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PSPD    People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

  • Peace/Disarmament
  • 2010.11.23
  • 1899

This second part of the workshop was mainly focus on the effort of civil society on the issue of disarmament and prevention of armed conflict in the region. The various backgrounds of speakers on this issue need to be recognized, this would provide to audiences with difference approaches been employ in this campaigning, personal reflection on this issue was very informative since I have personal interest on this movement, from the first time I knew such kind of movement from the Al- Jazeera last few months. And this workshop was the first time experience of direct attending of this disarmament workshop and I found this workshop was really inspiring for those who work in civil society or local NGOs especially in conflict zone like me to take this experience and apply in NGOs work. I am coming from Thailand and was working in the armed conflict zone in southern part of the country, conflict is between Thai central government with Malay insurgent group, and this is claimed by government.

 However, most of NGOs believe Thai military itself wish to maintain this armed conflict as long as possible, this tenet was supported by truth that the annual budget for Military is increasing every year but situation is getting from worse to worst.  This was suspected that there is big corruption in military spending by high rank generals. Nevertheless, this fact is really believed by many people in this area but there is little effort especially local to official investigate in this issue and this important work need to be take initiative and I believe this part of peace building. Experiences from this workshop is useful for my own region to address with the issue of military spending which seemed  to be unreachable by many people but this was prove that this is effective method to bring peace and justice to the region in many part of the world.

The concrete experiences and approaches dealing with this campaign was useful for implementation in my own area particularly from Mr. Colin Archer (International Peace Bureau), in this written workshop document, he provides his real experiences involved with this movement. He provides with basic principles of what he has been done is for me really practical to take initiative in my own context. And this story of success in both Guatemala and Belgium is really inspiring me to take effort in this movement. The tactics been employed in these given example was really creative and innovative. And he also encouraged participant to generate new creative approaches to be employed in the movement which is very important to not to stick with only certain idea but try to create something and searching for new alternative to solve the problem, this was important fact which mostly we tend to forgot and followed what have been done and fail to think approached which suitable with our own context.

The effort of women on the issue of disarmament movement was highlighted in this workshop and women perspectives is important to strengthen the effort in general on this issue, strong effort of Korean women is really motivated other to be active in this movement. The movement against force military conscription is interesting since this is first time to hear on this movement.

I personally related to my own context, in Thailand conscription is still common in general and forced by law. Personally, I disagreed with this system in my own country but never see any effort to against this practice and again was inspiring me to implement this movement in my country, although there is several human rights civil society and local NGOs but they tend to ignore this of practice is basic human rights violation and alternative way to serve the country addressed by any party in the country.  What have been said in the workshop that military should be more professional military is bring some thought and I believe this is really true and there is no any effort from government in my country and conscription is really old fashion.

Personally, need kind of issue should really need to address by any human rights organization. Learning from Korean experience is really good initiative for new beginner on this issue.

 Nevertheless, women attempt address on this issue is really respect, direct listen from their experience was informative and could really felt their vigorous in involving in the women.
 
Although, women have been marginalized in many area but the effort of them is highly respect particularly they work hard and address on the behalf of young men who against military conscription which consider basic human rights violation.

This workshop would be more interesting if they could provide the speaker from other region of the work specially in those are activists from the Middle East or Southeast Asia since from the report those countries located in that region annually increasing their military and area where civil conflict is still going on in the area, I believe experience would be different from those who from North and Korea. If their experience is highlighted, this would provide holistic picture of the movement and this will be bring more people together in the movement. And the workshop would be more interesting if the speakers from liberal government or military forces come to share their opinion and perspectives on this issue not only speaker from civil society or NGOs.

I believe this workshop would be benefited for them and they would be able to receive and learn from experiences and discussion in the workshop and they would able to gain new alternative approaches to the problem as well. And this later I believe will create understanding between both parties and I believe this mutual effort from both civic level and government level would transform state’s structure for peaceful and justice, co-operation between parties involve in issue would provide more suitable solution to the problem facing by the people. 


By Hamdee, SungKongHoe University
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