The Fifth Conference of the Asia Pacific Coalition for East Timor (APCET 5) held in Dili from 16 – 19 May 2004, affirms the success of APCET in: bringing organizations from all over the region together to work in solidarity for the continuing liberation of the people of Timor Leste; developing a spirit of cooperation which contributed to the eventual ending of the Indonesian occupation of Timor Leste and creating an atmosphere in which the struggles of the past can be used to inspire others.
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The Tribal Governance Conference is a series of consultations culminating in a conference that brought together leaders–Datus, Timuays and Baes–of the various tribes and sub-tribes in Mindanao to discuss the prospects, issues and concerns affecting their governance within their respective tribes, among the different tribes vis-à-vis the Philippine government and the mainstream society and majority culture it represents.
The series of bombings and killings in Sulu implicating the Marines is very alarming and has caused more anxieties among the innocent victims of these tragedies who ought to be afforded justice. The Mindanao PeaceWeavers, aside from strongly condemning these incidents in Sulu, calls on the Armed Forces of the Philippines to let the Police investigation takes its due course with the AFP’s paramount cooperation, rather than coddle the Marine-suspects.
As we commemorate International Women’s Day today and remember the sacrifices and struggles of women the world over to attain equality and respect, we must not forget the struggle of Burma and the woman who has become an international symbol of heroic and peaceful resistance in the face of oppression.Women the world over are free to go out and celebrate this day, but Aung San Suu Kyi, the leading Burmese democratic opposition leader, remains under house arrest.
The “Mindanao Peaceweavers” supports the holding of exploratory talks between the Philippine government (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on February 19-20, and hopes that the meeting if successful will lead to the resumption of formal talks. There is public impatience for the resumption of negotiations even if only exploratory, since the last round of exploratory talks was held last September 2003 in Kuala Lumpur. This impatience is also understandable considering that the formal GRP-MILF talks had opened in October 1999, was derailed by the “all-out” war six months later in April 2000, and after the February 2003 war in Buliok, has been moving forward largely through exploratory talks and back-channeling efforts.
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.