The Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) first and foremost stands for and supports universal respect for human rights and human dignity. It is thus with a heavy heart that we now view the remains and still simmering aftermath of the violent dispersal of farmer-protesters last April 1 in Kidapawan City, claiming three lives and injuring scores of others. Six thousand suffering and hungry men, women and children, battered by three months of drought and left with little option but to demand the release of emergency food aid, should have been met with utmost compassion and speedy humanitarian action, not by insufferable violence and bullets, buttressed by bureaucratic apologies.
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This book was a long time coming.
We had intended to put down in writing the more than 10 years of our work, in supporting the struggle for self-determination of the East Timorese through the regional solidarity formation that we helped establish: the Asia-Pacific Coalition for East Timor (APCET).
Our purpose was to sum up our experience and draw valuable lessons and practices – both good and not so good- those were generated by our accompaniment so as to share the discourse to those who find themselves in akin situations today and in the future.
Oftentimes, it is when we lose touch with something is when we realize how much it has actually become part of our lives. The Internet has only been with us for a generation or so, yet many of us now wonder how we’ve ever existed without it. The Internet’s growing speed, accessibility, reliability and the freedom it allows us all to hear different voices and speak to them as well has made us more informed, insightful and willing to share opinions nearly instantaneously. Such is the power of the Internet in our lives.
As you all may be aware, Myanmar held their historic elections on November 8, 2015. Women’s participation is integral to democratization and peaceful transition of Myanmar. To ensure that, the newly elected leaders are urged to address the importance of women participation at the parliament.
Yesterday, October 15, 2015, marked the signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) between the Myanmar/Burma government and eight (8) of the country’s ethnic armed groups that, for almost five decades, have been fighting for their right to self – determination. Said peace accord, also known as the “framework for political dialogue” was declared a top priority by the government when former top Army general Thein Sein assumed office in 2011.
t is however sad to note that peace will more likely remain elusive for the peoples of Myanmar as more than half of the ethnic groups involved in the peace process have declined to participate in today’s peace pact ceremony amid questions of the accord not being fully inclusive.
The Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) is a Philippines-based advocacy institution promoting human security, democratization and people-to-people solidarity.
IID conducts policy advocacy and campaign programs on Burma, Mindanao, Southern Thailand, West Papua, and East Timor.