══════════
***************
In the Buddhist tradition, wearing a monk-blessed string around the wrist is for a blessing or for good luck. We would like people to show support for the monks and people of Burma by wearing red string bracelets as an enduring symbol of the struggle for Burmese freedom. We chose red because it is similar to the color of the monks' robes and because it is the color already associated with this movement.


How Can I Participate?
═══════════════
********************

PLAN A: Bring string to your local temple and ask the monks to bless it. Tell them why and offer a donation, if you can. Be sure to bring enough for your friends!

PLAN B: The website rhttp://www.redstringsforburma.org will soon be available where you can order a blessed string, if you cannot access a temple yourself.

Traditionally, the ritual involves one friend tying the string around another's wrist with a blessing or a wish. The blessing lasts as long as the bracelet, so you wear the bracelet until it falls off, You can give away as many as you desire and you can receive all that are offered. Most importantly, keep it red for solidarity and remember to tell people why you are wearing it -spread the word!


What If I Can't Find A Temple?
══════════════════════
*****************************
Find the nearest temple at http://www.buddhanet.net/wbd/


Some Simple Guidelines:
*************************

**Please, do not wear the string as an anklet as this is disrespectful in Buddhism.**

**For the same reason, please remember to remove your shoes before entering a temple.**

**Everyone: show respect to the monks' "higher" status in Buddhism by remaining lower -if they are sitting, you must not be standing**

**Try to wear bracelet on your right wrist so as not to confuse with kabbalah**

Show Your Support for the Monks!

Thanks everyone who helped with the idea,
cheers! Kim McConnell

Global protests call for UN Security Council action on Burma/Myanmar

Media Release: Embargoed until 00:01 Saturday 6th October

(includes advisory details for international events)

Global protests call for UN Security Council action on Burma/Myanmar:

Thousands/Hundreds expected on streets of YOUR CITY

Tens of thousands of campaigners are expected to take to the streets of capital cities around the world today (Saturday), including YOUR CITY, to call for urgent UN action on Burma/Myanmar.

The campaigners are standing in for the monks under arrest and those who would be shot if they tried to protest in Burma/Myanmar.

“Our friends and families in Burma cannot take to the streets so today we will do it for them. We may be far away but that does not mean we are powerless - we must speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and keep the world’s attention focussed on their plight,” said Myo Thien, a Burmese refugee who fled the country in 2003.

Protests will start at 12-noon in dozens of countries around the world and on five continents (for a list of events and contact details please see editor’s notes).

The international day - supported by the Burma Campaign, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Trade Union Congress, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Avaaz, the US Campaign for Burma and hundreds of other groups - is calling for UN Security Council action to address the crisis.

Campaigners are also urging the international community to do more to keep the pressure on the Burmese/Myanmar government until the military crackdown ends and all political prisoners are released.

“Because the media pictures have gone and we can’t see what’s happening does not mean the crisis has ended, far from it. Now is the time we need to draw attention to what’s happening behind closed doors or atrocities will increase. Today we’re saying we haven’t forgotten you, we are watching,” said a spokesperson for the campaign.

Around the world campaigners will wear red headbands in solidarity with the monks under arrest and tie these onto government buildings, religious shrines or key landmarks to signify the thousands of lives currently hanging in the balance.

In INSERT YOUR CITY, the day of action will be INSERT DETAILS OF YOUR EVENT (This should include times, location and an explanation of the photo opportunity)

“The NAME government must do more to end this crisis. The media pressure may have decreased but the people of YOUR COUNTRY are saying we expect you to act to end the violations of basic human rights,” said INSERT LOCAL ORANISERS NAME, who is organising the INSERT CITY events.

Editors Notes:

For more details or interview please contact:

INSERT YOUR COUNTRY: YOUR PHONE NUMBER


Country, City

Event

Start Time. [Date is 6th October unless stated otherwise].

Contact: Phone/Email

AUSTRALIA,

Melbourne

Bring banners, placards,

saffron colored shirts.

12.00

Amnesty International Australia + 61 2 92 17 76 00

www.amnesty.org.au

For all others:

Australian Burmese Network

+61 (0) 422463178

AUSTRIA, Vienna

Rally: Monk Gyosei Masunga will 'play the drums - for peace in Burma' at Stock im Eisen (near Stephansplatz). Wear red

12.00

Austrian Burma Campaign

+43 (0) 699 1000 7645

BELGIUM, Brussels

March at Place de la Liberté.

12.00

Amnesty International Belgium (fr)
+ 32 2 538 81 77
www.aibf.be

Arnaud Collignon acollignon@aibf.be


Clarence Jameson cjameson@aibf.be

CANADA,

Toronto

Candlelight vigil and march which will begin in front of the China Consulate.

12.00

Mynthura Wynn: 416-533-3656 or C: +! 416-882-3868, Ulla Laidlaw: +1 416-605-2588, Carol Lee:+1 647-588-9758

CHILE,

TBD

TBD

TBD

DENMARK, Copenhagen

Rally at Chinese Embassy

10.00,

5th Oct

TBC

FRANCE, Paris

Rally at Parvis des droits de l'homme du Trocadero

12.00

Vassaly Sitthivong contact details to follow.

GERMANY,

Berlin

TBD

TBD

TBD

HONG KONG

TBD

TBD

TBD

INDIA, Bangalore

New Dehli

Pune

March

March

March

12.00

12.00

18.00

Dr. Zawwin Aung

Burmese Trade Union Leader

+91 9871 578 569

drzawwinaung@gmail.com

IRELAND, Dublin

Rally with flowers at O'Connell Bridge

12.00

+353 1 286 0497

JAPAN

TBD

TBD

TBD

LUXEMBOURG

TBD

TBD

TBD

MALAYSIA,

Kula Lumpur

Rally at KLCC (entrance near the Menara Maxis)

20.00 5th Oct

Moon Hui and K. Shan + 60 3-77843525, +60 3-79552680

suaram@suaram.net

MONGOLIA, Sukhbaatar

Multi-faith rally

11.00

Amnesty International Mongolia
+976 11 324 705
www.amnesty.mn

NEW ZEALAND,

Wellington

Rally at Civic Square

12.00

Andrea Valentin avalentin@business.otago.ac.nz

Amnesty International NZ
+ 64 4 499 3349
www.amnesty.org.nz (for Christchurch and Dunedin)

NETHERLANDS

TBD

TBD

TBD

NORWAY, Oslo

Demonstration, wear red

12.00

Kathrine Sund, contact details TBD

SOUTH AFRICA, Cape Town

Rally at the Company Gardens

12.00

Craig Ackermann widebluecraig@gmail.com

SOUTH KOREA, Seoul

Rally at Burmese Embassy

12.00

TBD

SPAIN, Barcelona

Day of Action for Burma

12.00

Concha Pinós birmaniaporlapaz@yahoo.es

+34 639419772

birmaniaporlapaz@yahoo.es

http://birmaniaporlapaz.blogspot.com/

SWEDEN, Umea

Rally at Mimerskolans Bollplan

12.00

Markus Maunula, info@burmakommitten.org

+46 47 22 47 92 37

SWITZERLAND, Geneva

Rally at 1242 Satigny

12.00

Assoc. Suisse-Birmanie

+41 12-13564-9

asboffice@bluewin.ch

THAILAND, Bangkok

TBD

TBD

TBD

TAIWAN, Taipai

Rally at National Taiwan Democracy Hall, wear red

12.00

Peter Dearman

dearpeter@gmail.com

USA,

San Francisco

Washington DC

Justin Herman Plaza

March from Burmese-

Chinese- Indian embassies

12:00

TBD

Thelma, Campaigns Coordinator

U.S. Campaign for Burma

1444 N Street, NW, Suite A2

Washington, DC 20005

Tel: (202) 234 8022

Fax: (202) 234 8044

Web: www.uscampaignforburma.org

UK,

London

March with monks from Tate Museum, wear red

11.00

Gemma.mortensen@crisisaction.org

+44 (0) 20 7324 4748,

+ 44 (0) 7791 586 211

Mark Farmaner The Burma Campaign UK

+44 (0) 7941 239 640, +44 (0) 207324 4713


ENDS

Video