Thiruvananthapuram

People’s SAARC to discuss democracy, human rights issues

Political leaders, historians, writers, human rights activists and representatives of people’s movements will share the dais at the People’s SAARC 2011, a two- day meeting of social action groups and rights organisations from various countries in South Asia beginning here on November 8 under the auspices of the Union of South Asian Peoples.

The meeting, timed to precede the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation) Summit to be held in the Maldives on November 10 and 11, is scheduled to discuss issues of democracy and human rights with special focus on people’s struggles and security legislation in South Asia. It will also focus on trade and livelihood issues, women’s role in people’s movements, de- militarisation and de- nuclearisation, natural resources and people’s movements and rebuilding the labour movement in the region. Other major concerns and topics to be discussed include exclusion, discrimination, oppression; and tolerance, syncretism and secularism.

Prominent personalities like political leader Mani Sankara Iyer, historian Dr. K.N.Panicker, former minister Binoy Viswom, leader of the National Alliance of People’s Movements Prafulla Samant Rai, spokesman of the Anti POSCO movement Prashant Paikaray, Manipuri human rights lawyer Babloo Loingtam are among those scheduled to address the parallel summit.

A press note issued by the organisors said SAARC had proved itself to be nothing more than a forum for governments to posture against each other or put in place agreements to serve the interests of the corporate world and vested interests. The grouping, it said, had lost sight of its stated objective to promote the welfare of the people of South Asia with emphasis on collective self-reliance.

“SAARC has comprehensively failed to take up issues confronted by the people of this region, which is home to the largest number of the world’s working poor”, said T.Peter, member, organising committee of the parallel summit.

“People’s SAARC 2011 will seek to address the question of peoples’ movements and their struggles and will be a process that will seek toexpand and pro-actively bring on board mass organisations and socialmovements”, said Mr.Peter.

The programme will be held at the Mannam memorial National Club, Statue here.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 1:29:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/peoples-saarc-to-discuss-democracy-human-rights-issues/article2601185.ece

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