Thursday, November 11, 2010

KNU Statement Condemning Election-Related Violence in Burma’s Border Areas

KNU Statement Condemning Election-Related Violence in Burma’s Border Areasby Karen National Union on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 9:16pm

KNU Statement Condemning Election-Related Violence in Burma’s Border Areas
10th November 2010

We, the Karen National Union (KNU), strongly condemn recent attacks by Burma’s military regime, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), on Myawaddy Town and several other locations in Burma’s border areas, where at least 3 civilians were killed, and more injured. These latest attacks are part of the SPDC’s systematic violence against Burma’s ethnic peoples.

The conflict in Myawaddy began on 7 November, the day of Burma’s first elections in 20 years, when civilians complained of being threatened and intimidated to vote for the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), rather than the local Karen party which was their preference. Brigade-5 of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) led by Colonel Saw Lah Bwe – who refused to transform to the Border Guard Force under the control of SPDC Army – took control of Myawaddy to protect these people, without using weapons. Col Saw Lah Bwe had said that he expected the SPDC Army to enter into negotiation to resolve the situation.


However, on Monday, the 8th of November 2010, at 9 a.m., the SPDC Army responded with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades, despite the presence of many civilians in the town. As a result, more than 25,000 civilians fled across the border into Thailand. This is in addition to the estimated 500,000 people already displaced internally due to SPDC Army attacks. These attacks are all part of the SPDC’s policy of eliminating ethnic opposition, including ceasefire groups that have refused to be under its direct control as a Border Guard Force, as required by their 2008 Constitution.

The SPDC has accused the KNU of carrying out these attacks. However, the KNU and DKBA Brigade-5 share the same policy not to hurt civilians but to protect them. The KNU supports the DKBA’s actions as they were taken in resistance to the SPDC’s elections that do not represent any progress towards creating a democratic federal union in which the ethnic people’s fundamental human rights would be protected. Instead, the regime’s elections have created more conflicts, instability and caused further suffering of our ethnic peoples.

We have repeatedly warned that these elections will not solve the human rights and humanitarian crises in Burma, but instead result in continued or increased repression and instability, and attacks on ethnic peoples will continue.

We, the KNU, earnestly urge the United Nations, the EU, and other international communities to reject the result of Burma’s sham elections and apply real pressure on the regime to stop the attacks on ethnic civilians, and follow the demands of the United Nations to engage with all stake holders in tripartite dialogue for the resolution of all political problems.

Supreme Headquarters

Karen national Union

Posted by:
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Anna Malindog
Founder/Executive Director
Peoples Partner for Development and Democracy (PPDD)
Mobile No.: +66 (0) 84 330 8550 (Thailand)
Mobile No.: +63 920 2255 161 (Philippines)
Website: http://armalindog.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

G20: A Threat to Peoples’ Economic and Political Rights!

8 November 2010

COLLECTIVE STATEMENT OF THE PEOPLES’ACTION ON THE G20-PHILIPPINES

G20: A Threat to Peoples’ Economic and Political Rights!

The G20 and its global economic agenda are an affront and a threat to people’s rights and welfare.

The detention and deportation of Filipino activists from Seoul and the harassment and intimidation of a number of other activists at the hands of Korean immigration authorities are manifestations of the undemocratic and anti-people nature of the G20 and further exposed the illegitimacy of this group of self-proclaimed caretakers of the global economy.

The protests and mobilizations in Korea of tens of thousands of people in clear defiance of the Korean governments security measures, is an indication of a clear disconnect between the agenda of the governments of the G20 countries and the interests and aspirations of their people.

The G20 Summit in Korea was supposed to address the issue of the growing gap between the rich and the poor in the wake of the global economic crisis. The G20’s prescriptions for economic recovery and development, however, anchored on the perpetuation of a flawed corporate driven, export-oriented development model would further exacerbate poverty and inequality and undermine social cohesion across the world.

The whole point of the Peoples Conference in Korea, and the reason why the deported Filipino activists came to Korea, is to articulate the peoples’ opposition and resistance to the G20 and to collectively discuss and put forward alternatives to the failed model of development that the G20 is so desperately trying to preserve.

We say NO to the G20 and the policies that continue to threaten jobs and peoples livelihoods, and erode workers’ rights and welfare;

We say NO to the G20 and policies that cause the expulsion and repatriation of migrants in the name of restrictive and Draconian migration policies and rules;

We say NO to the G20 and the policies that use women as safety nets in crisis, and is blind to the differential decision-making powers in the household and economy in general;

We speak out against the free trade agenda and the push of the G20 governments for more ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreements disguised as economic partnerships but are really instruments of economic domination and control by the rich over the poor within and across countries and regions;

We speak out against the development agenda of the G20 which threatens peoples’ right to food, destroys the environment, and perpetuates unequal access and control over natural resources in support of the profit-driven motives of corporations;

We say NO to the G20. It does not represent the interests of the peoples of the world and it cannot speak on our behalf.

We call on the peoples of the world to come together against the G20 and to intensify the struggle for a better and more just and peaceful world.

Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)
Aniban mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)
Peoples Partner for Development and Democracy (PPDD)
Focus on the Global South
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)
Jubilee South – APMDD
Kilusang Mangingisda
Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC-Friends of the Earth-Phils.)
Migrants Forum for Asia (MFA)
Task Force Food Sovereignty (TFFS)
World March of Women - Pilipinas
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)
Action for Economic Reforms (AER)
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)
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Posted by:
Anna Malindog
Founder/Executive Director
Peoples Partner for Development and Democracy (PPDD)
Mobile No.: +66 (0) 84 330 8550 (Thailand)
Mobile No.: +63 920 2255 161 (Philippines)

Statement of Condemnation of the South Korean Government’s detention and deportation of 6 Filipino Activists by Rep. Walden Bello

PRESS STATEMENT
For Immediate Release
7 November 2010


Statement of Condemnation of the South Korean Government’s detention and deportation of 6 Filipino Activists

Rep. Walden Bello, Akbayan (Citizens Action Party)

This representation condemns in the strongest terms the South Korean Government’s baseless decision to prohibit six Filipino activists, namely Josua Mata of Alliance of Progressive Labor, Joseph Purugganan of Focus on the Global South, Maria Lorena Macabuag of Migrant Forum Asia, musician/poet and Asian Public Intellectual Fellow Jess Santiago, Rogelio Soluta of the Kilusang Mayo Uno and Paul Quinto of Ibon Philippines, from entering South Korea and participating in the Seoul International People’s Conference organized by Put People First! Korean People’s G20 Response Action network.

Despite the fact that the said activists carried visas and other necessary documents to gain entry into South Korea, they were detained at the immigration office without any clear reason, and were refused the right to be represented by an officer from the Philippine Embassy in Korea. They had also been forcibly taken from the detention area to be deported back to the Philippines. Without providing any more reason for the detention and deportation, than saying the said activists were blacklisted, clearly, the government of South Korea’s use of force is unwarranted and excessive.

It is despicable for the South Korean government to bar Filipino civil society advocates from participating in the people’s summit on the G20. These activists came to South Korea with the intention of forwarding the real interest of the peoples from the developing world, interests that are often neglected in closed-door negotiations of the technocrats in the G20. More than the finance and banking officials at the G20 summit, these activists are the real representatives of the peoples of developing nations, the real representatives of the peoples from the grassroots whose lives and livelihood are most vulnerable to the G20’s economic decision-making. By suppressing the voices of the peoples from the global south, the South Korean government clearly proves that it does not represent the interests and welfare of the peoples of developing nations.

We cannot turn a blind eye to the South Korean government’s act of repression against Filipino nationals. This arbitrary act manifests a lack of respect for the Philippine government and the Filipino nation.

This representation thus urges the Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo to formally file a diplomatic protest against the South Korean government and demand an explanation for the use of unwarranted force against the six Filipino activists.


We also urge the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation to ban the entry of Korean citizens into the Philippines until the Korean government apologizes and allows the banned activists to enter Korea.

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Anna Malindog
Founder/Executive Director
Peoples Partner for Development and Democracy (PPDD)
Mobile No.: +66 (0) 84 330 8550 (Thailand)
Mobile No.: +63 920 2255 161 (Philippines)

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