In my country the state is ruled by those who have fallen into the traps of delusion and mediocrity, in a world that has reduced human rights into gruesome figures and statistics of politics and economy. The very sacredness of life and liberty has become an elusive and quite expensive concern. Human rights has become a privilege for a few at the expense of a broad humanity.
The members of the peace action network, US for OKINAWA, assembled on January 31st to express their concern about the enormous burden that U.S. military bases are placing on Okinawa. Already, U.S. military facilities occupy nearly 20% of Okinawa Island, and even the U.S. and Japanese governments agree that Futenma Air Base should be closed.
The London conference on Afghanistan was a done deal and has been in the works for a long time. The Taliban seem to be resistant to killing, they actually add to their numbers like amoeba and launch attacks ever closer to the hearts of power. So, if military power, the Big Stick, even carried by 44 countries in a coalition does not work, let us try economic power, the carrot.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Laureate who won the 1990 general election in Burma and who has been under house arrest for 14 of the last 20 years, has her appeal against her house arrest heard by the Supreme Court in Myanmar. “From a purely legal point of view we should win,” said a member of her legal team.
Man in coma after police react to remove protesters from Gangjeong village, South Korea, site of a proposed naval base.
Around 5am on January 18th 500 police were mobilized with three cranes to suppress protests against work on the new naval base which will be the home base for Aegis destroyers of the U.S. and South Korea naval forces. Protesters have been calling for the base to be shelved, claiming that nearby coral reefs will be destroyed in the process.
North Korea has called for talks on a treaty to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War with the US before a resumption of six party talks on its nuclear programme. An armistice ended three years of fighting, but a peace agreement was never concluded and the two sides are still technically at war. Pyongyang says it wants an end to US sanctions before denuclearisation talks resume.
On December 28, Peace Boat’s 68th Global Voyage for Peace will set sail from Yokohama on a 103 day, 17 port journey around the world. The voyage will take a southern route, visiting ports in Africa and Latin America, as those on board focus on global efforts to end poverty. Peace Boat sees 2010 as an important and symbolic year for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
On Aug. 27, the SS Oceanic departed Yokohama on its 107 day journey around the world visiting 20 different countries during its global voyage for peace. Among the 500 participants on board are 10 Hibakusha (Atomic Bomb Survivors) from Hiroshima and Nagasaki who have shared testimonies with people around the world. On Dec. 11 the ship returns from the global voyage.
“During my last two days I was visiting Jeju Island (about 500 miles south of the Korean peninsula) which is recognized by UNESCO as being a place of world class environmental quality and one that hosts many endangered forms of corals. To say it is a jewel would be an understatement”, writes the Coordinator of Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.
During a demonstration over the deaths of five people, following a clash with the police, over which the shadow of property speculation looms, marchers intervened in support of the relatives of the victims, who had been surrounded by police. The solidarity the group showed towards them and the words of a Zen monk to the police resolved the situation.