Saturday, September 25, 2004

Will China Democracy Movement smoother?

"What Price Reform" The Economist magazine have a very interesting insight of the China Reform Progress. Economist emphasized Hu Jintao's consolidation of power does not mean that democracy is on the cards. Posted by Hello

Who Leak the News of Jiang's Retirement Plan?

Following the retirement of the Jiang Zemin in the Central Military Committee last Sunday, a journalist call Zhao Yan has been detained for leaking state secret to foreigners.

He was accused to broke the story of Jiang Zemin's retirement to The New York Times. According to Zhao's family statement, Zhao, 42, joined The New York Times as a researcher three months ago after quitting his job at China Reform magazine.

However, many unclear and suspicious in this incident. How can Zhao get such "important" state secret? How Chinese government define the "state secret"? Who are the officials know the plans of Jiang's retirement plan as the plan consider as "state secret"? So many unanswered questions that need to clarify by the authority who arrested Zhao.

At the same time, there should be a transperancy, accountable and independent investigation body to be set up. Zhao should not denied to the rights of access to the family members and the legal advice.

As we welcome the peaceful transition power of the People Republic of China, the detention of Zhao may become the flaw of the celebration. We call the Chinese government to respect the principle of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Did Your Government Sell You Out?!

When we talked about WTO, we knew this multilateral institution is all about trade. However many of the main player are working hard to expand the trade to many other aspects including investment, services etc.

Another tricks that is popular now is the bilateral free trade agreement between two countries or countries to continental economy formation. How far you know about the deals that had been achieved? What kind of agreement that your "respective" government signed? Will it benefit the original people?

These are the questions that we have to answer. As long as the government engaged in that "cruel" deals, there will be no way back. Your government may be sued. The consequences will be bear by the people.

How we are going to stop it? Are you worry? Here are the website that tell you "everything that's not happening in the WTO". It can help you to know more about the bilateral trade around the world.

Please tell us your mind.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Anti-WTO Campaign Launch in Hong Kong

Today, the Hong Kong based organization from workers, unionists, migrant workers, students, and other various background will have the lanching on the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) to counter the coming 6th WTO Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong in December 2005.

The launching have several important agenda including the discussion about the awareness education works, the relationship with the international organization and the fund raising matters. The report shall be with you all soon.

The Asian Students Association as part of the JCC's member actively take part on the student and youth section. As we already mentioned in many occassion, the ASA will mobilize our respective members to build up the strong alliance in order to give the WTO a big fight.

Some of you might interested to follow the progress of the preparation works in Hong Kong. You are definately welcome and please send us your comments as well.

We really need your participation. Always with you for the better world without globalization!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

What Afghan Presidential Ballot Paper Look like?

Oct 9 Afghanistan Presidential Election Ballot-paper illustrations should help the illiterate make their choice Posted by Hello

Women Can Vote Freely?!

"Respectable women, give your vote because it is valuable" - colourful Poster exhort Afghanistan's women to vote. Posted by Hello

How Afghanistan Practice Their First Presidential Election?

Many of our focus might be swift to Iraq when US waged the war on March 20, 2003. However Afghanistan as the first "victim" of the war against terror seems manage to practice the democracy after the war. Is that a consolation prize for the Afghan? Even the developed area like Hong Kong still struggle for the universal suffrage for the Chief Executive post.

No matter you like it or not, on 9 October Afghans will choose from 18 presidential candidates in some 25,000 polling stations across the country. The campaign is running now and different deals were taken in the country.

That is not all - Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries will be also casting their ballots. This is the historical, significant and meaningful event for the civilization of the world.

All of us will ask, how they are going to cast their vote under such critical security? Such security challenge really make many of us suspicious how the democracy can be practiced? Any here are some data that may help us to see how the Afghan cast their vote:

1. Cartoons and posters will illustrate voting procedures to a largely illiterate population.

2. The ballot papers, printed in Canada, will contain photographs, names and symbols of all the candidates to make it easier for the voters to identify their choice.

3. There will be separate polling stations for men and women.

4. A big challenge is to find enough men and women to staff voting centres in a country where literacy is low.

5. Bringing the 30,000 ballot boxes, built in Denmark, to the counting centres after the end of the voting will be another daunting exercise - an average of 3,000 ballot boxes will be moved to each centre.

6. Election logistics are also a considerable challenge in the country that has few good roads.

Despite the challenges of the election, the people expression is important. The self-determination of the Afghan have to be respected by the international institution especially the US and its allies. The war against Taleban or even Al-Qaeda can't legitimise the unjust war on terror.

For your information, one of the ASA close friends, Mabel Au now is in Afghanistan as the International Election Observer, organized by the ANFREL. All the best to her and greetings of peace from the ASA.

Indonesia Presidential Election Run-off

Today, millions of Indonesians voted in a landmark election expected to remove President Megawati Sukarnoputri and install an ex-general who has vowed firmer leadership in fighting terror and boosting the economy.

The election run-off between frontrunner Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Megawati in Indonesia's first direct presidential ballot caps a turbulent and bloody six years since longtime strongman Suharto stepped down in 1998.

The election comes 11 days after Islamic militants believed to be from the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah killed nine people and wounded 182 with a car bomb outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, the third major attack in as many years.

The first of some 151 million registered voters to cast their ballots were in eastern Indonesia, including in Ambon in the Moluccas island province, 1,440 miles east of Jakarta, where deadly Muslim-Christian clashes erupted recently.

With several time zones, most polls will be open for six hours with those in the west closing at 1.00 p.m. Jakarta time (2 a.m. EDT).

Early results should start coming in on Monday night and a final result will be declared on Oct. 5.

We, in the ASA will always keep in touch with our friends in Indonesia about the update and the development of the presidential election time to time.

Good Bye Jiang Zemin

Former president Jiang Zemin step downed from the major post as chairman of the Central Military Commission. Hu Jintao as the President of China's become his successor, the government said Sunday, completing the country's first peaceful leadership transition since its 1949 revolution.

Mr. Jiang, whose term was to have run until 2007, handed in his resignation during a meeting of the ruling Communist Party's Central Committee, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Mr. Jiang, a former Shanghai mayor, was plucked from obscurity by then-supreme leader Deng Xiaoping to lead the party in 1989 after Tiananmen Massacre, pro-democracy protests and an internal power struggle threatened to tear it apart.

Mr. Deng nominated Mr. Hu as Mr. Jiang's successor in the early 1990s, setting in motion a succession that was just completed.

This power transition brought us to many scenario as China as the power on rise in the world. Here, we lay down some questions for all of us to think aloud.

1. How the political reform in China going to take
place? Will it speedy up as the people always said as the Jiang Zemin still
there, the reform hardly to take place?

2. Will Taiwan Straits conflict will have a better
resolution? Will the negotiation resume? Here we also can see the Republic of
China already showed their position on the Jiang's step down.

3. For the Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Camp, will it be the
opportunity for the struggle towards universal suffrage in 2007/2008? How far
the power transition affect the democracy struggle in Hong Kong?

The development will be very interesting for us to follow up. Please send us your comments and even suggestion for us to take the next step for our movement.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

What's wrong with the HK Pro-Democracy Camp?

Even the Pro-Democracy Camp gained majority of the votes in the recently 2004 HK Legco Election, but they not able to win two third of the seats in the Legco. Together with the direct election and the functional group election, the Pro-Democracy Camp only able to get 25 seats out of 30 seats. One of the commentator in HK, Tao Kit said:

1. No coordination within the Pro-democracy camp.
2. Propotional representation only work for the minority-ethnic or
small party. Not the current situation in Hong Kong that not favor to the
Pro-Democracy Camp.

What do you think about his analysis? Do you agree with him? To understand more about his views, you can read here.

Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Camp in Dispute?!

September 12 is the Legislative Council Election. There were some mistakes and technical problems by the Election affairs Commission. The ballot boxes were not enough provided to the polling stations.

However, the voting rate reached to the new high, 55.6%. The result was not satisfied by many pro-democracy supporters especially when the Hong Kong Island candidate Cyd Ho failed to retain her seat in the Legco.

The publicity and the coordination among the pro-democracy camp in the votes allocation became the focus of the dispute. Some even blamed the Democrat Party "killed" Cyd Ho by the drastic change in the publicity to ensure Martin Lee, the "father of democracy in Hong Kong" can enter the Legco.

The outcome really surprise and made a lot of people heart-break. The list of Yong Sam and Martin Lee won a huge votes and Cyd Ho lost to candidate from DAB about 800 votes. Many people feel sad and even criticised the Democrats Party. They request the President of Democrats to resign.

Furthermore, the total seats that Democrat manage to won in the Legco became the third big party after the DAB and Liberal Party. For the last term, Democrats is the biggest party in the Legco. The Democrats not only failed to deny the Pro-Beijing majority, but failed to maintain the seat that they hold.

The development of the Hong Kong democracy always get the attention of the world because of the "One Country Two System" after the handover from the British Colonial to the People Republic of China. Let keep our eye on the development, the ASA will always keep you update about the development in Hong Kong.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

3rd Anniversary of 9/11

Today is September 11, a very significant day for the world history and the civilization progress. The terror attacked on the World Trade Centre in New York and The Pentagon in Washington changed the world political scenario. The Anti Terrorism and even the pre-emptive war implement to the Afghanistan. The Iraq also been another target of the anti terror campaign.

The 3rd Anniversary of 9/11 remind us how effective of the Bush-Administration's war on terror. For the past three years, we stay in a world that not safer but more terror. The Anti-terror war only legitimize the US occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Last week, in Beslan, Russia, more than 335 people, half of them children, died in the bloody siege and a further 200 are unaccounted for. The anger of the people towards the Chechen rebels and even the ways of the Russian government reacted.

Two days ago, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia was attacked by the suicide car bomb. At least nine people have been killed and 160 injured. The way just like the Bali Bombing attacked on October 2002.

ASA as a regional youth and student organization, peace building is one of our main goals. However, without justice, there will be no peace. The root cause of the terrors today have to be adressed properly, we needs to win the people heart and thinks. Through Anti-terror and Pre-emptive War make this world worse.

With the solidarity towards all the people who suffering from the terror, unjust, undemocratic and inhuman governance.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Rey represent ASA in YSDA Conference!

Our respective Rey Asis is in Philippine now. He will represent the ASA in the Conference organized by the Youth for Sustainable Development Assembly (YSDA) from September 11 to 12.

The meeting is going to formalize the Asia-Europe Youth Network for Sustainable Development proposed as a mechanism to follow up the Asia Europe Youth Statement for Sustainable Development. 61 youth leaders from 24 Asia Europe countries agreed on in the recently held ASEM Youth Dialogue on Sustainable Development.

We shall update you all what happen in the meeting as Rey email to us. Just log on to the ASA Blog to update the news.

Let's us keep an eye on what is going to discuss there and what are the outcome.

Why you have to against Forum?!

After the World Youth Festival in Barcelona, the ASA already issued an assessment report that you can read here.

Thanks to Hsin-chieh, from Taiwan who forwarded us an interesting views on 10 Reasons Against Forum. For your information, the whole World Youth Festival (WYF) was took place in the Forum. The WYF is only part of the 141 days activities since July. To date the programs in the Forum still receive a lot of visitors.

The Forum 2004 actually is project and the infrastructure that developed by the Barcelona City Council. What are the points raise by the writer can be summarized as followed:

1. Speculation and not response to city-planning needs.
2. The "new" Barcelona that only leisure and tourist place.
3. Forum 2004 is not respectful with environmental.
4. Forum's political and economical sponsor.
5. Forum organizer make immigration illegal.
6. Forum 2004 support war economy.
7. Forum organizer are those who deal social problems with repression.
8. Forum 2004: A non participative space where dialogue is a sham.
9. Multiculturality as globalization's fairy tale.
10. Forum 2004: where culture and values are merchandise.

Do you agree with those criticism? Any other comments regarding this kind of comments? Do you think Forum 2004 will call a press conference to answer those criticism?

The ASA is actively participate in the International Preparatory Committee (IPC) to organized the previous World Youth Festival. Some of the participants also deliver their dissatisfaction with the organizer. Anyway, your comments will be very important for us to have a better festival in the future.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Malaysian court free Anwar!

Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia's former deputy prime minister, was freed by the country's highest court, which overturned his conviction for sodomy following an appeal.

The decision, six years to the day that Anwar was sacked from the government, was handed down by the Federal Court in the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, Malaysia's administrative capital near Kuala Lumpur.
Anwar Ibrahim, 56, had earlier served six years in prison for corruption.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

World Youth Festival: Ended with the greater responsibilities

After the World Youth Festival in Barcelona, the ASA secretariat come out with the exclusive report. You can read it here.