Asian Peace Alliance
PROGRAM OF ACTION
General Program of Action
To achieve the objectives of our Declaration, we, APA and APA-affiliated groups, will extend our network all over the Asia region by developing collaboration in peace efforts towards the emergence of global people’s power to end violence and bring about peace and justice. To this end, we shall take action in the following areas:
A. Joint initiatives against the US-led global war on terrorism
Given the imminence of US invasion of Iraq, we will:
1. Stage the Asia People’s Action against War (APAW), a series of regionally-coordinated events that will take place on October 5-7, 2002 across Asia to commemorate October 6, the day the US and its allies launched war on Afghanistan, by. In this joint action, we shall press urgent demands on:
§ the continuing US military operation in Afghanistan
§ the Philippines as second front of the war
§ intensified assaults on the Palestinian people
§ the “Axis of Evil” policy that obstructs Korean unification and foists the sword of war over the Korean Peninsula
§ wartime laws in Japan and new US military base construction in Okinawa
2. Bring Asian anti-war voices to the US and Europe through messages, position papers and the like to influence public opinion in these regions, especially in the light of the rift within the European alliance vis-à-vis the US-led war against terrorism.
3. Closely monitor the movements of the US military, through a Monitoring Task Force within APA, and disseminate information on developments on US war efforts within the APA network.
B. Linkage with anti-globalisation movements
We will participate in and build linkages with anti-globalisation movements and initiatives. In particular, we will:
1. Participate in the Asian Social Forum (ASF) that will be held in Hyderabad, India on January 2-7, 2003 by sponsoring the conference, seminars and workshops on the sub-theme, Peace and Security, through close coordination between the ASF Organising Committee and the ASF Working Committee of APA.
C. Linkage with peace efforts and forces
We will build linkages and collaborate with peace efforts and peace forces in other regions, especially at the grassroots level. In particular, we will:
1. Put together a list of contacts that will facilitate linkage-building with peace forces in other regions
2. Undertake activities supportive of the UN-proposed Global Ceasefire/Peace One Day on September 21.
D. Support for people’s peace initiatives to address internal conflicts
We will undertake action and build broad-based solidarity supportive of people’s initiatives to bring about peace with justice in areas of conflict. To this end, we will:
1. Undertake simultaneous joint action that will bridge the struggles of peoples and movements across Asia around common issues of conflict in the region—e.g., ethnic and religious conflicts as a common reality in South Asia as well as in many countries in Southeast Asia; nuclear Japan and the India-Pakistan nuclear confrontation.
2. Support citizen-initiated peace actions or facilitation in Burma, Aceh, Sri Lanka, and Mindanao/Philippines—e.g., representations with governments and regional organisations like the ASEAN in support of peace processes.
§ In particular, APA will support the on-going peace negotiations in Sri Lanka by participating in the solidarity action to be staged in Bangkok on September 16, 2002 to coincide with the first round of official talks between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
§ Help strengthen local peace initiatives and anti-war efforts already being undertaken by APA-affiliated groups in their respective countries by forging region-wide solidarity, applying international pressure, and adding regional/global dimension to these local campaigns, particularly in terms of APA helping to facilitate the following:
Ÿ sending solidarity messages and/or, whenever feasible, representatives from APA or from other countries to important local campaigns/events
Ÿ exploring the possibility of bilateral collaboration between movements whenever helpful
Ÿ information-sharing on these campaigns, including exchange of expertise, experience or lessons in launching peace initiatives and specific campaigns
Ÿ publicity or regional/global exposure for local campaigns through the Internet, APA website, mass media and other networks
3. Support processes and programs that would promote the involvement of women and basic sectors in peace initiatives at the grassroots level.
E. Forms of further action
1. Missions. Conduct Fact-finding and Solidarity Missions to areas affected by US military action or by internal armed conflicts with the end in view of achieving concrete results particularly in terms of holding governments accountable for reparation and remedial actions by using the facts and information gathered for advocacy in people’s tribunals and UN bodies.
§ Missions may be undertaken in the following areas of conflict: Afghanistan, Burma, Gujarat (India), Hiroshima-Nagasaki (Japan), Kashmir, Iraq, Palestine and Sri Lanka
§ The APA Steering Committee will determine the priority areas for missions from among the areas in conflict proposed; while APA affiliated groups who will recognise an urgent need for solidarity or fact-finding mission in their area will take the initiative and play an active role in fund-raising and organising the mission.
2. Media. Circulate anti-war voices and messages locally and globally through mainstream and alternative media and the Internet, and address the way US-led/global media have affected people’s perceptions and sensitivities favouring war rhetoric and limiting their participation for transformative peace.
§ Develop a website that will serve as venue for anti-war voices in Asia and as a mechanism for collecting and disseminating information, lessons and experiences related to conflicts and peace processes.
3. Advocacy. Undertake and support lobbying, petition-signing campaigns, peace marches, human chain, exhibitions and other forms of demonstration to express demands against war and US military presence/intervention in many countries in Asia.
4. Legal action. Engage in legal action and court struggle to end the culture of impunity and support victimised people by:
Ÿ Putting together information from fact-finding missions, research and other reliable sources on the condition of victimised groups in areas of conflict for lobbying in state courts and international tribunals
Ÿ Helping establish redress mechanisms from the local to the international level.
Ÿ Helping victimised groups access counselling and basic relief and humanitarian services provided by governments and NGOs
Ÿ Information and education on local and national protective laws, and international/ regional standards and legal instruments (e.g., Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the 1967 Protocol on the Status of Refugees, 1990 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers, and various other UN and ILO conventions)
Ÿ Linking up with groups that are undertaking legal action and court struggles
5. Research and education. Promote research and education based on human rights and gender justice and support efforts in reforming history education towards one that does not justify past crime or glorify national/ethnic and religious identities to the exclusion of others.
Recommendations for implementing forms of further action
o Suggested general guidelines for the conduct of APA missions:
Ÿ link up with NGOs and CBOs working with refugees
Ÿ begin in areas where the refugees displaced by the conflict have sought shelter (refugee and rehabilitation centres, hospitals)
Ÿ show solidarity with the refugees by sharing with them the outcome of the fact-finding mission and making this public in print and electronic media
Ÿ identify APA members in countries within or near the conflict areas who can serve as ‘resource persons’
Ÿ maintain a system for exchange of information relevant to the conflict situation being addressed between the ‘resource persons’, APA secretariat and local groups
o Specific suggestions:
Ÿ Kashmir mission—Pakistan as jump-off point and Pakistani APA-affiliated groups to provide logistical and other forms of assistance
Ÿ Iraq and Palestine missions—Ayesha Inayat can provide linkages with some Middle Eastern organisations working with the refugees there
For APA to:
Ÿ Develop a web magazine as forum for anti-war voices and messages; to be undertaken by the Korean member of the group who is already working on one in Korea
Ÿ Start, maintain and circulate a regular (monthly or quarterly) newsletter, journal or report based on information (campaigns, issues, research reports, projects, peace initiatives, new contacts, etc.) sent in by APA-affiliated groups and individuals to the APA secretariat
o For APA-affiliated groups to:
Ÿ Exchange newspaper articles and columns among APA members over the Internet through the web magazine as a way of keeping APA members updated on local and regional developments and campaigns
Ÿ Exert efforts to get issue-based articles by other APA members published in local newspapers
o For APA and APA-affiliated groups to develop rapport with leading newspapers in various countries in Asia for future collaboration with them. APA-affiliated groups can introduce APA to the editors of these newspapers and express APA’s intention to collaborate with the print media all over Asia
Launch sustained collective campaigns on important days of the year (e.g., Hiroshima Day) that will be carried out across the region using these forms of protest/campaign
§ Research and education
As gender justice and human rights are too broad, APA may focus its efforts at promoting peace education and research on specific issues that contribute to the breakdown of peace, such as communalism, xenophobia, discrimination
Immediate Plans and Activities
Mobilising support for peace in Sri Lanka [POA #D.2]
§ Two-day event, September 15-18 inclusive of arrival and departure dates for foreign participants who will be billeted at the University of Chulalongkorn Hostel
§ Expected outcomes:
o to show Asian/international solidarity to the peace process and ending of hostilities in Sri Lanka
o to inform the general public about the peace process in Sri Lanka
o for APA to disseminate the outcome of this event so that further activities could be planned and implemented
§ “Peace Vigil” September 16 (Monday)
o peace demonstration near the Sri Lankan embassy
o video presentations and photo exhibits
o organisers will look into the possibility of getting the participation of SL government and LTTE delegates to the event
o parallel vigils in Sri Lanka, particularly in Colombo, Jaffna, Kandy and other cities
§ “Forum on Peace in Sri Lanka” September 17 (Tuesday)
o to discuss the nature of the conflict and the prospects for peace in Sri Lanka
o Panel presentations:
Ÿ Overview (Sumila/Basil Fernando)
Ÿ Lessons from other countries and conflict areas (Mindanao, Burma, Indonesia)
o Solidarity messages will be collected from APA members to be read out at the Forum
o Venue: Centre for Social Development, Chulalongkorn University
o Expected participants: 50
Ÿ 10 (min) from Sri Lanka
Ÿ 20 (min) from Thailand
Ÿ 10-20 from other Asian countries
Ÿ Basil’s group in HK and Forum Asia to send people
Ÿ Sri Lankans living in Bangkok will be invited
o target Asian countries: Japan, Korea, HK, Malaysia
§ Possibilities will be explored for Forum Asia and the Foreign Correspondents Association in Bangkok to co-sponsor a panel discussion. Representatives from the SL government and LTTE delegates will be invited to address this forum on the Peace Process.
§ An APA statement will be drafted by Jayadeva Uyangoda and sent to Bangkok.
§ This proposal has been communicated to Bangkok and Sumila in Colombo.
Asia People’s Action against War or APAW [POA #A.1]
§ Japan, Philippines and Korea will comprise the core group of APAW
§ APAW will have the following components:
o APA joint statement – to be circulated prior to the dates of the events; and formulated in a way that local APA-affiliated groups can add on to based on their needs and context
o Exchange of solidarity messages from each country, which will be read during the events
o Protest actions in front of the US embassy or any symbolic place near US military bases (dependent on the situation in each country)
o Media work – press conferences, letter-writing, posters
§ Local groups will come up with their particular slogans, but in general, the following are proposed:
o Stop bombing Afghanistan
o No attack on Iraq
o Oppose anti-terror bill
o Call for the withdrawal/abrogation of US military bases/agreement
o Remove bases of victimisation of people
o On migrants
o On related environmental problems (e.g., on toxic wastes around the bases)
§ Mechanism for coordination
o Adoption of this proposal as APA project
o Welcome more than one nodal point in each country
o Joint action mailing list
o Raise own funds for activities
o Open a website for APAW
o Country reports on the activities launched during APAW, to be shared and uploaded in the website
APA participation in the Asian Social Forum [POA #B.1]
§ The title of the theme will be modified as follows: “Peace, Justice and Security”
§ Framework of the theme
o reason why peace breaks down—because justice is denied to a particular group
o forces against peace
o concept of national security
o alternative concept of national security that is peace-cantered, people-cantered, non-militarist and non-masculinist
§ General program of the ASF
o January 2 registration and arrival of participants
o January 3 opening plenary sessions
o January 4-6 thematic discussions (conferences, workshops/seminars)
o January 7 closing plenaries
o January 8 mass rally
§ There will be six thematic conferences, Peace and Security being the third theme.
§ Conferences on thematic areas on January 4-6 will be held in especially erected tents; venue, translators and other facilities will be provided for the conferences, seminars, and workshops
§ About 1,000 are expected to participate in each of the conferences, and 200-300 participants for the seminars, and up to 50 participants for the workshops; for the entire ASF, 1000 Asian and 7,000 Indian delegates are expected to participate
§ Financial considerations:
o Costs are estimated at 200,000 rupees (approx. US$10,000) for the conference, and 10,000 rupees (approx. US$500) for each seminar
o There is a need to explore ways for funding, like co-sponsorship for the conference and asking specific movements to sponsor and thus raise funds for seminars and workshops
§ Nighat Said Khan (Pakistan), Muto Ichiyo (Japan) and Aurora Parong (Philippines) will comprise the ASF Working Committee that will coordinate with the ASF organisers. Volunteers are welcome to participate in the preparations.
Fact-finding mission to Afghanistan [POA #E.1]
§ To get the real picture of the situation in Afghanistan, a fact-finding mission must go to areas outside of Kabul. But this will be the major problem because areas outside Kabul are controlled by warlords; the security problem is worse than in Kabul itself. With such a precarious situation, it is not certain how much or what kind of information the mission can get.
§ A way to go around the problem is to build contacts with Afghan organisations, including those based in areas outside Kabul. Various groups such as Japanese organisations and women’s networks are already building these linkages.
§ It is very important for APA to be clear about its objectives in sending a fact-finding mission to Afghanistan because many other groups from a wide array of political orientation are coming into Afghanistan to conduct similar missions.
§ Provisional framework/guidelines for the fact-finding mission to Afghanistan:
o Objectives:  to determine if the US’ stated goals in Afghanistan have been met or have taken place;  to collect data that can be used for people’s tribunal
o Methodology: field research/survey and documentation
o Issues to address:  the condition of Afghan women;  physical and social damage;  destruction of cultural heritage;  the issue of construction and reconstruction
o Requirements:  Ensured participation of local people;  Strong links and coordination with NGOs and anti-war groups in Afghanistan so that APA will not come in as an external party into Afghanistan, thus helping in ensuring the cooperation of local people
§ The discussion group will constitute itself as a special team that will study further the feasibility of sending an APA fact-finding mission to Afghanistan; in particular the team will:
o Study models and experiences of fact-finding missions in critical conflict situations
o Take the lead in building linkages with groups in Afghanistan and coordinate with them in monitoring the situation in the country
o Update APA on developments and outcome of study in order for APA to decide how and when it will send a fact-finding mission to Afghanistan
In course of discussing the APA program of action and immediate plans, special tasks were identified and designated to the following working committees:
· APAW Core Group – discussion group members from Japan, Korea and Philippines
· ASF Working Committee – Nighat Said Khan, Muto Ichiyo and Aurora Parong
· Team to study mission to Afghanistan – (members of discussion group)
· Monitoring Task Force – not yet constituted
· APA Steering Committee – APA body that will prioritise areas for missions
ASIAN PEACE ALLIANCE © COPYRIGHT
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in 2002