Monday, May 30, 2005

June 4 Rally in HK Marked 16th Anniversary

March 29, Hong Kong, 1400 protesters marched from Victoria Park to the Central Government Office to demand the Chinese government to provide accountability to the victims of the June 4 Tiananmen Massacre .The photo shows the members of the Hong Kong Federation of Student (HKFS) hold the big banner that mentioned about "Learn from HIstory, Accountability for June 4".

Coming June 4, Saturday, the organizer will have the candle vigil night in Victoria Park. For those who will be in Hong Kong that night, you are very much welcome to join the vigil night and convene our solidarity to the democracy struggles in mainland China and elsewhere. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Singapore Rebel: A documentary that withdrew from Cannes

UPDATE: Many of us know about Singapore is popular with her "civil liberties" restriction. There are different of state control on the Singaporean in daily life from public behaviour to political stands. Today just want to share with you about restriction of the filmmakers in Singapore especially when their creative ideas or outputs become the threats of the authoritarian Singaporean government.

From the South China Morning Post (SCMP), in Hong Kong,

Yet, for local filmmakers the path to more creativity is paved with
dangers, as Martyn See discovered recently. On Monday, he was invited for
questioning by the police, over his documentary Singapore Rebel, which,
according to his website, chronicles the civil disobedience acts of opposition
activist Chee Soon Juan.

Two months ago, he withdrew the film from the city's international film
festival on the advice of organisers.

Now, police are investigating whether the film contravenes the Films Act,
which states that it is an offence to make, distribute or exhibit party
political films. If convicted, See could face two years in jail or a fine of up
to S$100,000 ($470,500).

This is not something new in Singapore. The Singaporean government is famous with their defamation trials. Many of the opposition party leaders have to declare bankruptcy after the lawsuit. Our filmmaker in Singapore really have a tough time. Let's us keep our solidarity with the Singaporean who fight against the repressive government.


Monday, May 09, 2005



April 8, 2005

We, the representatives of students’ democratically run organisations assembled in Paris for the Ninth Collective Consultation on Higher Education of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), support the work and importance of NGOs consultations within UNESCO Forum. In particular we reconfirm the conclusions of the 9th Collective Consultation on HE of UNESCO .

Hereby we affirm our longstanding commitment in principle and in deed to the right of all people to have complete access to and participation in higher education in all its forms, with special attention to the provision of public education.

In the past, at the 1998 World Conference on Higher Education, we have made our views and hopes known in a document entitled Opening the Big Door. Presently, we affirm these views and note that the concerns that were raised in this document have not yet found solutions that prioritise access and participation.

In particular, we note that the legacies of colonialism and imperialism continue to act as a major barrier to post-secondary education.

We are gravely concerned that the many threats to public education posed by the successive rounds of trade negotiations continue to be manifest, with more and more governments implementing trade liberalization measures that include aspects of higher education. The pressure towards privatization, educational user fees, lack of academic protections and freedom, and restrictions on access that trade liberalization usually entails are real threats to the work of improving access to high quality public education for all.

We note our particular concern about the upcoming Ministerial meetings of the World Trade Organization scheduled to take place in Hong Kong from December 13 to 18, 2005. We urge all governments to remove education from the negotiations of the General Agreement on Trade in Service.

Further, we urge governments and international bodies to make greater efforts to include and encourage the activities of democratic students’ organizations from every region. We note that students’ representatives from the regions of Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa are often excluded for financial and political reasons in the planning and management of higher education.

We also note that a culture of peace must be a priority, especially given the awful destruction of universities and precious cultural resources that has taken place as a result of conflicts.

We note that access to higher education is still considered to be a privilege by some, and is not always integrated as a priority with primary and secondary education. Given that so many new jobs require post-secondary education, and that, in fact, post-secondary education is necessary for a thriving and innovative economy, and a democratic citizenry. Although informal education is also crucial, an organized and adequately funded higher education sector is as crucial.

As part of our vision for higher education and for society as a whole, we believe that access to public higher education through eliminating student fees and providing grants to students is not enough. Unfortunately gender inequalities still play a role in access to education, and HE in particular therefore mechanisms to secure equality in access and continuation of studies need to be identified and implemented. We believe that retention of students from all socio-economic backgrounds and women in particular is also of the utmost importance, and this necessitates changes not only to funding of education, but also to curriculum, hiring, provision of counselling services and the overall relationship of higher education institutions to their local and global communities.

In this, the year commencing the UNESCO decade of education for sustainable development, there are tough choices facing all governments. We see higher education as an important aspect of building each country’s capacity to face these challenges and, as an international community, to continue to build the intellectual capacity to implement decisions that favour sustainable development, even if they call for a significant re-alignment of the global economic and military order. Therefore Higher education needs to be seen as an integral part of sustainability development discussion rather then only an addition. Once again we stress the importance of involvement of democratic and representative student organizations in development of sustainability strategies.


International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations
JECI/MIEC (Florian Meisser University Coordination Germany; Julia
Asian Students Association (ASA)
JADE – European Confederation of Junior Enterprises
IAAS (International Association of Students in Agricultural and related Sciences)
International Union of Students
AEGEE (European Students Forum)
ISHA (International Students of History Association)
All Africa Student Union ( Ms. Eduwande Romoke)
ESIB – The National Unions of Students in Europe (Vanja Ivosevic)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother Day! Our Mother Happy or not?

Today is Mother Day. All mother in the world celebrate with their family. However, this day already become a commercial promotion or the profit making for the business community. You can see all kind of advertisement or package for the Mother Day celebration. Is this the way we celebrate the Mother Day?

It's great to celebrate Mother Day and always gratitude to the contribution of the mother to our existance in the world. We have to recognize the sacrificing of the mother. However, how about for the mother who lost their children? How about the orphan who don't have mother? Who is going to celebrate this day with them?

At the same time, our mothers who are now in Iraq, Afghanistan and other under warfare area, they are now suffering with the lost of their love children. Even many mothers become the victims of the warfare. They been killed, kidnapped and displacement. They may not know Mother Day because their life are under threaten.

In the ASA, we received the message for the Mother Day from the KASIMBAYAN from the Philippine. There are some statements that we need to reflect when we celebrate the Mother Day:

Mother's day is a one of the best occasions to recognize women's capacity
not only to bear and birth children, but to nurture humanity. Each mother has a
story to tell. As usual not all of them find the time and space to really tell each strand of their life story.

There are many mothers in our faith tradition who showed us various faces
and meaning of being mothers. We see various faces of Hagars, Rizpahs, Marys in
our own time. They are in different places. Their struggle to survive and live
with dignity in the hardest time of crisis led them to build a character that
made them strong, wise, gracious and loving mothers. Theirs is the story of
living in a cruel system of patriarchy, dominance, and state-inflicted

Rejoice! Mothers who carry forward in your hearts the passion of giving
birth to society where justice and peace reign. Being a mother-activist is an
endless challenge. The temptation to give up knocks every single moment, yet you
pursue the cause you always embraced. Hail to you mothers who are tasked with a
hundred motherly chores yet never neglect the greatest mission: to midwife and
to give birth to a society free from state violence and oppression.

Mothers of peace activists rejoice! Your sons and daughters are treading
the path of holy service to the people. Do not be disappointed with the decision
they have made, for the option to serve the cause of freedom and truth is divine
and the choice to love the neighbor is noble. Be proud for your sons and
daughters, the blessings of the struggling and hopeful people will always be
with them.

With this KASIMBAYAN's message, the ASA shared the message with the deepest heart and always remain our solidarity for the people's movement and uphold the dignity of human.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Your Struggle is My Struggle!

ASA Solidarity Message for May Day Struggle
May 1, 2005

It is with utmost pleasure that we – the Asian Students Association (ASA) convey our strongest solidarity support to the workers’ movement in the world. Today, we are celebrating the May Day with a stronger passion and determination to struggle for the rights and welfare of the workers. At the same time, we also pay tribute to those who sacrificed themselves in order to fight for the cause of the movement.

In ASA, we believe that your movement is our movements. The workers movement is one of the important forces to build a society that uphold human rights, justice and democracy. From the history, we learnt that workers together with the students overthrown the repressive and undemocratic government. We are not just fighting for our own welfare, but also for the better society that accommodate all the people.

As the global scenario has change rapidly for the last decade, we are very much bombarded by the propaganda of cooperation heralded by neo-liberal gurus, giant multinational and transnational cooperation, and monopoly capitalists to co-opt the workers and the people to submit to their agenda of economic, political, cultural and social hegemony of the world.

The privatization that promoted by the WTO not only causes the increasing of the unemployment rate, the quality of the public services also decreasing. Through the unequal agreements in international and regional multilateral or bilateral economic platforms masked as free trade, the developed countries such as United States, Japan and European Union benefited so much from the natural and human resources of Third World countries. Unity and cooperation in the context of monopoly capitalist globalization is an excuse for colonial and neocolonial expansion and consolidation.

We, the students and youth across the Asia-Pacific region, experiences the same issues like yours. As what we have learned from our previous interactions, we are subjected to programs and policies which attack our fundamental right, the right to gainful employment, and the right to organize. Though in varying degrees, we are very much victimized by the current world structure which oppresses us and our people.

Therefore, the upcoming APEC Ministerial Meeting in Busan, Korea and WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong will be our common mobilizing event. We have to intensified our public education campaign to raise the awareness on the globalization and those international institution among the people and workers in particular.

A genuine unity and cooperation for the liberation and betterment of the people of the world will be our core. People’s solidarity as an alternative to the globalization mantra we have sought. The unity of the workers of the world not only to expose and oppose globalization but also establish the framework to build a society which benefits the greater majority who are mostly exploited in the present setup.

Our strength is in our unity. Our solidarity is our victory. Our victory is a victory for the people of the world.

Long live the workers of the world!
Long live international solidarity!

Uphold our future of our world: FIGHT FOR EDUCATION!

Solidarity Message of Asian Students Association to Front Mahasiswa Nasional
on their National Education Day of Indonesia
May 2, 2005

We in the Asian Students Association (ASA) express our strongest solidarity with the Front Mahasiswa Nasional and all the Indonesian students and youth on the occasion of their National Education Day.

With the onslaught of imperialist globalization through the World Trade Organization and the like, education is becoming one of big profit making enterprises all over the Asia. State universities are forced to privatize as governments cut down education subsidies while inviting international institutions and private business companies to support higher education. Support, however, means business, literally.

The Indonesian government has the highest priority on the military as there is no taking responsibility in education. Cutting down their budget on this social service as opposed to hefty chunks spent on modernization of their respective armed forces and police.

Education is the key to the future of the youth and of the world but the schools in Indonesia are becoming virtual refugee camps. Continuous conflicts and military attacks in Aceh and some parts of Indonesia destroy every student’s dream of and right to education. More and more youths are becoming unemployed and forced to go abroad for work.

The youth and students are the heirs of this world. Their vibrancy and promise is significant and should not be muddled by conservatism and false traditions. Like all oppressed peoples, they too are dominated and hence should struggle for their right.

We are one and in solidarity with the Indonesian students and youth in their struggle to uphold and protect their right to education.
Onward with the struggle for peace based on justice, democracy and freedom!

Long Live the Student and Youth Movement in Indonesia!
Long Live the Student and Youth Movement in Asia Pacifc!Long Live International Solidarity!

Madhav Nepal, Lee Khai Loon, Rey Asis
Regional Secretariat 2002-2005