PSPD l People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
PSPD English Newsletter,March 2016
- 2016.03.29 (14:37:49)
PSPD Newsletter, March 2016
Happy Participation, Heartwarming Solidarity This Month of the PSPD
The March has come. It is only a month away from the 20th General Election which would have a great impact on the future of our society. PSPD secretariat office is getting busier day by day. With thanks to the support of PSPD members and citizens wishing for a better society, Let me brief what PSPD has done last February.
Start of ‘Making the General Election for judgment and conversion’
PSPD has defined the 20th General Election which will take place on 13 April as the election for judgment and conversion. It should become an opportunity to judge wrongful politics and performance of the state administration, and convert for a better society.
In order to realize it, PSPD has prepared from January to provide necessary information to voters and suggest policies to be adopted for election promises. The first outcome ‘Assessment on public commitment’ was released through investigative journal <Newstapa> in late February and examined how many promises of the 19th General Election have implemented. In early March, policies essential for conversion will be presented.
No Counter-Terrorism Act that would only increase the power of the National Intelligence Service
The Government has pressurized the National Assembly to shiftily pass Counter-Terrorism Act insisting the North Korea is preparing for terrors since it executed the 4th nuclear test and fired rocket missile. Nevertheless, a Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-an did not even know that he was the chairperson of the National Terror Management Council until a lawmaker Kim Gwang-jin asked him on 18 February at the Q & A with the government session. If the government truly intends to prevent terrors, Hwang, a chairperson of the council can look into measures. However, he does not know his position and role and furthermore, there has been no direction from the president Park concerning what to do to prevent. Without following basics, the government keeps pushing for enactment of Counter-Terrorism Act. The only reason for this oppression can be think of is enhancing authority of the National Intelligence Service under the excuse of terror prevention. For the purpose of stopping enactment, PSPD has campaigned urgent online petition from 22 February. It held a press conference on 23 in front of the National Assembly and carried out one-person
THAAD, What is the problem?
There is another issue that the government is pushing forward giving an excuse of nuclear test of North Korea. Together with the American government, it is planning to install THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) in Korea. Two governments insist that THAAD is a preparation for nuclear and missile of North Korea but it is widely known to be ineffective to defend ballistic missiles of the North. Infringements of the right to live and health of residents and damages on the environment are serious problems incurred by installing THAAD. The Defense Ministry of the US also admits these consequences and damages have been already found in neighborhood of US radar base in Japan. Unfortunately, these kinds of information are rarely revealed because criticism has disappeared in our press. PSPD has made card news to easily explain and inform citizens on risks and problems associated with THAAD installation. I would like you to read <THAAD, troublemaker> made on 19 February and spread it around to other people.
Won the National Flag Contempt case, a citizen was prosecuted for
Do you remember a citizen who burnt a paper national flag to appeal against the stance of the government over the first memorial of Sewol Ferry disaster held in April last year? Prosecutors charged him for National Flag Contempt applying Article 105 of the Criminal Law ‘Damaging National Flag in order to contempt the country is subject to punishment’. PSPD has supported him with public proceeding and the Seoul Central Court said on 17 February that he was innocent for National Flag Contempt. It decided that he tried to appeal to the government but didn’t seem to have an intention to contempt a national flag.
‘Nuri program, whose responsibility is it?
At the presidential election in 2012, the President Park Geun-hye said daycare of children aged between 0-5 should be completely taken care by the government and promised to increase budget for Nuri program subsidizing daycare of children aged between 3 and 5. However, the central government has passed the responsibility to metropolitan and provincial governments when allocating the budget. It eventually changed the enforcement ordinance of the Local Finance Act last October to evade its responsibility by including Nuri program budget in the mandatory expense of provincial government office of education. Regarding the change, education superintendents have expressed the stance that other necessary expenses would be short if Nuri program is covered by local budget, and boycotted the central government’s guideline. Meanwhile, victims are parents of children. Therefore, PSPD held a urgent forum on 2 February <Who is responsible for daycare of children?> and reviewed If any legal issue was involved in tossing the finance to local education offices, and roles and responsibilities of the central and local education offices in terms of finances of welfare and education. The conclusion defined that all responsibilities are on the state. Materials and information of the forum are available on PSPD website.
Young people gathered for ‘the honor and the human right to ‘comfort women’’
Together with 20 teenagers, a voluntary program “The Honor and the Human Right to ‘comfort women’” was held on 27 January. While the criticism over a haste agreement on sex slave issue which was made between Korean and Japanese government end of last year does not seem to subsides, the program provided the time to directly see, listen and share related problems at the sites and take an action. Teenagers watched an animation <A story of a young girl> produced with the voice of a victim Jeong Se-woon and shared their views. ‘Japanese Army sex slave’ matter is the world’s oldest peace protest. They made pickets to use at regular ‘Wednesday protest’ and also participated in. Afterwards, they moved to Insa-dong and carried out collecting one hundred million signatures of the world for the settlement of sex slave problems. They were shy and felt uncomfortable since it was their first signature collecting activity but their serious attitude and efforts looked beautiful.