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PSPD    People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

  • Archive
  • 2002.01.31
  • 836
The shadow of the 11 September terrorist attack last year is still hanging over us all. The war in Afghanistan is drawing to its close but it will take a long time before the Afghan people can return to normal lives, let alone sort out their refugee problem once and for all. The war may be over but genuine peace will prove to be much harder to come by. Expressing our sympathy and solidarity for the Afghan people, we have decided to feature special coverage in this issue of the ASQ on the quest for peace from the people's perspective. Professor Koo Kab-woo of Kyungnam University discuses the anti-terrorism war with his usual insight. When every retrogressive action by the authorities all over the world is justified in the name of 'fight against terrorism', Prof. Koo's critical analysis will provide a sound antidote against this stifling trend. A compilation of events will follow, which covers the recent moves, acts and campaigns for peace in Korea as well as in Asia. We believe that this kind of fact file will help build an ongoing archive for civil society in the region. Professor George Katsiaficas of Wentworth Institute of Technology in the US contributes an incisive article titled 'Coexistence with Islamic fundamentalism?'. An influential social critic who has written extensively about the social movement around the world, Prof. Katsiaficas' essay will shed new light on this pressing issue from a refreshingly different angle.

The second section introduces a select group of four NGOs in Asia. We are very pleased to be able to include articles on the following groups in this edition. The Women Making Peace in Korea has been at the forefront of the peace movement on the part of women, a rarity in Korea's civil society scene. Led by an experienced cadre of women activists, the group has been able to draw public attention to the needs of peace movement as inspired by feminist's ideas. The Peace Network is another example of an advocacy group devoted to the specific issue of peace building and peace making. The Network's recent growth has been a focus of interest in the country among activists as well as the public. The work of the Indonesian peace group KontraS has never appeared in the Korean press before. As the world's most populous Muslim country Indonesia presents a particularly interesting case of maintaining peace, security and prosperity. Given the challenging environment for the operation of NGOs, it is hoped that the case of KontraS will give the readers a taste of civic activism against all odds. Lastly, the story of a Bangladeshi women's group, Naripokkho, should also interest our readers, not only because of its history but because of its working method.

For our last section, case examples of some NGO activities in Asia are highlighted. Included here is, among others, the monitoring activity of the ACHR ('Urban Poor Consortium-Eviction Watch and Housing Rights Program'). The group's activity deals with a fact-finding mission on state violence against the poor in Indonesia. Next, monitoring activities of a group called ANFREL (Asian Network for Free Elections) are illustrated with special reference to the case of Sri Lanka. The belief that fair and clean elections are a first step towards institutional democracy led the PSPD to join forces with ANFREL last year. This is an exemplary story of solidarity in an Asian context. It is followed by a brief introductory essay on the newly established National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Korea. The worldwide proliferation of national human rights institutions after the 1990s is a phenomenon that deserves our attention. It is salutary therefore that the NHRC in Korea has finally come into existence after many years' of hard struggle by human rights groups, domestic and abroad. Here is an essay written by an activist-researcher who has participated in the creation of the institution from its nascent state, hence having first-hand knowledge of the Commission. To wind up we have included, as usual, two pieces of information/news about the respective activities of our collaborating institutions, the PSPD and the RCAN. We hope you enjoy this edition of the ASQ, and we will welcome any comments or suggestions from the readers.
Cho Hyo-Je
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Editor's Note   2000.10.31
Editor's Note   2001.04.03
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Editor's Note   2002.08.24
Editor's Note   2003.01.31
Editor's Note   2003.11.08
Editor"s Note   2001.01.31
East Asia-U.S.-Puerto Rico Women's Network against Militarism   2003.11.08
Does WSSD Stand for the World Summit on $hameful Deals?   2003.11.08
Documentation for Action Groups in Asia (DAGA)   2003.01.31
Details on the Genome Project Hearing   2001.09.15
Conscientious Objectors against Military Service in Korea   2002.08.24
Collaboration between PSPD and Resource Centre for Asian NGOs   2000.10.31
Coexistence with Islamic Fundamentalism?   2002.01.31
Civil Network for a Peaceful Korea   2002.01.31
Citizen's Action to Change Election   2002.08.24
Chronology and Documents of South-North Dialogues   2000.10.31
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