The ongoing constitutional convention which started only last Monday (April 17, 2004) in Burma is not a roadmap to democracy but a “roadmap to another surefire disaster for the peoples of Burma.” There might be no other statements that could stand truer than this after the ruling State Peace and Development Council, the junta government of Burma, refused to grant the demands of the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) that include the immediate release of democracy icon and NLD general secretary Aung San Suu Kyi and party vice chairman Tin Oo and its failure to adopt significant reforms to the rules and procedures of convention.
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 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.