Sunday, September 28, 2008

War and Democracy

War and Democracy -- Miriam Coronel Ferrer

“Use devastation in a sentence,” an old, silly joke goes. The answer: “I waited for you at the-bus-station.”The devastation in Lanao, Cotabato and Maguindanao is no joke, however. Go there and find devastation in the 500,000 men, women and children crammed in deplorable evacuation centers.Most of them belong to poor farming communities. Six weeks ago, they had their own homes, cooked their own meals, plowed their land, and sent their children to school. Despite the deprivation, they survived on their own. Government did not have to feed them.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Saffron Revolution a year later: It’s not over

Altsean-Burma has released a briefer titled “Saffron Revolution a year later: It’s not over.” On 26 September, one year will have passed since Burma’s military regime began its bloody crackdown on the Saffron Revolution. The spirit of the monk-led Saffron Revolution that moved hundreds of thousands of people to hold protests throughout Burma and inspired hundreds of solidarity events around the globe lives on. This briefer details what has happened in Burma since: repression has intensified, the SPDC has exacerbated another humanitarian crisis, persisted with its gross economic mismanagement and refused to deliver the actual reforms it has been promising for years. Despite this, monks and ordinary people have persevered in their defiance of the SPDC.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


From September 5 to 8, I visited Haarlemmermeer, a municipality in the Netherlands at the invitation of the Dutch group, Vereniging Haarlemmnermeer Cebu (VHC). VHC was established by the local government of Haarlemmermeer to promote the cooperation between the sister cities through regular exchanges and provision of voluntary services, donations, and assistance. This was my second visit in this beautiful municipality in the province of North Holland.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Stockholm Archipelago

No visit to Sweden is complete without a boat trip to the archipelago. It consists of 24,000 islands, from big to small. It has become a divine retreat for people from all walks of life who fill the cottages and homes of the islands and the pleasure boats that cruise the waterways in between. My OPC colleagues Anita and Magdalena brought me to the island of Vaxholm, a harbor town with a 16th century fortress, historic buildings, small shops and restaurants, and a bustling harbor area. It was indeed a wonderful treat for me to see the archipelago after five straight days of meetings and engagements at the Olof Palme Center headquarters in Stockholm last week.