Friday, January 21, 2005

China Plans Modest Memorial for Zhao

An altar set up by democracy activists in Hong Kong honors former Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang. Chinese state television and radio have been forbidden to report his death. Posted by Hello

HK People Pay Tribute to Zhao tonight!

BREAKING NEWS: Tonight, there will be a vigil night in Hong Kong to memorial Zhao Ziyang. This is an open event for the Hong Kong citizens to play tribute to this former Chinese Premier who died in the morning of January 17. Posted by Hello

HKFS will hold Vigil Night for Zhao Ziyang

UPDATE: Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) will hold the vigil night to mourn the death of the Former Chinese Premier, Zhao Ziyang. The vigil night will held in Hong Kong University together with the present of the different student unions in Hong Kong.

Here are the details of the vigil night:

Date: 23 January 2005 (Sunday)
Time: 7pm
Venue: Hong Kong University near Student Union office

Please wear the black shirt to attend the vigil night. We call the Hong Kong student and the public attend the vigil night above to give our tribute to the former Chinese Premier who were sympathize to the student that gathered in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The ASA will join the World Social Forum!

UPDATE: The ASA together with the Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO (HKPA) will attend the coming World Social Forum (WSF) in Porto Alegre, Brazil from January 26 - 31.

Khai Loon will represent the ASA secretariat to attend different program in the WSF. One of the missions that ASA needs to fulfill is the publicity of the HKPA to the youth and student around the world. We hope this mission will promote the campaign against the globalization and WTO. At the same time, it will encourage more student and youth from the world to attend the Student and Youth Caucus in Hong Kong in December 2005.

Besides, the ASA is looking forward to join the Intercontinental Youth Camp (IYC) that begin from 24 - 31 January, 2005. We hope the ASA can participate in some of their programs especially in promoting the views from the Asia-Pacific. It's important for the ASA to be there to emphasis the progressive stand of the student and youth under the current political and economical situation in the world.

World Social Forum will be the pool of organizations, groups and institutions. The ASA together with other organizations from Hong Kong will ensure all the opportunity for the HKPA to introduce the preparation from the Hong Kong about coming WTO Ministerial Conference. We believe that through the international solidarity, the movement will become stronger and braoder.

As may be many of youth from Asia-Pacific unable to attend the World Social Forum, the ASA will try our best to provide you some exclusive coverage about the progress and the activity in World Social Forum. We hope it will benefit our members and network to present their views in the international arena.

Therefore, please feel free to write to the ASA secretariat at for your valuable comments and inputs. We will work out for the best to present it there!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

ASA to hold SEA Women Training Camp in Malaysia

ANNOUNCEMENT: We in the regional secretariat of the Asian Students Association are pleased to inform you that we are going to hold the Southeast Asia Women Training Camp: Women Empowerment and Emancipation in Malaysia the end of this March.

Slated this 27 March to 2 April, 2005, the Training Camp will present an array of discussions, trainings, sharing and testimonials and exposures that will further familiarize us with issues of terrorism, liberation movements, occupation and oppression as well as laws, protocols and the realities of war and conflicts. Malaysia, the country that comprised with the multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural country, shall be the venue for this significant activity.

We aim to gather 30-50 people from different countries in the sub-region to discuss these pressing concerns as the women are always the easiest target of war and conflict. In addition to the discussions are skills training which we will provide to the young women for their organizing works in their respective country.

Through this Training Camp, we hope to paint a more concrete picture of the Asia-Pacific women’s angle to these international affairs as well as approve a specific plan of action that shall involve not only members of the ASA but our allied organizations in our respective countries and neighbor country regions as well.

There is possibility of sponsorship for member organizations attending the Training Camp, the rates of which we and the Executive Council will determine. With this, we pose some points for your consideration:

1) Sponsorship priority is given to delegates/representatives coming from countries with issues of conflict and repression. Repressive laws, militarization, direct fascism and oppression and even existence of armed movements, whether terrorist or not, are key points to be accounted. Please provide us with a brief abstract/description of the women and young women’s situation in your country for this consideration.

2) The Women’s Training Camp will prioritize women delegates. We hope more women delegates can participate.

3) We request the more affluent organizations to sponsor our more financially constrained members.

We would like you to focus as well on the following:

1) Program: We attached a draft program here that includes issue discussions, workshops and exposures. We would like to solicit your comments about the content and flow. We will finalize the program, together with brief discussions of each, on February 28.

2) Application Form: Please fill out the application form attached to this letter and send to us via email, facsimile or post. Deadline of submission is on February 28.

3) Country Report/Situationer: Helpful to the Training Camp is a written presentation of the present situation particularly on women in your country, with special focus on issues of conflict, peacekeeping measures, war, influx of refugees, repressive laws and their impacts on women and children. Deadline of submission is on February 28.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Online Discussion on the Education of Women

ANNOUNCEMENT: The UNESCO website will hold the 4 weeks online discussion on the education of women and girls. The online discussion will start from Jan 10 to Feb 4 with 4 different topics.

Week 1: Universal Access to Education, still a challenge to many women and girls

Week 2: Quality of Education and impact of the outcomes

Week 3: Political and financial commitments of the governments and the international community

Week 4: Education and Empowerment of the women and girls

Education is the seasoned campaign of the ASA. Every year we invite by the UNESCO to attend their consultation meeting to provide our views on the education. For those who are able to access the internet, we hope you can utilise the technology by provide your valuable views.

The ASA secretariat is very much enthusiastic to invite all of you to speak out your ideas and comments to the UNESCO Online Discussion. For those who are going to participate the ASA Southeast Asia Women Training Program (SEAWTP), you really have to allocate sometime to look on the question and think over it.

If you have the paper for those particular topic, please forward to the ASA secretariat at . We are going to publish a book for the women situation in Southeast Asia before you attend the ASA program.

How to participate? You can get from here!

"Free Aceh" Banner sensitive?!

This is the banner that confisgated by the police in Malaysia. There were around 80 students gathered in front of the Indonesian Emabssy in Kuala Lumpur. They supported the relief operation by raise more than RM15,000 to the Tsunami victims. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

"Free Aceh" banner sensitive? Confiscated by police

UPDATE: Last Monday night, around 80 Malaysian students gathered in front the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. They held the "Free Aceh Today, Save Live Now" vigil night to mourn the vitcims of the Tsunami and also condemned the military operation in Aceh.

However, the vigil night was harrassed by the police forces. In the beginning, the student was not allowed to hold the assembly due to no permission from the police. After the negotiation between the student and the police, the police found that the assembly was to deliver the donation to the Malaysia Medical Relief Society (Mercy). The police agreed to let the vigil night proceeded.

Even the students were allowed to hold the vigil night, but the police confiscated the banner that made by the students. They police said the banner is sensitive. Without any doubt, the police did what they like and what they think.

According to the representative from the Oversea Indonesian Students Association in Malaysia, Bambang, "the contribution of the Malaysian students need to praise, however "Free Aceh Today" sound like promote the Aceh independent movement. It distorted the relief operation!"

The spokeperson of the Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM), Ramadhan clarify that they against the military operation that restricted the relief operation. Many of the relief goods could not reach the disaster areas.

What do you think about this incident? "Free Aceh now!" means support independent? Why the Malaysian students can't raise up the issue of the military operation in Aceh when they ran the donation to Aceh? Isn't it important for the Malaysian student to emphasis on the human rights violation committed by human than the Tsunami?

Please feel free to speak up your idea. We in the ASA welcome your comments and ideas.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Hong Kong Students Stop the Budget Cut!

BREAKING NEWS: Last night, about 80 Hong Kong students sit in protest in front the Legislative Council Building to stop the proposal of the education budget cut. 60 out of the students are from the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd). HKIEd will faced 33% of the total budget cut for the trianum begin from 2005 to 2007.

Before the sit in protest in front of the Legislative Council Building, abuot 800 students from HKIEd gathered in their campus to mourn about the death of the education. HKIEd established 10 years ago with the mission to train the teachers for the education in Hong Kong. They consider as the core support for the education in Hong Kong.

However, with the 33% budget cut, not only students came out to protest but lecturers and professors. They stand together with the students to stop the budget cut.

Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS), the member of ASA, call the student unions from different universities to show their solidarity to the HKIEd students and lecturers. They had the overnight sit in protest in front the Legco Building since 8.00pm.

The ASA secretariat Rey and Khai Loon also presented in the protest. We delivered our solidarity and support to the Hong Kong students when such a severe crisis to the education happened to them.

More interesting, this morning Legislative Council Education Committee meeting rejected the proposal from the Head of the Education and Manpower Bureau, Arthur Li. When we attended the meeting, we watched how different representatives from university staff associations, student unions and even the alumni of the universities, ciriticised the act of the government.

The members of the Legco at last also rejected the proposal from the Education and Manpower Bureau. They all call Arthur Li to resubmit a proposal that suit to the interest of the people and the education.

This is the joyful moment for many students and university staffs. Many other also showed their satisfaction with the result even they stayed overnight under the cold weather in front the Legco Building. Some of the Legco members even congratulate the students for their steadfast campaign.

It's the remarkable moment in the history of the student movement in Hong Kong!

Monday, January 10, 2005

Beware Second Tsunami Hit!

ANALYSIS: The ASA received an important email from the General Secretary of the World Forum of Fisher People (WFFP) that based in Sri Lanka. As the Sri Lankan people suffering from the Tsunami hit since last December 26, Herman Kumara on behalf the WFFP reveal a lot of concerns about the existance of the US Marines, Indian, Pakistan and Canadian troops in their homeland.

He said Bush adminstration considers Sri Lanka as a threat to the American interest. Therefore, they have very hard time ever than the Tsunami attacked because of the US occupation in the region.

Rebuild Sri Lanka? What kind of Rebuild?

From his email, we knew that the President of Sri Lanka, Chandrika only appointed the top class business community in the speacial task force to rebuild Sri Lanka. World Bank (WB) plays a vital roles and even at the top of the task force.

The Sri Lankan people were not allowed to build their home within 300 meter from the coast. 2000 high tech fleets from Canada will arrive in Sri Lanka. Both relief actions that take by the government and foreign aid are see as follow:

"We see this as the plan of action amidst the tsunamis crisis to hand
over the sea and the coast to companies and tourism. Government want to have
their own development plan without consult any one from the below. "

"We are really worry about the development plan which will be announced by
15th January by our president. That is the same PRSP program with military
assistance of the US Marines. If any one go against the plan will be in jail
according to the president and her closest minister announced by media two days

He even praised the Indian government for rejecting the foreign aids with military backings. Indian government and people is wise and lucky from his views. However, they didn't give up to the situation and decide to have the national conference on the Rebuilding Sri Lanka and the alternatives.

The ASA already mentioned about the politic of the foreign aids before. Now the negatve impacts already appeared in Sri Lanka. The livelihood of the people is jeorpadized by political motives. The statement that made by Herman can serve as an alert to other region that received foreign aids.

We shall not compromise with our national sovereignty by accepting the foreign aids. Even there are no any resolution that the region will be occupied by the US or other foreign military forces, but the case in Sri Lanka already proof enough for us to take precautious step.

We shall monitor the whole relief operation!

Malaysian students hold "Free Aceh, Save Life" vigil night!

UPDATE: The Tsunami hit many part of the Southeast Asia including Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Aceh is the most serious part especially the Banda Aceh. The whole city was destroyed by the tidal wave. Many relief efforts was took place there.

Another conflict that always affected the people livelihood in Aceh is the armed conflict between the Indonesia Military (TNI) and Aceh Independent Movement (GAM). We welcome the cease fire from the both side after the Tsunami attacked. However, there are still a lot of restriction for the relief operation to take place there.

Therefore, ASA's member in Malaysia, DEMA together with other 24 student organizations across the country will hold a vigil night for the Tsunami's Strike. Their main theme is "Free Aceh Today, Save Lives Now!"

With the joint statement that mentioned about the situation in Aceh,

The Indonesian armed forces are now continuing their military
operations in Aceh and are frustrating the delivery of aid to the victims of the
earthquake and tsunami. Rather than helping the people, in a number of areas the
troops are intimidating villagers, scaring them away from their villages,
looting their homes, and stealing food.

They call the Indonesian Military,

The Indonesian military should immediately implement a cease-fire so
that aid can flow without restrictions to all effected areas irrespective of any
perceived political affiliations. This humanitarian disaster goes beyond
political divisions - it is about the survival of those left.

Please support the call from the Malaysian students. You can show the support through attend their vigil night. Following are the details of the vigil night:

Date: 10 January 2005 (Monday)
Time: 8.30pm
Venue: Indonesia Embassy
Industrial and Trade Attache
Jalan Tun Razak No. 233

The ASA remain the solidarity to the Malaysian people and students to free Aceh. This is another major concerns that International Aid should focus on. We call the Malaysian people to support the call of Malaysian students.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

What to watch in 2005?

According to the Christian Science Monitor, there are several countries that need to put on the attentions especially China and India. They described this both countries are the parts of the world fastest economy development. Furthermore, both countries also play as the main actor in their foreign affairs.

1. Can China slake its thrist for oil?
Chinese leaders now tour the globe regularly, cutting new deals in almost every energy market they can visit. China's thirst has created disputes with Japan over a Russian oil pipeline and natural-gas reserves under the East China Sea.

Early Indicator: A Sino-Canadian oil deal could be struck as early as this month. Canada is the chief source of oil for the US; how Washington reacts could set the tone for a new age of resource rivalries.

2. India: China as bigger threat than Pakistan
Both countries have enormous populations, nuclear weapons, and industries that compete well in global markets.Both countries aspire to expand their trade and diplomatic relations, especially in Southeast Asia. India and China fought a brief border war in 1962. Since then, relations have been strained by Beijing's economic and political backing for Pakistan.

What to watch?
a. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will visit India in March, a moment he describes as the most important on his 2005 calendar. China has expressed hopes of resolving remaining border issues before the visit.

b. President Bush has also announced he will visit India this year, a moment that could increase India's regional stature.

3. After Tsunami, Asia Rebuilds
Recovery from the tsunami, say experts, could take a decade. 2005 will test the coordination and endurance of the initial rush to help. The outpouring of goodwill has drawn the diverse Southeast Asian region, Western donor nations, and even warring factions closer together.

Separatists in Aceh announced a unilateral cease-fire. Tamil Tiger rebel leaders reached out to the Sri Lankan government. And US forces helping with rescue efforts were welcomed in Muslim Indonesia.

Early Indicator: Local elections in Aceh were scheduled for June. Those could indicate whether Acehnese are more open to candidates pushing autonomy rather than independence.

"I would be extremely skeptical that this disaster would lead to a resolution of the conflict. On the other hand, the relief effort ... might have more Acenhese willing to give Jakarta the benefit of the doubt," says Sidney Jones of International Crisis Group.

The ASA are welcome you all to provide your comments on these points.

HKFS will hold "Sit In" protest overnight

BREAKING NEWS: The ASA secretariat received the news from the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) about their decision to hold a overnight "sit in" outside the Legislative Council Building on coming Monday. This overnight "sit in" protest is purpose to stop the government to continue their budget cut on the higher education expenses.

This was the decision from the routine HKFS Standing Committee meeting. In 2002, the HKFS together with members organized a massive campaign to stop the Education and Manpower Bureau to implement the budget cut. One of the significant of the events was boycott the class. However, the action was cancelled last minutes due to some "consensus" with among the members.

The education reform consultation is going on in Hong Kong now. With the decision from the government to continue the budget cut, the HKFS again will stand up to against the decision.

We call the Hong Kong students to attend this overnight "sit in" protest. Following is the details of the gathering:

Date: 10 January 2005 (Monday)
Time: 8.00pm
Venue: The main entrance of the Legco Building

For those who are outside Hong Kong, the secretariat will update you about the progress.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Former HKFS Secretariat final appeal accepted!

BREAKING NEWS: The former HKFS Secretariat Christopher Fung and Chris Lo were given permission by the three- member appeal committee of the Court of Final Appeal on Thursday to launch their final bid in the highest court to overturn convictions for illegal public assembly.

Two of them together with the Hong Kong Legislator, "Long Hair" were convicted under the Public Order Ordinance at the magistracy in November 2002 for organizing and holding an unauthorized public assembly in Central in February in the same year.

It was the first time individuals were prosecuted under the ordinance, which states prior notice must be given to police before a public demonstration.

The ordinance, which came into effect on July 1, 1997, has been condemned by human rights activists. Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) is the student organization that champion this issue and campaign.

Justice Frank Stock, the dissenting judge, said that the scope of discretion given to the Police Commissioner to object to public assemblies was too broad and that the grounds the commissioner was required to give were too vague. Even so, the same appellate court gave the trio the green light to take their case to the highest court in two weeks.

The ASA secretariat members, Madhav and Khai Loon were there to give solidarity support to the HKFS. We will keep update about this case to you and provide you an exclusive update.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Australia: It's time for International Students to React the Higher Fees

UPDATE: Australia always become one of the destination for the developing countries from Southeast Asia, East Asia and South Asia to study. Many students from those countries prefer to study there because of the education quality and the tuition fee relatively cheaper than US and other UK.

Three decades ago, the Australian government provided subsidies for the students from the Third World to study free or same fees with the local student in Australia. However, since the privatization and the internationalization of the higher education in Australia, student from the Third World unable to enjoy such assistance.

However, more serious is what we can see now. The tuition fee for the oversea students is increasing by time to time. It's why the international student couldn't keep silence anymore.

According to The Australian, National Liaison Committee for International Students in Australia spokesman Aditya Tater said students were reporting "big differences" in quality between universities, regardless of fees charged.

"The prices for the various courses are going up every year but the
quality is staying the same," he said. "If you look at Singapore and Malaysia,
student numbers from those countries have gone down because their education
systems have improved and students are staying there. In certain cases, the
course fees are quite high, they are almost up there with the US."

Anyway, the whole debate still surounding in the competence of the tuition fee. Even some of the debate covered the quality but we in the ASA think the education already seriously become the commodity. Everyone can get a degree if you have the money. It lost the purpose of the education.

We hope more student will come out and speak for their rights. Education is a rights and not a privilege!

Unconditional Debt Cancellation Now!

UPDATE: The ASA endorsed the joint statement to call the northern and international creditors should cancell the debts of the south and poor countries especially those who are suffering from the Tsunami attacked. This statement initiated by the Jubilee South, network that advocates the debt relief from the south and poor countries.

With the Tsunami tidal waves attacked the countries like Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Maldives, Malaysia etc, the relief efforts are taking place around the world. The pledge from the world is increasing day by day. Countries around the world have opened their hearts and pockets to help tsunami survivors. More than $4 billion has been pledged so far.

If there is any measure of sincerity in the outpouring of compassion from North governments for the peoples of the South, let this be through concrete action. In addition to emergency relief operations and rehabilitation, what we need immediately is UNCONDITIONAL DEBT CANCELLATION NOW!

Accroding to Business Report, South Africa, "G7 agree to tsunami debt relief" with the subtitle that "UK's Gordon Brown get industrialized countries to agree to freeze the repayment"

"We need to not only do all we can to aid the reconstruction of those countries devastated by the Asian tsunami, but we must make a wider offer as bold as the offer that was made in the Marshall Plan of the 1940s," Brown said in Eidinburgh.

Brown proposed that in 2005 the richest countries match 100 percent bilateral relief and offer 100 percent multilateral relief on the $80 billion of debt the poorest countries owe to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

The ASA welcome this positive response from the G7. As we all know, many developing and poor countries are suffering from the debts. Debts just like the Tsunami for those countries everyday. The impacts of the debt to those countries are serious and affected the livelihood of the people.

As we emphasize on the Tsunami relief operation, we need to ensure the structural solution for the south and poor countries. We demand the north and international creditors eliminate their hypocrisy and concentrate to the truly relief operation in the south!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Malaysian Students Got US$3,000 in 5 days

UPDATE: The ASA member in Malaysia, DEMA, together with other organizations managed to raise RM12,000 since December 31, 2004. Even some harassment by the police and the security in Malaysia, they managed to go trhough those obstacles.

According to the spokeperson of the Solidarity Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) or Malaysian Student Solidarity, Khoirol Anwar, they set the target of RM10,000 before, now they exceeded the target. The fund raising took place in several big cities in Malaysia. 24 student organizations from different universities work together in the nation-wide fund raising campaign for the relief oepration in Tsunami areas.

This campaign will continue for a month until end of the January.

From the ASA, we welcome the Malaysian student for their hard works and commitment to help the victims. We hope they will continue their efforts in other means besides fund raising. We hope they will come out with some other concrete actions.

At the same time, for those who are working on the Tsunami issue, please update the secretariat.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

GATS: Claw Back?

UPDATE: The Inside US Trade article on GATS negotiations includes the statement that:

Another delegation source conceded that many services proponents have tabled initial offers that include very few new commitments or in some cases actually claw back earlier concessions. "If that's the kind of
ambition we can expect, let's pack up and go home," the source said.

Jane Kelsey from ARENA, New Zealand update the NZ government response:

The NZ government has made noises about inserting 'comfort words' in
the late stages of negotiations to 'clarify' its understanding of existing
commitments (esp subsidies), but not seek to claw anything back. It would not
include those words in the original offer because that would send bad messages
(we note that they were signatories to this latest document). We have also
recently pointed out that the internet gambling case undercuts their claim that
they can make such 'clarifications'.

Ellen Gould added:

The US also qualified its museums and libraries commitment to restrict
it to privately funded institutions. Some questions were raised in the TNS
committee about the specifications in the US schedules for advertising services,
but if you go through what these changes involve from what was in the original
US schedule, this isn't actually a rollback.

But maybe they're hinting at the fact that the US government has
said it will withdraw its gambling commitment if the AB upholds the panel
decision in US-Gambling. I don't know if you got to read my analysis of this
decision, but I think it is pretty cataclysmic and could wreck the GATS if
countries dared to pursue the issue with the US.

Field Report from Aceh!

UPDATE: The received an email from Centre for Justpeace in Asia. The report was prepared by ANFREL and their Indonesian partner Sumatra Hope. It's about the Information shown here is collected from friends in Medan, Indonesia who just came back from Aceh.

General situation:
There are many food and medical supplies donated from public, government agencies and international community. But most of the things are stuck at the airport. The problem is about the distribution of all donated stuff. The city is COMPLETLY destroyed. No any infrastructure existed. That all things can not be transported from the airport. They need trucks to load all things to distribute to victims. Any organization want to help they have to bring their own infrastructure. For example, have to rent a truck from Medan and have to carry fuel by themselves. Nothing available there.

There are many temporary shelters/refugee camps along the coastline from Lhokseumawe to Banda Aceh. At least 50 camps in Banda Aceh never get anything from outside until today. Each camp is inhabited about 1,500 people. Most of them are children.

Public health situation:
Getting worse day by day. Skin disease already came since lack of clean water to clean them. Many children are suffering with skin disease. Their side effected is itchy and scratchy. Cholera is coming. The only hospital in the province that still function is a hospital operated by military. It names is KeDam ­Kesahatan Daerah Militer Hospital. The main and only proper hospital in the province, Zainal Abidin Hospital, is completely destroyed, can’t function. MSF already came with doctors and medical supplies.

Only instant noodles and dried food are donated to the victims. They need other kinds of food. For example rice, vegetable, meet. That can help them strong enough to cope with the diseases with already came and which are coming. To supply fresh food like that, we have to provide them kitchenware, cooking gas, pot, pan and everything.

Main problem is about food for baby and children. Powder milk for baby is most NEEDED. These means we have to provide hot water too.

Roads in some area are still functions. From Medan can go by road to Lhokseumawe, it takes 5 hours. From Lhok Seumawe to Banda Aceh need another 6 hours. But land transportation from Banda Aceh to Meulaboh, a district on the western coast is impossible. The only way to access Meulaboh is by road from Blangpidi.

About the network to help friends in Aceh:
KKSP ­Education and Information Centre for Child Rights is now a center for people network. It is an NGO based in Medan. KKSP already established a system in Lhok Seumawe (LS). The representatives of KKSP in every town of LS are already set up. For LS, if we have foodstuff, medical supplies and money for them to rent a truck they can send the things out right now from KKSP in Medan to KKSP centre in LS then to its representatives in each district. They are trying to set up the same system in Banda Aceh. It is not easy for Banda Aceh because the city is completely destroyed. Many friends are still out of contact.

A friend from KKSP will go to Meulaboh tomorrow, Jan 2, to see the situation and try to set up the system.

The plan:
KKSP now is NGOs collision in Medan for humanitarian Aids for Earthquake and Tsunemi in Aceh and North Sumatra. They have 3-month plan, focus in 3 themes: food, infrastructure and health.

January: priority is food, to make it available to people there.

February: priority is still on food, but will pay more attention on provide them infrastrutre focus on clean water. That they will dig to ground to provide them underground water.

March: infrastructure is priority.

About health condition is not listed as priority for the whole three month. But they will work on it. The problem is they have no idea where can they get doctors. Not only medical supplies, but doctors, nurse and all equipment are needed.

Right now KKSP has many volunteers. Many NGOs, students and general public offer themselves to be volunteers. They might need some allowance for their living and family. The fund can also be given to some profession including doctor, medical staffs and so on. They already have contact. The most needed now is money for administration works and transportation and all supplies to give to the victims

Monday, January 03, 2005

The Politic of the International Aid

As the world pledge to the relief efforts on the Tsunami areas, the international politic take place in the process especially the United States (US). According to the Editorial of the New York Times, this is the time for the US to show her kind. It seems the relief operation already became like "Anti Terror Politic". This is really something inhumane.

When we recap what happened in the past week, we can see how active and generous of different countries. European Union (EU) as the first institution that pledge to donate 40 million Euro. This was not include Germany, France, Spain, Nertherland etc who pledge on the nation basis. Japan become the second higher pledge with her US$40 million.

US, with US$5 million donate to the Red Cross, total pledge only US$15 million. That's less than half of what Republicans plan to spend on the Bush inaugural festivities. As the richest country in the world, the US government criticised by the international comunity with her "stingy". The New York Times editorial criticised the government in "Are We Stingy? Yes"

On Dec 30, President Bush has announced that the US, Japan, India and Australia would coordinate the world’s response. The US again is trying to undermine the United Nations by setting up a rival coalition to coordinate relief.

The United Nation should backed up by the authorities of the world great power in order to carry her mandate to work on the relief operation. This development become the worries of many Asian countries becaus of the following incidents:

1. Last three years, the US led "War on Terror" and claimed the Southeast Asia as a second front caused a lot of damages on the relationship between those countries with the US. This is the opportunity for the US to repair the damages. (New York Times)

2. The US leads the Australia, Japan etc in the International Coalition for Relief Efforts actually is the continuos of the unaccomplishment of the "War on Terror". in the region. This is why the US want to undermine UN, China, European Union who not support the US-led War on Iraq.

3. The US and Japan even send off their warship to Southeast Asia for the relief operation. Hopefully it will not too hard to call them to leave the region when the relief operation accomplished. More important, the relief operation is not a military operation. Why US and Japan have to send off their military troops?

Therefore, the Jan 6, Aid Summit Talk in Jakarta will be our focus to know the outcomes of the meeting. We hope it will become a genuine relief operation that US dominance should be out of the field.

Malaysian Students Launched the Fund Raising for Relief Efforts

UPDATE: The ASA member in Malaysia, DEMA together with other student organizations in Malaysia under the Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) had launched their fund raising campaign for the Tsunami victims on Dec 31.

They targeted to raise RM10,000 (US$2700) in a month. All the donation will deliver to the vicitms in Indoensia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

The first fund raising event was held at Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC). At the same time, there will be several events in different universities such as in Penang. We will update more information about their campaign through the blog.