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South Asian Activists to Hold People's SAARC Convention
Source: southasia.oneworld.net
Source Date: Thursday, October 27, 2011
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Created: Oct 31, 2011

As the SAARC nations get ready to meet in Maldives, civil society activists from the region are all set to organise a parallel event in southern India next month to highlight people’s movements and concerns before the governments.

Representatives of several people’s movements, social action groups and human rights organisations have decided to hold a parallel event along with SAARC summit scheduled to take place in Maldives on November 10th and 11th.

Earlier, South Asian activists have organised parallel events along with SAARC summit to express their major concerns in Colombo, New Delhi, Kathmandu and Bhutan. This year, activists have decided to hold the concerns of people’s movement in Thiruvananthapuram under a common theme of ‘People’s Movements unite South Asia’.

'Most of the issues which people’s movements fight in South Asia are common,’ said T. Peter, KSMTF, convener of the alliance ‘ The invasion of the corporate world on sea, forests, land and water resources are crippling a large section of people in south Asia. We hope to bring larger alliances of struggles in South Asia through this event.

Activists have decided to hold a parallel event on November 8th and 9th with a broad agenda to bring various issues within the framework of ‘Governance, Democracy and Human Rights’.

Activists have decided to hold a parallel event on November 8th and 9th with a broad agenda to bring various issues within the framework of ‘Governance, Democracy and Human Rights’.National and State political leaders from diverse political parties will participate and express their solidarity. The event will be held in YMCA, Thiruvananthapuram drawing various people’s movements in India and representatives from South Asia.

‘Globalisation and changes in the structure of capital have affected the working class in all third world countries,’ said Ashim Roy, General Secretary of NTUI. ‘Therefore, the growing concerns of the working class needs urgent South Asian alliance. While the leaders of SAARC countries are coming together with the interest of trade and profits, the working classes are forced to come together for their livelihood and survival.’

The alliance have decided to organise the following eight workshops during event covering most of the burning issues of people’s movements.

They include : Democracy and Human Rights, Women leadership in people’s movement, Trade and Livelihood, Militarisation and De-nuclearisation, Natural Resources and People’s Movements for sustainable development , Nuclear industry in South Asia and , Rebuilding Labour movement in the region, Exclusion, discrimination and oppression in South Asia.

The challenge before the people of South Asia is to educate the leaders of South Asian governments to follow the concerns of the people of South Asia.
'There are thousands of people’s movements struggling for their rights all over the country,’ said K. Sajeed, Secretary, Solidarity Youth Movement.

‘The challenge before the people of South Asia is to educate the leaders of South Asian governments to follow the concerns of the people of South Asia.’

Hundreds of representatives of people’s movements in India and South Asia are expected to gather for this two day convention on 8th and 9th. The activists aspire to bring out the burning issues of the people’s movements and their concerns among the public and the leaders of South Asian Governments.

Activists are also concerned about growing human rights violations of the Asian Governments like genocide in Sri Lanka, Armed Forces Special Powers Act in North East and Jammu and Kashmir, suppression of minorities in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and many other human rights violations on people’s movements all over South Asia.

'In the end, the policy level changes in South Asia will take place only through the pressure of the collective strength of grass root movements’, said P. T. George from Intercultural Resources, New Delhi.

‘Ecological crisis and the challenges generated by climate change are some of the biggest issues facing humanity at large, especially the South Asian Countries. The very existence of Maldives as a country itself is threatened today.

In this context, there is an urgent need of pressure from people’s movements in South Asia to bring pressure on the South Asian Governments to adopt policies for sustainable development.

Organising Committee of the event consists of M Rajan (Chairperson),T. Peter (Convenor), and other organising committee members like Advocate Indira Raveendran , Magline Peter, Viswavalsalan, K Sajeed, Kamala Bhasin, Ashim Roy, Kavita Shrivastava and PT George. The alliance members reported that the convention will end with a common declaration and a demonstration in Thiruvananthapuram.
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