Thursday, September 25, 2008

Recognition of The May 18 Memorial Foundation by California State Senate and City of Los Angeles, USA

Recognition of The May 18 Memorial Foundation by California State Senate

February 23, 2008

Recognition of The May 18 Memorial Foundation by the City of LA, USA

18 May 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Eleanor Roosevelt speech at United Nations GA plenary meeting, 1948

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (U.S.A., 1884 - 1962) Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and assumed a role as an advocate for civil rights. In the 1940s, she was one of the co-founders of Freedom and founded the UN Association of the United States in 1943 to advance support for the formation of the UN. She was a delegate to the UN General Assembly from 1945 and 1952. During her time at the UN she chaired the committee that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. source :

Fund Raising Initiative of PPDD (Thailand)

Dear Mr. Chanho,


Please see attached file for the pictures of some of the art works of Burmese artist activists working with Peoples Partner for Development and Democracy. This is in line with our fund raising initiative scheme for our school project here in the Thai-Burma border which actually the foundation has been helping.

Nest time we will be sending sample pictures of the art works of kids in the form of greetings cards. We would like to introduce this fund raising scheme to our network and partner organizations. I hope the foundation can help us on this and can promote this fund raising initiative. This is a product of our regular art workshops to develop the artistic abilities of the kids. We really want to make this fundraising successful to provide for the increasing needs of our school and of the kids at the school as well. We really need the support of our partners in this endeavor. Hopefully the people and the foundation as an organization will help us out on this as well.

We will be selling art works of our kids in the form of greetings cards and paintings. Also, we will be selling art works or paintings of Burmese artist activist. Sample pictures of their art works are provided. If in any case some people from the foundation, or the foundation itself and its network organizations based in Korea and abroad are interested to buy these art works, we are more than willing to send them to whoever will help us and will buy these art goods from us. This is also one way of raising awareness and campaign on the different issues that Burma as a country is facing.

We are re-building our website these days, in a matter of time, we will be uploading all these and people can refer to our website, maybe next month or in the next two months we will have our website redesigned and rebuilt. Anyway, hope to hear from you on this and thank you for all the support.

Warm regards,

Anna Malindog
Executive Director
Peoples Partner for Development and Democracy

The following art works are for sale. Please email Ms. Anna Malindog for prices (

The artist and his art works with prices:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Convention On Violence of the Invisible 9/11: Reflections on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1958

On 22nd of May 1958, the Government of India promulgated an ordinance called the Armed Forces Special Powers Ordinance to meet the challenges of an extraordinary situation arising out of the assertions of the Naga tribes in the then Naga Hills of Assam and parts of the then North Eastern Frontier Agency (NEFA). This ordinance was a copy from a similar ordinance promulgated by the colonial British on 15 August 1942 to suppress the uprising of Quit India Movement. It gave extraordinary powers to the members of the armed forces, such as arrest without warrant and shoot to kill on the basis of suspicion. The Parliament subsequently converted this ordinance, which was brought in as a temporary measure, into an Act on 18 August 1958, and the President gave his assent on 11 September 1958.

Thus, the unlashing of state’s violent power, or as some called State terrorism, that began on 22nd May 1958 was retrospectively reaffirmed on that fateful 9/11 as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act began its journey as a permanent instrument to treat the people of North East differently and violently. While the people of Punjab had the taste of the Act very briefly in 1980s, the people of Kashmir have been subjected under the same Act since 1990. But its first and real target, the people of the North East have been reeling under the violence and impunity of the Act continuously for the last 50 years.

While the two MPs from Manipur opposed the Act in the Parliament in 1958 itself, various organizations and individual persons had also challenged the legal and constitutional validity of the Act since the 1980s. However, after sitting over those petitions for almost 15 years, the Supreme Court took up a litigation by NPMHR, and after suggesting that the disturbed condition where the Act has been enforced is not due to arm rebellion and that it does not constitute a threat to the national security, it upheld the constitutional validity of the Act in 1997.

The numerous acts of human rights abuses under the Act came into the fore again in the gruesome murder of a young woman, Manorama by the security forces operating under the Act in 2004. The people of Manipur rose up not only against the murder but also against the Act, which was joined by various civil liberty organizations and concerned citizens from across the country and world. Ultimately, the PMO was compelled to institute the Reddy Committee to look into the matter and explore the possibility of substituting the AFSPA with a “more humane” Act. The Committee submitted its report on 6 June 2005 and recommended that the Act be repealed. Similarly the Administrative Reform Committee headed by Veerapan Molly also recommended the Act to be repealed on 25 June 2007. In February 2007 the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has called upon the Indian Government to ensure an immediate repeal of AFSPA. So far, leave alone repealing the Act, the Government has not even made the Jeevan Committee report public, though the Hindu has already leaked out the report.

Providing lip service to democracy and displaying deep rooted prejudices, many continue to encourage and defend the violence of the Act. As a result the people continue to suffer under it. While the struggle, including that of Sharmila who has been on fast for years, against the Act also continues, it is pertinent for us to reflect on what and why of this Armed Forces Special Powers Act in order to strengthen the struggle against this Act and its politics.

Thus, we are organizing a Peace Protest rally from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar on the violence of the Invisible 9/11 at 11 am on 11th Sept 2008 as a way to remind ourselves of the 50th year of its becoming a law on 11th Sept’ 1958 when the President of India gave his assent. As part of the memorandum we will be delivering 50 coffins addressed to the President of India.

50 years of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act



Violence of the Invisible 9/11

Reflections on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act

11 September 2008


Hotel Tampha, Imphal (Manipur)

Organized by

Just Peace Foundation


Inaugural Session (9:30hrs – 10:00hrs)

Welcome by Mr. Irom Singhjit, Managing Trustee, Just Peace Foundation (3 minutes)

Key Note Address: Dr. A. Bimol Akoijam

Chief Guest: Mr. Aribam Syam or Ratan Thiyam (8 minutes)

Guest of Honor: Mr. Elangbam Binoy Singh, President of the Manipur Olympic Association, (8 minutes)

President: Prof. Sadanand, The President of the Senior Citizens (8 minutes)

Vote of Thanks: Mr. Montu Ahenthem (3 minutes)

Tea (10:00hrs – 10:10hrs)

Session 1 (10:10hrs – 11:30hrs)

Constitutionality and Legality of AFSPA

Chair: Justice W.A. Shishak (retd.)

Speakers: Justice RK Manisana (retd.), Mr. R. Daniel, Ms. Nandita Haksar (36 minutes)

Discussant: Mr. Babloo Loitongbam (9 minutes)

Open Discussion (25 minutes)

Concluding Remark by the Chair (10 minutes)

Tea (11:30hrs – 11:40hrs)

Session 2 (11:40hrs – 13:00hrs)

Politico-juridical Foundations of AFSPA

Chair: Dr. A Bimol Akoijam

Speakers: Prof. K M Chenoy, Prof. Arambam Lokendra Pro. Ksh. Bimola (36 minutes)

Discussant: Mr. Pradeep Phanjoubam (9 minutes)

Open Discussion (25 minutes)

Concluding Remark by the Chair (10 minutes)

Lunch (13:00hrs-14:00hrs)

Session 3 (14:00hrs – 15:20hrs)

Civil Society Response to AFSPA

Chair: Prof. Arambam Loken

Speakers: Dr. Dhanibir Laishram, Mr. N. Krome, Mr. Lachit Bordoloi (36 minutes)

Discussant: Mr. Irengbam Arun (9 minutes)

Open Discussion (25 minutes)

Concluding Remark by the Chair (10 minutes)

Tea (15:20hrs – 15:30hrs)

Session 4 (15:30hrs – 16:40hrs)

Open Forum: Way Ahead

Chair: Prof Nabakanta

Lead Discussants: Dr. Lenin Raghuvarshi, Mr. Hijam Rajesh, R.K. Anand (36 minutes)

Observations from the participants (24 minutes)

Concluding Remark by the Chair (10 minutes)

Vote of Thanks: (16:40hrs – 16:45hrs)

Please Join our Final Protest Rally


Violence of the Invisible 9/11

50 years of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act

11 September 2008


11:00 am


Mandi House to Jantar Mantar

Organized by

AISA, Asha Parivar, The Othermedia, NAPM, Jagrati Mahila Sangathan, INSAF, Reachout,
Human Right Alert and JMI

RSVP: Sreeprakash - +91-9871880686
Jyotilal - +91 – 981877688
Surjit - +91-9971842187
Rojio - +91-9990157785
Faisal - +91-9313106745
Onil - +91-9818781767

foto source -

Monday, September 08, 2008

Remembering Munir…

There is an old adage that says "those who are brave enough to speak out in the face of death inspire the courage of others," This is how Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) remembers its former Chairperson, Munir Said Thalid in the commemoration of his fourth death anniversary as it joins hands in solidarity with his family, friends and colleagues in the human rights community in Asia and in other continents in the pursuit for justice against all forms of human rights abuses and impunity.

In its third book entitled, "Reclaiming Stolen Lives" launched on 29 August 2008, the eve of International Day of the Disappeared, AFAD revisited Munir's life and work through an article written by Mr. Chang Chiu. The article provides accounts of Munir's exemplary contribution to human rights and to the demand for accountability as part of the democratic transition of Indonesia.

Munir as he is popularly known, was the most fearless and outspoken critic of Indonesia's armed forces which committed gross human rights violations in Papua, Aceh and East Timor during the 32-year authoritarian of former Indonesian president Haji Mohammad Suharto. He became the powerful voice of the voiceless victims of human rights abuses as he championed their cause in and out-of-the-courtroom even in the face of intimidation and coercion, including death threats. After the fall of the Suharto government, Munir co-founded the Commission for Disappearance and Victims of Violence (Kontras) to help the families of democratic activists who were kidnapped and murdered by the military to know the truth and to seek justice. He also served as a member of IMPARSIAL, a commission created by the government to investigate the human rights violations in East Timor. It was during this period when he was elected Chairperson of AFAD, a Federation of human rights organizations working directly on the issue of enforced disappearances in Asia.

Read more here:


Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances
Rms. 310-311 Philippine Social Science Center Building
Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, 1103 Quezon City, Philippines
Telefax: 00-63-2-4546759; Telephone: 00-63-9170792-4958

Monday, September 01, 2008

Korean Candlelights in History

“The people make history,” often an empty rhetorical device in the mouths of politicians, helps highlight the meaning of recent protests. Looking at the “candlelight revolution,” I observe basic elements of the same form of direct-democracy that emerged in the 1960s. Apparently leaderless gatherings with open mikes bring participants from all walks of life rather than monologues from “prominent” individuals. Rotation of events’ organizers encourages the participation of many different groups rather than the stifling control of one “key” group. New sectors of the populace (from middle school girls to religious leaders to workers) have continually emerged to join in. Diverging tactics and multifarious slogans reveal inner tensions in the movement. Far from being reflective of weakness, these differences spring from diversity—and hence strength—a vibrant inner dialectic which motivates development and progress. The new form of protests empowers people directly.

I also detect the enacting of an “eros effect” in which apparently minor protests set off national crisis. The cyber activism of H-generation (Hyperspace) quickly mobilized the entire nation, transforming despondency with 2MB’s election into energetic struggle against him. Dozens of ordinary people were overnight turned into veteran activists. They criticize old-time activists who seek to frame their protests. Like all autonomous movements, they are independent of political parties and guard their precious autonomy by refusing to join any central organization. Rather than merging into old activist (undongkwon) circles, they use cyberspace to synthesize a new form of collective intelligence.

Read more here:

Irom Sharmila Video

Irom Sharmila is a young woman of Manipur who has been on a fast-to-death for nearly 7 years now. She has been demanding the removal of a brutal law from her land. Manipur is a north-east Indian state (bordering Myanmar), riven for decades by insurgency and armed separatist movements. The Government of India has attempted to control the situation militarily, granting drastic powers to the security forces. The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act enforced in the region lets people be arrested, shot and even killed - on suspicion alone. But Sharmila is willing to stake everything -- even her life -- to restore justice and dignity to her people.