PSPD in English Civil-Political 2009-06-12   2566

Korean People Wish the Restoration of Democracy and the Sweeping Change of the Governance Fundamentals of Lee Myungbak

on the behalf of all participating in the nation-wide memorial campaign for the 22nd anniversary of the June Democracy Resistance

We, the multiplicity consisting of the civil society, political parties, the pulpit, the academic and the netizen, assembled with grief and hope together on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of the June Democracy Resistance taken place in 1987. Even though it is the time that we should discuss the improvement of democracy and human rights, we are fighting against the government’s attempt to retreat the democracy, and at the same time we are experiencing the new epoch for democracy, the livelihood of the ordinary people and peace.

Last year, we astonished the whole world with the mature citizenry awareness with peaceful protests holding candles and requiring democracy and communication. However, the Lee Myungbak government responded with ruthless menace, seizure search, and arrestment towards the people with candles. The Lee government also restricted the freedom of speech and assembly based on its arbitrary judgment and even barricaded the Seoul Square with police vehicles.

As democracy was retreated, the demand for the rights to live was easily ignored and even suppressed vigorously and brutally. This is simply testified by the Yongsan tragedy, the late Pak Jongtae and many neighbors who stand on the edge of a precipice.

We are well aware of the fact that the political retaliation has historically brought the indelible gash and conflict, and the democracy retreat. However, the Lee government unhesitatingly privatized and mobilized the Prosecution, the Police, the National Tax Service, the National Intelligence Service and even the conservative press in order to incapacitate the political counterforce and the critics.

We well know that such power abuse is not irrelevant to the former president Roh’s demise. This is proven by itself that there has been a double standard particularly within the prosecution who passively investigated the issues related to Jaebul and the clan press, the government-patronage whereas taking an opposite position towards the former president Roh, humiliating him by aggressively publicizing unproven allegations, inducing to a trial by the media and showing the oppressive investigation attitude.

Nevertheless, we as wise and mature Korean people cherished the memory of the former president Roh in a devout and peaceful way. We paid their respect and grief in Bongha, set up the mourning altars, hold honored ceremonies and participated in a funeral ceremony and rites.

We will have remembered so many things. Those are things the former president Roh who represented the ordinary people and tried to solve the issues based on communication, and things about the public power of the Prosecution and the Police and its wirepuller who interrupted a funeral procession, crushed down the mourning altars and barricaded the Seoul Square. Furthermore, all the actions that the Lee government took during the funeral period will be remembered as representing the substance of the current juncture of June 2009.

Despite these circumstances, the Lee government is rather suffocating democracy and strengthening its unilateral governance without communication and without apologizing to the people. The Lee government announced that the National Assembly held in June would revise the law of assembly and protest for the worse, and would impose further restriction on the freedom of speech and assembly although it is guaranteed by the constitution by legislating a cyber insulting bill. Also it is openly declared that the broadcasting networks would be handed over to the clan newspapers who give shelter to the Lee government, by passing the bills on media for the worse.

The Lee government keeps ignoring the desires of the many people requesting the government to stop the unilateral governance, yet is going to enforce the river revamp project of four main rivers which inevitably resulting in unrecoverable destruction of the environment. Also it is said that banks would be handed over to the Jaebul, big conglomerates of the Korean society, by easing the separation policy of banking and commerce. Furthermore, the Lee government is making the people anxious as driving the relations of South and North Korea into that of military confrontation.

We expect that the Korean society would grow up and mature through introspection with the former president Roh’s demise as a momentum. We also expect that this would provide an opportunity of appreciating the value of democracy thus deeply engraving it in their lives, and expect the Lee government change the governance fundamentals.
The statements from all sorts of social groups are being made and will follow one after another going forward. Even the people who did not undersign a statement are expressing their concerns and rages over the current situation at work, home, school, and the internet.

We are now giving the Lee government a chance. The Lee government should no longer evade the current situation with disregard and suppression but it is better to take a immediate change to restore the public support. A government that loses people’s support is neither able to properly display leadership nor to successfully manage the governance.

We urge President Lee Myungbak to make a determination!

President Lee should actively accommodate the people’s demand for the restoration of democracy and change of its unilateral governance fundamentals. He should open his shut ears to listen to the voice of the people and settle the raged public sentiment. Only communication and trust based on democracy can break trough the crisis and the regional conflicts in which the Korean society is confronting, and can achieve a social integration embracing socially underprivileged people.

For those, we will be holding a nation-wise campaign for “4 Demands for Restoring the Democracy” of requiring an apology from the president Lee Myungbak and fundamental change of the governance fundamentals until July 10 which is the 49th day of the Roh‘s demise.

If Lee Myungbak disregards the people’s demands and keeps its unilateral governance fundamentals, we clearly declare that we will take a nation-wide, long-lasting campaign mobilizing all the people with incorporating thoughts from all sorts of social groups.
We will not falter in a fight against the power and will prove that it is possible to achieve a victory of realization of democracy without compromising with the injustice.

Our demands to President Lee Myungbak are as follow;

Apology before the people and immediately abolish the oppressive rule as mobilizing the Prosecution and the Police!

Change the governance fundamentals comprehensively and fundamentally towards restoring democracy! In detail, immediately abolish all the policies against democracy including the project of the river revamp project of the 4 main rivers and the media related changing for the worse!

Abolish all the policies benefiting only the rich but put a top priority on the implementation of policies for revitalizing the ordinary people’s livelihood!

Declare the objection to any military confrontations and conflict between South and North Korea and implement policies for recovering peace on the Korean Peninsular!

10 June 2009

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