17th ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Council Meeting
When : 6 - 9 March 2017
Where: Iloilo, Philippines
A hardline military faction has already been connected to the plot. Ko Ni was advising the National League for Democracy and its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on constitutional reform. Suu Kyi's failure to address the issue publicly has troubled many, particularly as it fits into a pattern of aloofness. Her national reconciliation efforts have also not been making the headway hoped for.
Where does Myanmar with its post-colonial history of military misrule, ethnic strife, and economic failure go from here?
Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand
Penthouse, Maneeya Center Building
518/5 Ploenchit Road (connected to the BTS Skytrain Chitlom station)
Patumwan, Bangkok 10330
Web Site: http://www.fccthai.com
ASEAN Committee on Migrant Workers (ACMW) Meeting 2017
When : 21 - 22 February 2017
Where : Boracay, Philippines
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) Retreat (CPR, SOM, Ministers) 2017
When : 19 - 21 February 2017
Where : Boracay, Philippines
First Regional Consultative Meeting (RCM 1) - ACSC/APF 2017
When : February 15 - 17, 2017
Where : Manila, Philippines
Interim Secretariat of ACSC/APF 2017
23rd Meeting of the AICHR
When: 13 February, 2017 @ 9:00 am – 15 February, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
Where: Boracay Malay, Philippines
On 13-14 February 2017 in Manila, the Philippines, the SAPA (Solidarity for ASEAN People’s Advocacies) Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights will hold its annual strategy meeting to discuss and to coordinate various initiatives and resources within its network in order to continue its advocacy towards ASEAN. In particular, the annual strategic meeting will review and assess SAPA advocacy in 2016; share and assess the current human rights situation in ASEAN region; discuss advocacy strategy for 2017 and beyond; develop collective advocacy plan for 2017 and beyond; strengthen and maintain coordination among members and partners of SAPA. The meeting is organised by FORUM-ASIA and Child Rights Coalition Asia (CRC Asia).
Theme: ‘Strengthening Solidarity for Lumad Rights!’
Date: 7-9 December 2016
Site: Botong, Quezon, Bukidnon
Host Community: TINDOGA
Organizers: Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization and the ‘Higala sa Lumad’ Network
Lumad (“born of the earth”) is the Visayan term for “native” or “indigenous”. The same term has been claimed by Indigenous Peoples’ rights advocates and Lumads themselves since the late 70s to collectively refer to the non-Christian and non-Islamic Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao.
The term “Lumad” is short for “Katawhang Lumad” or Indigenous Peoples, the term officially adopted by the delegates of the Lumad Mindanao Peoples’ Federation founding assembly on 26 June 1986 in Kidapawan, North Cotabato.[i] The birth of the organization trailblazed the campaign in defending the Lumad’s rights to their ancestral domain and to self-determination. Since then, the term Lumad has been used as an expression of unity among the diverse ethno linguistic communities in Mindanao, fighting as one in the defense of their rights especially to their ancestral domains.
Over the years, Lumad leaders were recorded to have been killed by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other state agents as an attack to the unified campaign of Lumad communities against government atrocities.[ii]
Stewards of Mindanao’s remaining lands and forests, the Lumad have experienced centuries of brutal and painful history in defending their lands. They have survived a systematic policy driving them out of Mindanao where they are now a minority. Often pictured as kinky-haired individuals, they are regarded as second-class citizens, whose legitimate struggle for land and the environment fall on deaf ears, dismissed as just plain nuisance or, worse, as a mere criminal act against the state.
They suffered violence, termed the pacification of their ‘wild’ communities, so that the resources in their lands can be usurped, manipulated by political and economic interests of the past colonial rulers. They have been marginalized, their right to self-determination denied, and indigenous culture subdued. Beyond their territories, discrimination and exclusion confront them, allowing them an existence only in their diminishing ancestral lands.
2. About ‘Kahimunan sa Katungod’
‘Kahimunan Katungod’ is a human rights colloquium that will foster solidarity among Lumad leaders. The colloquium will become a venue where Datus, Baes, and Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations’ leaders can share with each other the pressing land and human rights issues their respective communities are confronting, collectively analyse their situation and draft recommendations and resolutions. The activity will encourage the communities to synergize home-base resources for important concerns such as sanctuaries for Lumad leaders or community members at-risk.
Educational and parallel events to the colloquium will be held simultaneously for support groups.
Over-all, the event’s objectives are: (a) To consolidate the ranks of IP communities in the defense of their rights versus aggressive plunder projects in Mindanao, (b) To learn from and to show support for the struggle for land of the host community, (c) For support groups to understand Lumad culture as an instrument of resistance, (c) To bring the opinion-making sectors closely to the struggle of Lumad communities.
‘Kahimunan sa Katungod’ is a component of the ‘Healing the Hurt’, an interfaith initiative combatting discrimination, human rights violations and impunity against the Lumad of Mindanao, supported by the European Union.
4. About the host community
The Tribal Indigenous Oppressed Group Association (TINDOGA) has weathered a long struggle in their assertion to live on their ancestral land. The members are Manobo-Pulangion, the original inhabitants of Kiokong, which is now known as the municipality of Quezon.
Their experience as a community exemplifies the marginalization common to many Lumad communities. Outrightly, their families were excluded from the other titled Manobo-Pulangion ancestral domains, the world views of those groups having already altered by the capitalist demand of land for commercial purposes (i.e. cash crop plantations). The members of TINDOGA wanted to find a piece of land which they could still till to feed their families, and practice their culture and traditions that have been passed to them by their ancestors, a connection to their land which they still wish to instill in the future generations.
TINDOGA had struggled with sweat and blood literally. Many times they were peppered with bullets, one of their companions dying during one clash with the armed guards of a landlord insisting to drive them out of their land. But the community persisted. The leaders and members of TINDOGA are living testimonies to the importance of solidarity and commitment in asserting Lumad rights. It is therefore appropriate for them to host a gathering that further strengthens solidarity among Lumad communities and support organizations and individuals.
5. About the organizing groups
Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization is an alliance of indigenous organizations in northern Mindanao and araga regions working for the right to ancestral land, self-determination and access to indigenous culture.
‘Higala sa Lumad’ (Friends of the Lumad) Network is an interfaith support group in defense, and for the promotion, of Lumad rights.
[i] Panalipdan Mindanao/Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao/Rural Missionaries of the Philippines. “Undermining Patrimony: The Large-Scale Mining Plunder in Mindanao”. November 2014.
[ii] Pacificar, Gilbert/Sanchez-Obenza, June. “Breaking Point: Defining Contradictions between Indigenous Customary Laws and State Law and Reasserting Lumad Self-Identity”. Kalumaran. 2013.
Source : www.rmp-nmr.org
"Lawyering for Change" conference: who will speak?
The "Lawyering for Change" conference, which will be held in Brussels on 30 November and 1 December, is fast approaching and we are pleased to announce that the programme has almost been finalised.
44 speakers have currently been confirmed and several others should be added to this list very soon. If you want to find out more about them, mini biographies are available on our website and we regularly post pictures and short interviews on our Facebookpage.
The afternoon of Wednesday 30 November will be devoted to workshops in small groups; participants will be able to choose two out of eight possible options. Four workshops will start at 1:30pm and four others will start at 3:15pm. Registration will open soon. As places are limited, we recommend that participants submit their choices beforehand. People who have registered to attend the conference will be informed as soon as registration opens.
From a practical standpoint, we have posted a list of the hotels that we would recommend to people joining us from abroad, as well as an online map displaying useful addresses for the conference. On the evening of Wednesday 30 November, participants will be invited to enjoy a friendly drink and possibly have dinner at the La Cour bar, which is not far from the conference venue.
For anyone who still wants to register to attend, places are available.
We look forward to seeing you in Brussels!
The entire Avocats Sans Frontières team
Myanmar recognizes 135 ethnic groups within its borders. But what about the people who constitute No. 136? They are the non-existent people, those who must not be named.
This compelling photography project by award-winning “photo activist” Saiful Huq Omi from documents the lives of Rohingya men, women, and children from Myanmar. For more than four decades, the Rohingya—a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority from Myanmar’s Rakhine State—have faced widespread and systematic human rights violations. In a 2015 legal analysis prepared for Fortify Rights, the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School found “strong evidence” that the government of Myanmar is responsible for genocide against Rohingya Muslims. Saiful Huq Omi has worked with Rohingya families since 2009, photographing their lives extensively in Bangladesh, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom.
The exhibition is a joint project between Counter Foto, Equal Rights Trust, and Fortify Rights. The exhibition captures the hardship faced by Rohingya, particularly those who have fled to Bangladesh and Malaysia. It documents their perilous journey by sea and depicts life for those living in and outside official U.N.-operated refugee camps in Bangladesh. Intimate, rare images from the camps highlight Rohingya hardships as well as the different sentiments between Rohingya adults and children towards their temporary shelters in Bangladesh. The exhibition also portrays the exploitation and dangerous working conditions Rohingya face as a consequence of their statelessness. Finally, images from Rohingya families who have resettled in Bradford, U.K. tell a different story. Living in a completely different environment, Rohingya children born in the U.K. were able to gain rights and citizenship and integrate into society, but not without complex, mixed emotions.
The event will take place at:
When: Opening night November 29, 2016, 6pm - 9:00pm.
Exhibition will be showcased from November 29 to December 6, 2016.
Where: Hof Art Bangkok
290-288, 1599 Sukhumvit Rd, Phra Khanong Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok. Five mintute walk from BTS Phra Khanong
For additional information, please contact:
John Quinley III, Associate Human Rights Specialist, Fortify Rights, email: email@example.com