IPMSDL joins the 14th International Civil Society Week in Suva, Fiji

The CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation and the Pacific Islands Association of NGO’s (PIANGO), co-hosted the 14th International Civil Society Week (ICSW) from 4-8 December in Suva, Fiji with the theme “Our Planet. Our Struggle. Our Future.” For the first time, the ICSW was held in the Pacific Region following the campaign to highlight the effects of climate change on small islands. The week’s programme consisted of a youth assembly, concurrent events, cultural festivities, and networking events that built up to the CIVICUS world assembly.

IPMSDL, as one of the event partners, sponsored a forum entitled Self-Determination and Liberation in the Pacific.  The forum, organized in partnership with Dewan Adat Papua and Land is Life, served as a space for organizations from the different island states in the region to share their struggles for self-determination and liberation and to establish solidarity among these nations through the introduction of Merdeka (West Papua Support Committee), which was initially launched during a study conference in Davao City, Philippines last March.

 

IPMSDL Global Coordinator Beverly Longid facilitated the forum

The discussion on West Papua included the roots of conflict, the civil and political rights situation under Indonesian occupation – including the social and cultural rights, and the resistance movements formed in response to the injustices. The speakers from the Solomon Islands highlighted the rampant corruption, gender inequality, and foreign take-over of indigenous lands in their islands and how the struggle for self-determination in SI roots back to the Malaitans’ aspiration of governing themselves free from British interference. The sharing from Kanaky featured some individuals who made notable contributions to their independence movements such as political activist Jean-Marie Tijbaou.

From these stories, there existed a common theme of indigenous peoples’ marginalization in their own lands – from issues colonization and repression to modern-day deprivation of basic social services, freedom of speech, militarism, harassment, killings, and so on. These are the same issues from years ago that brought about a rich history of resistances and liberation movements in these island states and led to the formation of various people’s organization as we know today.

Referring to one of the interventions during the forum, although we may  live in the same region of the world, this does not necessarily mean that we are aware of what each nation is going through and this accentuates the significance of having avenues such as the forum for building international solidarity – while we can express our support for the struggle of other nations in various ways through our CSOs, NGOs, and POs, facing and winning our local battles is also one of the best means to urge other nations to win theirs. At the same time, we must also remember from our experiences that our legal battles are limited and constrained without the support of our mass movement on the ground.

By the end of the programme, the delegates wrote down on paper their call to actions and insights based on the discussion to support the struggles of West Papua and the Pacific Island states; among these are “Your liberation is our liberation”, “strengthen our partnerships amongst peoples who are also struggling for self-determination”, “self-determination is peoples’ right and government responsibility”, and “[to] liberate our land and resources is [to] liberate our life”.

 

Long live the struggle of West Papua for national liberation!

Merdeka for West Papua and all Pacific Island States!

On the 2017 International Human Rights Day: #FightTyranny

IPMSDL calls to uphold human rights in the Philippines amid US-Duterte regime’s “terrorist” crackdown in light of IHR Day commemoration

The International Indigenous People’s Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) slams the US-Duterte’s fascist regime and its display of ruthless disrespect to the Filipino people’s rights and civil liberties. The Philippine government is acting as the major human rights violator, waging terroristic attacks against its people, and it is doing so under the auspices of the imperialist US.

The Movement raises grave alarm over Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s rising tyranny, which intensified militarization and human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples, rights defenders, and activists all over the Philippines. The state-perpetrated attacks peaked days before the International Human Rights Day, as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) escalated its counter-insurgency efforts that included civilians and legal organizations critical of the US-Duterte regime as targets.

IPMSDL particularly condemns the recent massacre of indigenous Lumads by military elements last Dec. 3 in Sitio Datalbong, Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, Philippines. The 27th and 33rd Infantry Batallion of the AFP killed eight and wounded two of T’boli and Dulangan Manobo farmers as they were about to harvest their crops from their farmland, which was formerly a 300-hectare coffee plantation for Nestle recently regained from the corporate giant David M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI). Prior to the incident, the military accused on media one of the victims, Datu Victor Danyan, to be a commander of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Aside from that, military offensives caused Lumad communities in Sarangani province and Surigao del Sur in Mindanao to forcibly evacuate. Soldiers have even imposed food blockade to evacuees, alleging that they are supporters of the NPA. Lumad schools also continue to face harassment on ground and even online.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the country, rights defenders and activist leaders are experiencing harassments in various forms due to Duterte’s crackdown order against the militant mass movement. The number of cases documented are rising at the daily. These include the killing of two religious leaders in Luzon and the death threats received by countless activists in major cities.

All these took place less than a month ago since Duterte’s termination of the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) through Presidential Proclamation No. 360, and the branding of the belligerent Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing NPA as terrorists through Presidential Proclamation No. 367. As if these are not enough, the AFP recommended the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao, which Duterte may expand to the whole country.

It is timely now, more than ever, to call for the upholding of human rights in observance of the International Human Rights Day. IPMSDL joins the Filipino people in the demand for land, livelihood, rights, justice, and accountability for all inhumane acts of the US-Duterte regime and the AFP.

 

JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIMS OF LAKE SEBU MASSACRE!

DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES! STOP THE KILLINGS!

FIGHT THE US-DUTERTE REGIME’S TYRANNY! RESIST THE CRACKDOWN!

On the 2017 ASEAN Summit

The imperialist powers are consolidating their control over Asia. This was proven by the recently concluded 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and East Asia Summit held November in Manila, Philippines.

Led by the imperialist US, world leaders discussed the promotion of neoliberal policies and programs to enable further state and private entities. In the face of the worsening global economic crisis, these imperialists attempt to preserve themselves through foreign intervention of underdeveloped and developing nations by having them open up their economies with the help of local puppets. ASEAN’s “development” agenda only favors corporations who only seek to maximize profits.

Under this neoliberal framework, the marginalized especially communities of Indigenous Peoples are being displaced from their ancestral lands and dispossessed of natural resources due to massive land grabbing. Their traditions and identities are degraded, their cultures commercialized, their rights especially to self-determination overstepped and violated. They face rampant discrimination and worsened poverty. The promised “growth” is only of imperialism’s benefit and never represent the peoples’ interests.

IPMSDL particularly decries the silence of these timely gatherings on numerous human rights issues in the region: the IP killings in the Philippines, Indonesian occupation of West Papua, Rohingya persecution in Myanmar, and Chinese land-grabbing and environmental plunder along the Mekong Region.

The Movement also criticizes the absurd misuse of public funds by the Philippine government to hosting a summit that is directed towards further exploitation of its people. A good portion of the PHP 15.5 billion-budget was squandered to quell the mobilizations in response to the event. Police used water cannons, truncheons, and the sonic weapon Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) to violently disperse protesters. Hundreds were injured from both sides.

IPMSDL, along with our allies from the workers, peasants, women, youth, and other marginalized sectors, resolve to continue the struggle against imperialism, state fascism, and all that leads to the oppression of Indigenous Peoples in Southeast Asia and all over the world.

 

SOUTHEAST ASIA NOT FOR SALE!

STOP THE PLUNDER AND MILITARISM IN INDIGENOUS LANDS!

DOWN WITH IMPERIALISM!