Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Statement of the Peoples Global Action (PGA)

Statement of the Peoples Global Action (PGA) on the Unjustified Revocation of the Issued-Permit to Hold Parallel Events during the 2nd Global Forum on Migration and Development
October 17, 2008

We, the organizers of the People’s Global Action on Migration, Development and Human Rights, are outraged by the revocation of our permit to hold activities from October 22 – 30, 2008 at the Rajah Sulayman park, a public space, as parallel events organized by migrants, advocates, and other civil society organizations, to the forthcoming 2nd Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). The Manila City government had issued a permit for the use of the park last June 25, 2008 only to revoke it on October 2 on the recommendation of Manila Police District. It was conveyed to the PGA by fax on October 6, 2008 and was affirmed with finality on October 16, 2008 during our meeting with PNP PNP-NCRPO Regional Director Jefferson Soriano and Manila Police Department Director Roberto Rosales . We do not accept the so-called alternative venue that has been offered to us, the Mehan Garden / Bonifacio shrine, for doing so would mean accepting the further exclusion of migrant workers and their advocates from the global discussions at the 2nd GFMD which will take place at the PICC that would ultimately affect their plight.We recognize the GFMD in the Philippines as an event that can open opportunities for migrant workers and their advocates to meaningfully contribute to the current global discourse on migration and development. The People’s Global Action is planned to be organized in and around Rajah Sulayman Park, events open and visible to the public at-large and to the GFMD delegates themselves. Foreign and local dignitaries, such as Sharan Burrow of the Chairperson of the Civil Society Day of the 2nd GFMD and the First President of the UN Human Rights Council, Ambassador Luis de Alba of Mexico. Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim among others are scheduled to address our activities The PGA is a demonstration of global cross-border solidarity among migrant workers and their advocates that is peaceful and legitimate. We had welcomed the issuance of our permit last June 25, a result of a transparent and aboveboard process of dialogue with city officials. To say that we are disappointed by its revocation at this late hour, is to say the least. The stated official reason for the last-minute revocation of the permit – and that is, that our ranks will be ‘infiltrated by the leftists’—is a flimsy reason without basis, and no more than the usual standard excuse whipped out by authorities when no other reasonable justification could be produced. The revocation of our permit is most unreasonable, and we cannot but view it as an extension of the national government’s policy of continued denial of migrant workers’ rights and the citizens’ rights to freedom of expression. Moreover, we believe it also reveals the increased anxiety of the national government and the forces of neo-liberal globalization in the light of the unfolding global financial crisis and its impending impact on the situation of migrants worldwide. The revocation of our permit signifies another act of ‘management’, also known as ‘control’, as in ‘the management of migration’ which now dominates official global discourse on development, but without substantive consideration for migrants’ rights and of the fundamental issues that underlie the so-called pursuit of development. We believe that migration should not be viewed merely as a problem or crisis to be ‘managed’; migrant workers and other citizens are not commodities to be traded, nor objects and statistics to be ‘managed’. In this moment of heightened insecurities among migrant workers and their families, especially in the face of the global financial crisis, the best policy on the part of governments would have been to extend a hand of assurance and demonstrate genuine openness to listen to the voices of those who would most likely suffer its adverse impact. Instead, we are witness to the further suppression of the voices of the migrant workers and the curtailment of our rights and freedoms. We cannot respond to this latest development with silence. We will continue to demonstrate the solidarity among migrants, migrant workers, their advocates, and all those concerned about development and democratic rights – a solidarity forged across borders and tempered by our common struggles and shared vision for a world that is more equitable and a future that is more sustainable and inclusive to all.

Sgd. Members of the Peoples Global Action

Contact Person:

Ellene A. SanaExecutive Director, Center for Migrant Advocacy Member, PWGTelephones: 920-5003; 433-0684Cellphone: 0917 448 1464

Friday, October 17, 2008

2nd Sweden-Asia Forum

The 2nd Sweden-Asia Forum gathered representatives of progressive parties and solidarity movements that have been working on representing marginalized constituencies and are active in programmatic party-building efforts.
This year's conference took place in Manila, Philippines from 9 to 11 October 2008 and brought together 31 participants from 12 political parties and movements representing 11 countries. The following countries were represented: Burma, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Aceh, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sweden.
The conference is organized every year by the Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP), the Olof Palme International Center and AKBAYAN Citizens' Action Party, for representatives of progressive organizations in Asia to build networks and contribute to the sharing of knowledge about the development in the respective countries and in the region as a whole. The first Sweden-Asia Forum was held in Bangkok, Thailand last August10-13, 2007.
Ann Linde, International Secretary of the Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP) in her brief presentation on "Social Democracy: a Global perspective", elucidated the social democracy's core values of Freedom, Equality and Solidarity, which are mutually dependent and mutually supporting.
After the country presentations, which covered the current political and institutional context and what the concerned parties were doing to address this situation, the delegates were actively engaged in the following panel discussions: Social Democracy: Is it Viable in Asia?, Religion and Democratization, Social Movements and Populism and Nuts and Bolts of Party-Building.
Tian Chua of the People's Justice Party-Malaysia; Ann Linde and Olle Thorell of the Social Democratic Party-Sweden; Anna Ardin and Abdulkader Habib of the Christian Social Democrats-Sweden; and Ronald Llamas, Joel Rocamora and Arlene Santos of Akbayan Citizens' Action Party-Philippines acted as lead speakers and discussants of the two-day conference.
The 2nd Sweden-Asia Forum culminated with delegates from participating political parties and movements expressing their desire to continue to learn from one another's struggles (especially in building a strong political party) and to deepen democracy in the respective countries.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Aung San Suu Kyi to reach 13 years in detention ­

Burma Campaign UK

On October 24th Aung San Suu Kyi will have spent a total of 13 years in detention.On the same day leaders of Asian and European countries are having a summit meeting in China. We want the leaders to back UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in securing the release of ALL political prisoners when he visits Burma in December.

Friday, October 24, 2008Time:
12:00pm - 1:00pmLocation:
Chinese EmbassyStreet:
49 Portland Place, near Oxford Circus tube

The number of political prisoners in Burma has almost doubled in the past year, despite calls from the United Nations Security Council for their release. These people have committed no crime. They have been locked up for calling for freedom.We have never had a UN Secretary General visit Burma to discuss political problems before, and we have never had European and Asian government joining forces to pressure the regime to release prisoners. They all say they want it. We must make them work to make it happen.For too long the UN has fallen for the lies of the regime. They must secure real change. The release of political prisoners should be the minimum benchmark for progress that Ban Ki-moon aims for in December.Join the protest! send a message to world leaders than they must turn words into action. Don't leave Burma's democracy activists suffering in Burma's jails.This protest is organized by a coalition of campaign groups and Burmese community organisations in the UK.

Two weeks ago we asked you to email the UN demanding they work for the release of political prisoners. The UN has received thousands of emails, and last week Ban Ki-moon stated that he wanted to see the release of political prisoners as a sign of progress for when he visits Burma in December. It is the first time he has linked his visit with the release of political prisoners. We are getting this issue onto the agenda of world leaders, but we need to keep it there.If you haven’t taken the action please do so now at:

Please also ask your friends to support this campaign.--Was this email forwarded to you by a friend? If you are not already a member of the Burma Campaign UK e-mail network, and would like to receive these updates directly, you can subscribe by sending a blank e-mail to:

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