ASEAN in Laos: Challenges of Leadership, Human Rights & Democracy

Press conference held at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand on 31 August, 2016, Bangkok 

RFA-FCCT-2016

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 of the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch.

Video of the press conference is available in three segments: One, two & three.

The following press briefings were also distributed:

ASEAN in Laos: Challenges of Leadership, Human Rights and Democracy

ASEAN logo 2016Press 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, set for the regional bloc?

The enforced disappearance of prominent civil society leader Sombath Somphone in December 2012, ongoing arbitrary detentions, and extremely tight controls on the media and civil society have instilled an environment of fear, silence, and repression in Laos. Little news about the serious human rights abuses occurring in the country ever comes out in the media, allowing the continued violation of basic liberties.

Despite this repressive environment, foreign aid and investment continue to flow into Laos. Continue reading “ASEAN in Laos: Challenges of Leadership, Human Rights and Democracy”

Sombath, Humanity & Nature at ASCS/APF

Dili-APF-2016-03“Humanity & Nature,” a workshop on traditional and alternative perspectives about humanity’s relationship with the environment was held on August 4th at the ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF) in Dili, Timor Leste.

Topics discussed included Sombath’s work and philosophy, holistic education, gross national happiness, traditional wisdom, and agro-ecology. A video from an earlier workshop on these issues was also shared.

Government-appointed CSO representatives from the Lao PDR also briefly attended, apparently to monitor who was participating. Others stood for a picture of solidarity just after the event.

Workshop on Sombath at ACSC/APF

ACSC-APF-2016-Humanity & NatureLao civil society representatives made it clear that Sombath’s name, among other issues, would not be welcome at a ACSC/APF event held in Laos. For this and other reasons, the event was moved to Timor-Leste.

“Humanity and Nature” will be held from 16:15-18:15 PM on August 4th in room two of the Alola Foundation.

Speakers include:

  • Ng Shui Meng, Spouse of Sombath Somphone
  • Genito Santana, Kdadalak Sulimutuk Instititute
  • Cheek Sophea, Focus on the Global South
  • Myrna Dominguez, Integrated Rural Development Foundation
  • Sam Zarifi, International Commission of Jurists

Is International Aid Complicit in the Repression in Laos?

LMHR logoThe Lao Movement for Human Rights has the honor of inviting you to a conference on:

”Is International assistance complicit in the repression in Laos?

Tuesday, June 14 at 15:00
Regional Council of Ile-de-France, room 100
33 rue Barbet-de-Jouy, 75007 Paris

Speakers:

  • Anne-Sophie Gindroz, author of the book ”Laos: the Silent Repression”
  • Richard Werly, France correspondent of the Swiss newspaper ‘Le Temps’
  • Vanida Thephsouvanh, President of the Lao Movement for Human Rights

For safety reasons, events taking place in the regional council hall, require prior registration.

An ID will be requested at the entrance.

 

Le Mouvement Lao pour les Droits de l’Homme

A l’honneur de vous inviter à la conférence sur le thème

‘’L’aide internationale est-elle complice de la répression au Laos?’’

Mardi 14 juin à 15h00

Conseil régional d’Île-de-France, salle 100

33 rue Barbet-de-Jouy, 75007 Paris

Intervenants :

  • Anne-Sophie Gindroz, Auteur du livre ‘’ Laos : la répression silencieuse’’
  • Richard Werly, correspondant en France du journal suisse  ‘’Le Temps’’
  • Vanida Thephsouvanh, Présidente du Mouvement Lao pour les Droits de l’Homme

Pour des raisons de sécurité, les manifestations qui se déroulent dans les salles du Conseil régional sont sur inscription obligatoire.  

Une pièce d’identité vous sera demandée à l’entrée.

Humanity and Nature: Traditional, Cultural & Alternative Perspectives

Humanity & Nature Publication CoverAn 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 see the natural economy as a resource to be exploited (or at best managed) to serve the needs of the monetized economy.

While this perspective is certainly predominant, it is neither intrinsic nor universal. It is also increasingly proving to be unsustainable.

Focus on the Global South and The Sombath Initiative, in cooperation with the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, held the Sombath Symposium on February 15-17, 2016, 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.

This publication, “Humanity and Nature: Traditional, Cultural and Alternative Perspectives”, compiles essays discussing these perspectives, as well as syntheses of the different parts of the symposium.  The Sombath Initiative and Focus on the Global South hope that this publication will serve as resource material, as well as a guide document for the ongoing and future work on alternative perspectives on humanity’s relationship with nature.

A short video of the symposium and videos of each presentation are available to view at The Sombath Initiative YouTube channel.

For more information about The Sombath Initiative and Sombath Somphone, please visit www.sombath.org

Humanity & Nature: Traditional, Cultural & Alternative Perspectives

Sombath Symposium-2016-02Public Forum

February 17, 2016, 9.30 am–12.30 pm

Ruan Chula Narumit, Chulalongkorn University

This public forum will share the key lessons and conclusions from the Sombath Symposium, a three day event which aims to exchange and explore various traditional, cultural and alternative perspectives on how humans value and interact with nature.

Participants of symposium will come from Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, The Philippines, Indonesia, and India, and represent a wide range of ethnic, cultural, religious and vocational backgrounds and perspectives.

The forum will also be joined by local community and activists from Thailand to contribute to the discussion on their struggles to protect the nature and livelihood.

Organised by Focus on the Global South and the Sombath Initiative, in cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation

English-Thai-English translation will be provided

Lunch will be served at 12:30 at SASA International House

For more information about this event and to confirm attendance please contact Hamdee Tohming at [email protected] or 089-004-4117.