Somchai Neelapaijit’s enforced disappearance remains a disheartening reality that we continue to remember. The Sombath Initiative is honored to commemorate his noble efforts in defending the rights of the victims of human rights violations. His endeavors, which challenged the interests and official power of the perpetrators of those violations, in turn made him the victim... continue reading.
Sombath Somphone and the Tragedy of Enforced Disappearances: A Press Conference and Interactive Dialogue was held at the FCCT in Bangkok, Thailand on 19 December 2016. Panelists included: Pinnipa Preuksapan, wife of Pholachi “Billy” Rakchongcharoen, ethnic Karen land and rights activist Angkhana Neelapaijit, Commissioner, National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, and wife of activist lawyer... continue reading.
Briefing paper prepared by the Sombath Initiative Historically, the Lao PDR is a country of remarkable ethnic, linguistic and geographic diversity. Until recently, most communities, particularly in rural areas, were largely self- sustaining and locally-governed. A strong, traditional civil society still exists. Substantially supported through development aid, state-building is quickly replacing these traditional codes and... continue reading.
Press conference held at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand on 31 August, 2016, Bangkok Panelists included (click on link for their presentation): Shui Meng Ng, Spouse of Sombath Somphone Walden Bello, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights Laurent Meillan, Acting Regional Representative of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights With moderation by Phil Robertson, Deputy Director... continue reading.
Anadolu Agency: 31 August 2016 One week before Laos hosts a summit of Southeast Asian leaders, international rights groups are demanding that Thailand’s sleepy northern neighbor improve its human rights situation. But while advocates have underscored the state of human rights in the country, the wife of a prominent civil society leader who disappeared after being... continue reading.
Press conference at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand 11am, Wednesday 31 August, 2016, Bangkok At a time when ASEAN is witnessing an alarming increase in human rights abuses, restrictions on civil liberties, and a shrinking of democratic space in a number of its member states, what kind of example does this year’s ASEAN Chair, Laos,... continue reading.
On the occasion of the eleventh Asia-Europe People’s Forum in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, we are reminded of the ninth AEPF held in Vientiane, the capital of the Lao PDR, in 2012. As the first international civil society forum held in the country, and building on widespread public consultations in every province, AEPF9 was hailed as... continue reading.
Remarks by Ng Shui-Meng, read at the opening of the Asian-Europe People’s forum in Ulaanbataar: Greetings to all participants gathered together at this 11th AEPF in Ulaan Baatar. Once more representatives from civil society groups across Asia and Europe are gathered together for another Asia-Europe People’s Forum. Two years ago I was in Milan at... continue reading.
This presentation was part of the Sombath Symposium on “Humanity and Nature: Traditional, Cultural and Alternative Perspectives”, the objective of which was to present and discuss knowledge and practice drawn from different cultures and traditions that can serve as an alternative foundation to the predominant growth-driven development model.... continue reading.
An economy is often defined as “the wealth and resources of a country or region”. Few would contest that the greatest wealth and most fundamental resource for humanity is the earth on which we live; yet most do not see our environment as an economy in itself. Conversely, nearly all contemporary economic and development models... continue reading.