News Archives » Asia
Victory at the UN! September 9th, 2014
Despite a disappointing no vote from the United States, the UN General Assembly earlier today voted 124 – 11 to begin negotiations for an international bankruptcy process to end global inequality. The process can potentially stop vulture funds from preying on vulnerable countries and create a global economy that serves all of us.
Unfortunately, the United States government was one of only 11 countries to vote against this treaty process. While the US government is against predatory behavior, they are against this approach. We have much work left to do because today’s UN vote will not outlaw global predatory activity in the United States, one of the most important financial jurisdictions.
Read Jubilee USA’s press release and analysis of the vote here.
Yesterday, we asked you to contact United States UN Ambassador Power and urge her to support the resolution, and we thank everyone who spoke out on this issue. Thousands of faxes, calls and emails were sent to Ambassador Power in response to this request from Jubilee USA and Network members. Churches, synagogues, the AFL-CIO and dozens of Catholic religious orders joined you and amplified our message.
We will continue to update our network on this important issue. For information and analysis on the international debt, please visit Jubilee USA
Please Support UN Resolution for an International Bankruptcy Process September 5th, 2014We would like to share this prayer and action request from our colleagues at Jubilee USA. JPIC Director, Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI co-signed the recent Jubilee letter on this issue to Ambassador Power:
On Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly could vote on a resolution to not only stop vulture funds, but to actually prevent the world’s poorest economies from defaulting. A majority of countries support it – thanks to the work we have done together, the world is largely united against predatory behavior.
Yesterday, Jubilee’s executive board officers sent a letter to the United States UN Ambassador Samantha Power urging her to support this resolution.
Please pray for Ambassador Power as she weighs her vote, and we hope your entire faith community will pray for the UN process this weekend. We would be honored if you would share your prayers with us by replying to this email.
This resolution is an opportunity to win a financial reform Jubilee USA has championed since our inception: an international bankruptcy process for countries. As the Argentina case highlights so clearly, we need a bankruptcy system to stop predators and end the specter of default. Winning this resolution moves us closer to building an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable.
Thank you for your prayers and support.
The Anglican Bishop of Colombo, Rev. R. Canagasabey, today rejected as false, allegations against one of his priests – human rights defender Fr. M. Sathivel – by a mob led by right-wing Buddhist monks (Bodu Bala Sena) which invaded the Oblate-run Center for Society and Religion on August 4. Issuing a statement, the Bishop said,”I do not in any way condone such action against a peaceful gathering and as his Bishop affirm that Rev. M. Sathivel is a long standing and a credible Priest of the Diocese of Colombo with over 25 years of parish and community work with a justice and peace consciousness.”
Read the full statement as a PDF: Bishop of Colombo statement rejecting false allegations against Fr Sathivel-18Aug2014
Learn more about the Centre for Society and Religion, Sri Lanka
Forum on Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh Highlights Outstanding Needs August 19th, 2014
On August 11, 2014, Kapaeeng Foundation of Bangladesh held a forum on the “Second International Decade and Situation of Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh” at the National Museum auditorium in Dhaka. The meeting was organized to celebrate International Indigenous Peoples Day 2014.
The Honorable Chairman of Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council and President of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larmawas presented as the guest of honor, while Mr. Rabindranath Soren, Chaiperson of Kapaeeng Foundation presided over the program.
Speakers and special guests included Mr. R A M Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury MP, Honorable Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs; Mr. Fazle Hossain Badsha, MP; Pir Fazlur Rahman Misbah, MP; Professor Dr. Sadeka Halim, Former Information Commissioner; Mr. Snehal V Soneji, Country Director, Oxfam; Mr. Gonzalo Serano De La Rosa, representative of the European Union; Mr. Mika Kanervavuori, representative of UN; Mr. Sanjeeb Drong, General Secretary, Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum. Sanjeeb Drong is a close collaborator of the Oblates in Bangladesh.
Sanjeeb Drong said, the rights of indigenous people are human rights. If government does not fulfill the rights of indigenous peoples, we cannot say the human rights situation is developed in Bangladesh. So the government has to protect and promote the rights of IPs. He also said, “Land is the life of indigenous peoples. But day-by-day, indigenous peoples are losing their land. To protect the land of IPs, I demand to setup separate land commission for IPs.”
He also mentioned that, “We all are humans, and despite this we face discriminations and injustice.”
Angry Mob Invades Assembly of Families of Disappeared at Oblate Center in Sri Lanka August 12th, 2014
On the afternoon of August 4th, a group of Buddhist monks with a large number of civilians and media personnel forced their way into a meeting being hosted by the Oblate Centre for Peace and Justice in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The mob was intent on disrupting a meeting of families of the disappeared that were meeting in the place to tell their stories to an assembled group of priests, nuns, human rights activists, and representatives of civil society organizations as well as of diplomatic missions. The aim of the meeting was to pinpoint methods and strategies for helping the families of missing people locate their loved ones. The center, which is currently led by Oblate priest, Fr. Ashok Stephen, has been helping civil war victims for years.
Despite repeated requests from the organizers and the diplomatic corp present, the police failed to disperse the mob, but suggested rather that the meeting be disbanded and representatives from both parties attend an inquiry at the police station. Fr. Ashok Stephen, OMI, Director of the CPJ, filed a complaint of criminal trespass against the one Buddhist whose name he was able to determine, but does not think anything will come of it. The families present, which included children, were frightened but the mob, which shouted abuse and took photographs of those present.
Statements on the incident from Fr Ashok Stephen, OMI and Fr Rohan Silva, OMI are available on the website of the Colombo Province.
The Conference of Major Religious Superiors of Sri Lanka have also issued a statement condemning the incident. (Download PDF here)
NOGs and Religious Groups Call for Inclusion of Human Right to Water and Sanitation in SDGs July 7th, 2014
More than 300 Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), including Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, recently sent a statement to the General Assembly’s Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to explicitly affirm its commitment to protect and promote the human right to water and sanitation within the SDG framework and implementation:
“We join the repeated and insistent calls from civil society around the world to ensure that the SDGs are explicitly aligned to the human rights framework. For the post-2015 development agenda to reach its objective of being just, people-centered, and sustainable, the goals must prioritize-for present and future generations-the human right to water for health, life, food, and culture over other demands on water resources. This is even more critical given the key role of water for achieving other sustainable development objectives such as sustainable energy and food production, gender equality, and climate change mitigation.
SDGs must be designed to catalyze increased capacity and political will for States to fulfill their legally binding obligations to respect, protect, and promote the human right to water and sanitation. Our organizations fear that the human right to water and sanitation continues to be contested within the context of a global competition for scarce water resources. We are concerned that a development agenda that is not explicitly committed to upholding this vital human right may end up undermining it.”
Click here for good resources on the UN Human Right to Water: Human right to water and sanitation | International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015