Monday, March 27, 2006

AASJA joined Global Day of Action against US-led War!

UPDATE: On March 18, members in Tokyo held protest actions at the U.S. and Korean Embassy. In this month, the U.S. military and the South Korean government brutally evicted farmers and residents in Pyongtaek to expand the U.S. Air base in the city. The action was to support South Korean people defending their land and lives. It was an action also to protest the U.S.’s plan to build a new base in Okinawa.

On March 20, members in Osaka held a photo exhibition of Iraq and Okinawa on street near city hall, and had a rally in front of U.S. consulate. Many workers and citizens walking on the street happened to see the photos and noticed that it was the day of the Iraq war and the war is still ongoing. Some people showed their support for the members. The members held a one-hour protest rally in front of U.S. consulate despite many policemen were surrounding the building.

On March 21, AASJA-Yamaguchi, together with other anti-war organizations and workers unions, held a mass rally in Iwakuni city where the U.S. military has stationed for 60 years and now is planning to expand its presence. The citizensof Iwakuni showed their clear opposition against the realignment plan of the U.S. that will bring more noise and dangers. Around 90% of ballots in a referendum on March 12 were against the realignment, while only 10% supported it. A city council member joined the rally and gave a speech to present voices of the local people.

Although the organizer tried to submit a protest letter to the administration of the U.S. Marine, it refused to accept it and no one to the main gate. The protesters handed the letter to an officer of Self Defense Force of Japan, and called chants to show their opposition. These actions of AASJA were part of so many anti-war actions in the country and the world. Especially, they were in solidarity of youth and students against U.S. and Japanese imperialism in Asia Pacific.

AASJA-Japan received solidarity messages from Asian Student Association, DEMA-Malaysia, andYouth and Student ANSWER in the U.S. These messages were introduced in the actions and will be put on the website of AASJA.

Stop the killing of Philippine Youth and Student Activists

UPDATE: The ASA secretariat received an urgent appeal from TANGGULAN Youth Network for Human Rights and Civil Liberties. We call the members or network of the ASA to support the campaign to end the extra-judicial execution in the Philippines.

Following the death of Cris Hugo (photo on the left), a 20 year-old BA Journalism student, and a leader of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) slain in Lagazpi City, Philippines last March 19, 2006, the ASA is very much concern about the human rights situation in Philippines. We hope more people will pressure the Philippines government to stop such extra-judiciary execution.

We also condemn such inhumane and put the life of the young activists at risk. The freedom of expression in Philippines almost similar to the Marcos era. The illegitimate President Arroyo remain in power with the repressive power.

You can sign the online petition here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

URGENT NOTICE: Korean farmers are evicted for U.S. military base expansion

The U.S. military expansion hits hard on farmers, as the case of those in Pyongtaeg, South Korea. Let us express our support them. Please read on.

South Korean government arrested villagers
Farmers barricade themselves in school near Camp Humphreys
March 15, 2006

South Korea's government started to arrest farmers and villagers who arestruggling to keep their land from the U.S. military.

Four people were injured and 30 people were arrested, including a singer and painter who are supporting the villagers' struggle.

The government wants the residents out so the U.S. military can eventually triple Camp Humphreys' size, making it the main U.S. installation on the peninsula.

Of about 144 households in Daechu-ri before the government began its land purchases in 2005, about half have left and only about 70 households remain.

We are strongly encouraged by your support and protest.

If you give us anymessages, we will share them with the villagers to encourage them.

Please join us to protest the Korean and U.S. Governments !

Go to the Korean Ministry of Defense's website :

Please forward and distribute widely!!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Filipino youth groups launch 'Crusade for Cris'Vows to organize protests that the 'government will never forget'

March 21, 2006

CRUSADE FOR CRIS (HUGO),' A CAMPAIGN CALLING FOR justice, was launched by national youth organizations led by the League of Filipino Students (LFS) today, with protest activities marking several campuses.

Cris Hugo, a 20 year-old student leader, was shot dead last Sunday, March 19, making him the first student killed in the series of political assassinations in the Philippines this year. Cris Hugo is the regional chairperson of LFS in Bicol, south of Luzon islands.

"What is most alarming here is that, this time, the victim is a young student. This is what angers us so much, the fact that the target now extends to our friends and fellow students," said Vencer Crisostomo, LFS national chairperson.

Joining the crusade are national youth groups College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), Kabataan Party, Anakbayan, Kabataang Artista para sa Tunay na Kalayaan (KARATULA) and the Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP).

The groups kicked-off the campaign with series of protest activities in several campuses. The CEGP, a nationwide alliance of college publications, trooped to the University Belt and conducted information dissemination activities regarding the killing. Students from the University of the Philippines, meanwhile, held room-to-room discussions and a noise barrage protest in the afternoon.

"Now we are really pissed. We promise to generate a student movement that will claim justice for Cris and will bring down this fascist government. We will avenge the killing of our fellow student and bring Arroyo a protest she will never forget," said Crisostomo.

The youth groups are holding a protest action on March 22, and are planning to march on March 23, together with other organizations.

"We will post his picture on the walls of our student offices and classrooms. He will serve as reminder of how wicked the Arroyo is and will be our inspiration to further intensify our efforts to oust her government immediately," Crisostomo said. ###

Monday, March 20, 2006

Asian Youth and People Join in Global Day of Action Against U.S. War of Terror and Aggression**

The Asian Students Association (ASA), together with regional and local organizations in Hong Kong, led a protest action at the U.S. Consulate General today, March 20, to denounce its continuous occupation of Iraq and to call for the immediate removal of its troops there and in many parts of the world.

The leading organizations joining the ASA are the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, Asian Human Rights Commission, Asian Migrants Coordinating Body, Asian Monitor Resource Centre and Hong Kong University Students Union. Around 50 participants of various nationalities were present and took part in the solidarity event.

The timing of the march was impeccable as we walked our way through the traffic and the droves of people going out for lunch. A lot of people stopped and watched us as we started from the foot of the Hong Kong Bank Building in Central and snaked through the traffic and up Garden Road, where the consulate is situated. We were chanting slogans: “U.S. Troops Out Now!”, “Down with Bush, Rice and Cheney!” and U.S. Imperialist, No. 1 Terrorist!”

Aside from the big banner and the placards we were holding up high, we also taped on our shirts print-outs of a hand with a bloodied flag painted on it and stamped with a no-entry symbol. This is to symbolize their major demand that day: HANDS OFF IRAQ AND ANY PART OF THE WORLD!

Speakers expressed their indignation in fiery speeches as the crowd chanted slogans in unison.

Apo Leong of AMRC opened the program by recollecting mass actions we have staged in 2003, the year the U.S. attacked Iraq. He furthered that the Hong Kong people will not cower in this campaign as long as the American military forces remain in Iraq.

Bruce Van Vhooris of the AHRC started his speech with the poem “God Bless America”. An American himself, he is angered by the unjust and illegal war that the U.S. has staged. The lies, he said, were created by the government only to invade and take control of Iraq’s oil. He called for the ending of the lies, killings and occupation by U.S. and the impeachment of George W. Bush.

Eni Lestari of the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body discussed how Muslims like her are angered by the demonization of Islam by the U.S. imperialism. She went on to say that as migrants and as Muslims they will continue to fight this U.S. war of terror.

Bond, the internal vice president of the Hong Kong University Students Union, a member of ASA member and officer Hong Kong Federation of Students, found no sense in the war the U.S. is waging, he said in his speech. Legislator Leung Kwok Hung, or Long Hair to many, also expressed indignation over the occupation and aggression as well as explained its relation to the other atrocities done by the U.S. and the support it has given to repressive regimes.

Ramon Bultron of the ILPS Hong Kong read the ILPS statement stating the infamy of the war and how various peoples all over the world, including the people of Iraq, have expressed condemnation and resistance to it. Governments have been pressured by their people to withdraw support on the war. The unpopular war is giving a lesson to U.S. imperialism that even with its advanced war arsenal they cannot win against the united people’s movement.

After Ramon, a Cambodian staff of the AHRC spoke against sectarian killing and the end to the U.S. occupation.

The various leaders went on to submit the statement to representatives of the U.S. Consulate as the whole crowd demanded the end to the war and the occupation, the immediate removal of the military troops in Iraq and of Bush from his presidency. We made sure they heard as right.

Rey Asis of the ASA secretariat facilitated the program. He went to mention that members of the ASA joined in the international day of action. The All Anti-Invasion Student Joint Action (AASJA-Japan), Malaysian Youth and Students Democratic Movement (DEMA-Malaysia), the League of Filipino Students, National Union of Students of the Philippines and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (LFS, NUSP and CEGP-Philippines) and Front Mahasiswa Nasional (FMN-Indonesia) were among its many members who launched their own action today.

Lastly, we drew in a huge number of media outfits covering the whole event. Reporters from Phoenix, Associated Press Television Network, South China Morning Post, ATV, Radio Hong Kong and Hong Kong News among others were there with us all through out the whole mass action.

** Photos of the mass action will be posted later tonight. Thank you for your understanding.

Another 17 Malaysian students faced trial

BREAKING NEWS: Another 17 students from the University Malaya attended the disciplinary action trial by the university authority.

Following the series crackdown on the students in UPM and USM, now the 17 students who went to the Parliament to send the memorandum to the then Minister of Higher Education on September 21, 2005.

Members of the ASA, Malaysia Students and Youth Democratic Movement (DEMA) presented in the court hearing in solidarity with the 17 UM students. The central committee of the DEMA together with another 100 students were there to protest such crackdown of the UM authority.

Malaysia is famous with its draconian laws. The most repressive laws that prevent the academic freedom and the campus democracy is the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) that prohibit the students to get involve in political activities. Furthermore, it forbid the students to organize themselves especially in the critical activities towards the government or the ruling policies. The 17 students were charged under such laws.

When the students gathered outside the trial building, the security personnel harrass the students by stop the speeches delivery. There was a camera shooting to those who attended the protest gathering to create the atmosphere of fear. This is the culture of the university in Malaysia.

How we can really confident with the new Minister of Higher Education who committed himself to reform the university? How can we achieve a world-class university if we have such a repressive law inside the university? How can one expect the quality of the students in Malaysia will reach the world standard?

These are the questions for those who decided to take the 17 UM students to the trial. Hopefully they will think twice for the sake of the academic development and the nation.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Oust Thaksin with many creative ways!!!

The campaign Oust Thaksin is gaining stronger momentum. You can see how creative of the Thai people to fight for the democracy in their country. Well done!

Meeting with ABSDF and others ASA members in Mae Sot

UPDATE: It was a great meeting between the Regional Secretariat member and the members of the ASA in Mae Sot. Since the 15th General Conference in Bangkok in 2002, the members of the ASA from Burma, All Burma Student Democratic Front (ABSDF flag was on the left), All Burma Free Student Union (ABFSU) and DPNS Student Wing were not able to join any particular ASA activities.

Due to the restriction of the travel document, many of the Burmese activisits unable to travel to other countries. Their freedom of movement are seriously denied by the Thai authority and the discrimination from the destination countries too. Many of the ASA members would like to participate in the programs of the ASA. However the reality of their refugee status always stop them.

The visit of the ASA secretariat to Mae Sot was the first time in the ASA history. Khai Loon is the first secretariat member visit our member organizations office in Mae Sot. It was a solidarity visit and deliver our concrete support to their movement.

The meeting was fruitful and full of thoughts. Due to lack of communication since the 2002 General Conference, the meeting in Mae Sot really meaningful in term of update each other and understand the current situation of both sides. The meeting also came out with several resolutions as follow:

1. August 8 will be the international day of action to pressure the military junta to release all the political prisoners inside Burma.

2. Noveber 17 will the international students day. The ASA shall conduct a students right campaign for the young people in Burma.

3. December 10, the International Human Rights Day and the 15th Anniversary of Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, the ASA shall conduct the solidarity campaign to call for the release of Suu Kyi and other political prisoners.

Hope all our members will take note on these dates. We shall have a unite action towards the freedom and democracy of Burma.

Monday, March 13, 2006

ASA in solidarity with SFT to oust Thaksin!

UPDATE: The Secretariat member, Khai Loon is now in Thailand for the solidarity towards the Student Federation of Thailand (SFT) in their campaign to Oust Thaksin. He attended different protest actions at Sanam Luang since last Sunday (March 5).

As one of the Executive Committee members of the ASA, SFT able to mobilize students from different provinces to Bangkok to join the protest actions. Besides calling Thaksin to get out from his office, they also protested in front of the Singapore Embassy to stop the transaction of the Temasek Holdings on Shin Corp that owned by Thaksin's family.

The struggle of the SFT under the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), the broad network of different civil society organizations, is steadfast and gaining the momentum. Even Thaksin intensify his own campaign by visit different provinces to gain the confident from the people, but the movement to Oust Thaksin also grow up.

We are in solidarity with the People in Thailand and SFT to struggle for the democracy of the country. We shall update you with more information and insight about the struggle in Thailand.

Here are the article that ASA interviewed by The Nation with the title "A Lesson of Democracy for All" Enjoy reading!