Monday, September 22, 2008

Dr. Lenin Meeting with Ms. Sharmila

Dr. Lenin,Gwangju Awardee and convenor of PVCHR is meeting with Ms. Sharmila,an Icon of struggle against Armed Forces special power Act and co-awardee of Gwangju Human Rights Award along with Lenin. He met with her in Hospital under the custody.

from wide angle <>
to Lenin Raghuvanshi

date Fri, Sep 19, 2008 at 11:11 AM
subject Sharmila
hide details 11:11 AM (23 hours ago) Reply

Dear Lenin

Irom Sharmila Chanu winner of Gwangju Prize for Human Rights 2007, has been remanded to judicial custody till October 1st 2008 after she was produced before the court of judicial Magistrate (First Class) at Lamphelpat yesterday. While at the court premise Sharmila upon hearing that her mother was feeling unwell and sick could not stop herself from crying as she regards her mother as an inspiration for her untiring endeavour to protest the imposition of the draconian law the Armed Forces' Special Powers Act 1958, She has been held up at the Security Ward of JN Hospital for over eight years and periodically produced before the relevant courts due to legal compulsion by the Manipur Government Police Department for her agitation in the form of Hunger Strike till AFSPA is removed.

Montu Ahanthem

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Meet held to mark 50 yrs of AFSPA

The Imphal Free Press

Imphal, Sep 11: A convention on "Violence of the invisible 9/11, Reflections on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act" was oganized by the Just Peace Foundation today at Hotel Anand. The convention was held to mark the 50th year since the imposition of the 1958 Act on September 11.

Among the participants were well known lawyer activist, Nandita Haksar, Prof KM Chenoy, JNU, Prof. Soyam Lokendra, MU, Prof. Ak Bimol, JNU, Prof Lokendra Arambam, ex-minister Lt Col H Bhuban and many senior citizens.

Ak. Bimol in his key note address said although Act had been briefly enforced in Punjab and since 1972 in Kashmir too, it was the people of the North East and Kashmir who are reeling under its violence and impunity continously.

"The covention today is to remind ourselves on the violence of the Act and to reflect on it in order to strengthen our struggle against it," he said.

Guest of Honor, Ningthoujam Binoy Singh President of the Manipur Olympic Accociation said that he had personally witnessed many instances of security personnel doing whatever they willed against the people of Manipur and reiterated that there should be unity amogst the people to take a stand against the act.

Prof. Sadananda, President Senior Citizens Manipur in his presidentail speech said though the Jeevan Reddy Commission has recommended that the Act be repealed, the reluctance of the Government do to so only shows their indifference to the plight of the people.

Speaking at the convention, Prof Chenoy said the India is emerging to be a state security oriented state and not a people security oriented state. He said this attitude needs to be overhauled.

He said in India which has over 4000 different communities, there is no way social harmony can be guaranteed than to make a "rainbow coalition" a reality.

Nandita Haksar pointed out how India's new land acquisition bill is oriented towards this same state security approach.

Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi of the People's Vigillance Committee on Human Rights said that though there are cases of violence and strife in many other parts of the country, it was only in the North Eastern of India that the Armed Forces Act was being enforced.

After the actively participated discussions, the meet not only called for a repeal of the AFSPA but also for the civil society to introspect and discover its own weaknesses.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

My Reflection of the 2008 Summer Regional School ‘Rural Regeneration in Asia’

On August 22–28, 2008 ARENA, Sungkonghoe University, and the May 18 Memorial Foundation organized the 2008 Summer Regional School ‘Rural Regeneration in Asia’’. There were 2 venues, from 22 until 27 August it was held in Kapyeong-gun, Kyonggi-do (‘Future in Us’ village) and from 27 until 28 was held in Bukyiri, Chuncheon City, Kangwon-do (‘Green-Eco touring village, Mul-An Village’).
Participants include: MAINS students (15), Keisen students (1), Korean participants (2), and the May 18 Memorial Foundation (3).
Speakers/lectures were from countries like: Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Bangladesh. From the program, I meet, known, learn, and sharing knowledge, experiences, and culture from speakers/lectures and other participants. Mostly speakers/lectures were sharing their experiences about organic farming.
We were divided into 5 groups. Every groups including the speakers/lecturers, MAINS students, Keisen student, Korean participants, and the May 18 Memorial Foundation were members. Every day each group had different tasks, like: making synthesis, room arrangement, house keeping, group dynamic, etc.
In the first venue (‘Future in Us’ village), there were some environmental concerns. The water was limited, so every person must use it properly. This reminded us about natural resources crisis like water, rice, etc. In here, most of the time were spent in the meeting room and listening to speakers/lecturers. In the second venue (‘Green-Eco touring village, Mul-An Village’), we spent our time doing farming work.
In the second venue (‘Green-Eco touring village, Mul-An Village’), we meet and shared with some citizens who lived in the village. It was really a good opportunity for me to meet them. I learn a lot from them, how their struggle to keep their lives and survival. Participants had other experiences in here like: picking corn and making ‘Tok’ (Korean traditional rice cake). There was one competition also, when participants divided into 3 groups and have to find living things from the river. Most of the activities in second venue were out door. We also had good opportunities to taste good food made by women’s group.
Besides sharing their lives in the farm, citizens also shared about their events like festival. In the festival, they performed some traditional program like traditional puppet. It was also one of their concerns how to keep history and Korean traditional culture. In the discussion time with citizens there were the 3 leaders of the village, elder group, and women group.
Below are some topics that I made reflection:
1. Rice problems crisis is not only farmer’s problems but also the people of the world.
2. Korean women movements were very strong, especially nowadays. How the struggle of them must be a good example for every woman in the world.
3. What is important is doing something with our feeling. A Korean farmer shared about his experiences and his life where he decided to go back to rural area from urban area. In urban area he had power and money, but, it didn’t make him happy and satisfied. He decided to go back to his hometown and became a farmer.
4. From one of citizens I learn how we must to sacrifice our modern life to rural area for our person that we love. The story of his life with his wife when they decided move to rural area because he was retired and his wife was sick.
5. As activists and human rights defenders, we should start everything from our self first. How we can build our self as a good person and always awareness with circles area. What can we do to solve problems related rural area especially farming. As we know that the rice problem is a big concern nowadays. We can help in our own way.
For MAINS students, each group made presentation on August 25, 2008. Their presentation was about their reflection and learning about rural regeneration.
Life in rural area is more collective than urban area is more individualistic. How they help each other is a good example that we must admire. Life is not always about power and money. Back to nature for week made me think of other dreams.
The 2008 Summer Regional School ‘Rural Regeneration in Asia’ was a good event. Joining this event, people became more concerned about rural area including the people and their products.