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Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 08:14:23 -0800
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
From: Alex Chis f Claudette Begin <achis@IGC.APC.ORG>
Subject: Asia Pacific Soilidarity Conference (fwd)
From: owner-asietnews-l@peg.apc.org
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 14:37:53 +1000

Asia Pacific Solidarity Conference

Sydney Australia, Glebe High School, Glebe
April 1998

Organised by the Asia Pacific Institute for Democratisation and Development.

Dr Helen Jarvis, C/-School of Information, Library and Archive Studies
(SILAS) University of NewSouth Wales, Sydney NSW 2052 Australia.
Or Email to: apiaustralia@peg.apc.org
Or fax to: 02-96901381

The conference aims to be a unique gathering of activists, researchers and academics. Your support, attendance and participation is what will make this conference a success.

Register early (save up to 20%) and send your suggestions for specific themes for discussion under the general framework of supporting democratisation, self-determination and social justice and opposing the neoliberal austerity offensive.

Submissions for papers

The Institute also welcomes applications to present papers at the conference. All are welcome to submit such papers. The conference aims and the names of special guest speakers are further elaborated below. A contact address is noted above.

A Region Of Struggle and New Thinking

Governments, corporations, banks and international financial institutions, all talk of the Asia Pacific region as the region of miracle growth, of accelerated development, of economic boom. For millions of other people, the picture is different. It is a picture of political and social struggle for basic human rights, for a sustainable economic and social order. The massive worker and student struggles in South Korea against new labour laws, the sharpening struggle against the dictatorship and cronyism in Suharto's Indonesia; the continuing uprising of the East Timorese people for self-determination; the labour struggles and renewal in the Philippines in the face of Philippines 2000 neoliberal offensive; the ongoing war on the island ofBougainville; the conflict in Sri Lanka over national rights of the Tamil people and authoritarian government are just some examples of struggles in the region.


The strengthening of authoritarian practices as a means of defending the austerity and economic restructuring policies have become major concerns throughout the region. Laws to ban trade union organisers from worksites in Australia; outright bans on independent trade unions in Indonesia; restrictions and harassment of non-government organisations in Malaysia are examples of this tendency.

These restrictions are part of a pattern of general resistance to democratisation by governments throughout the region.


But at the same time there are innumerable initiatives to fight this trend. New political movements have emerged in Indonesia; old movements are transforming themselves in the Philippines; an unofficial trade union movementcan force the South Korean government to retreat; Malaysian democrats rally to the cause of the East Timorese; the Burmese democrats still refuse to surrender;anti-neoliberal activists are elected to the New Zealand parliament.

These are just a few of the many examples of democratisation initiatives in theregion.


The Asia Pacific Institute has called the 1998 Asia Pacific Solidarity conference as away to bring as many people as possible together to discuss these issues andstruggles and to assess what fighting for democratisation and for socially justdevelopment can do. The conference aims to bring together political activists,NGO workers, intellectuals and academics from different ideological traditions.

ASIA PACIFIC INSTITUTE for Democratisation and Development The Asia Pacific Institute for Democratisation and Development is a new initiative in the Asia Pacific region. During February to May 1997 a range of individuals involved in political movements, community organisations and universities consulted over the need for greater regional co-ordination and dialogue regardingthe current struggles against authoritarianism, violations io the right to self-determination and the social and economic impacts of the world-wide neoliberal offensive. An interim council was formed to establish the Institute. The provisional aims of the institute were agreed as follows:

1. To promote research and disseminate ideas on the issue of how to ensure asocially just and environmentally sustainable development as well as rounded democratisation.

2. To facilitate dialogue and cooperation between the academic community, theNGO community and the peoples' movements (parties, trade unions, campaign committees, etc)

The interim council comprises academics, political leaders and communityactivists from Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Australia and NewZealand. It is proposed to expand this initial list to include East Timor, India, Japan andSouth Korea. For further information on API contact:

Dr Helen Jarvis
School of Information, Library and Archive Studies (SILAS) University of New South Wales
Sydney NSW 2052 Australia
Fax: 61-2-96901381
Email: apiaustralia@peg.apc.org

P.S. For A$150 per year, you can become an affiliate of the Asia Pacific Institute. This will entitle you to copies of major articles by Institute Fellows (see Names of Council members below), a bi-annual newsletter and access to email news services on developments in the Asian region.

International Guests

Among the participants who have confirmed interest in attending the conference are:

  • Dr Syed Husin Ali, scholar, writer and president Malaysian People's Party (PRM);API interim council member.
  • Renato Constantino Jr., founding convener Asia Pacific Coalition on East Timor(APCET); president, SANLAKAS, Filipino Federation of Democratic MassOrganisations in the Philippines; API interim council member.
  • Dr Francisco Nemenzo, founding president BISIG, (Union for Socialist Ideas andAction); professor of political science, University of the Philippines; API interim council member.
  • Anna Maria Nemenzo, convener Women's Health Movement, the Philippines; API interim council member.
  • Jose Ramos-Horta, special representative of Xanana Gusmao; 1996 Nobel PeacePrize co-Laureate.
  • Jose Luis Guiterres, President FRETILIN External Delegation or other central leader of FRETLIN External Delegation..
  • Nico Warouw, International Representative, Peoples Democratic Party ofIndonesia; API interim council member.
  • Edwin Gozal, Indonesia Centre for Labor Struggle (PPBI), Indonesia.
  • Dr Sunil Ratnapriya, director, Sri Lanka Institute for Occupational Health and Safety; national executive member of the New Socialist Party of Sri Lanka; AP Iinterim council member.
  • Matt Robson, MP, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson for the New Zealand Alliance; API interim council member.
  • Powes Parkop, cenrtral leader of Melanesian Solidarity (MELSOL) and the Individual Community Rights Advocacy Forum Inc., Papua New Guinea, lawyer and legal researcher.
  • Max Lane, national coordinator of Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and EastTimor; lecturer, Department of Southeast Asian Studies, School of Asian Studies,University of Sydney; API interim council member.
  • Dr Helen Jarvis, Head, School of Information, Library and Archive Studies,University of New South Wales; researcher on Cambodia killing fields project; APIinterim council member.
  • Moses Havini, representative of the Bougainville Interim government.
  • John Ondawame, representative of the Free West Papua Movement.

It is also confirmed that participants are attending from India, Hong Kong, and Pakistan as well as a number of other researchres and trade unionists from the Philippines.


The struggle for democracy and the end of the Suharto dictatorship
Self-determination: East Timor, Sri Lanka, West Papua, Bougainville
Indigenous people's struggles and land rights in Australia and New Zealand
Labour and the struggle against neoliberalism
Neoliberalism and its social impact
APEC and counter-APEC
Asian Tigers and NICs -- who's benefiting, who's battling
Women's liberation, development and democratisation
NGOs, political movements and the universities
Democratisation, development and social class
Global capital's economic police -- the World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund and the World Trade
Country Reports

Australia - Bougainville - Burma - China - East Timor - India - Japan - Indonesia - Malaysia - New Zealand - Pakistan - Papua New Guinea - Philippines - South Korea - Sri Lanka - Thailand - West Papua



Registration costs: To register by January 31, 1998 $60/$30 concession

I would like to participate in the 1998 Asia Pacific Solidarity Conference

I am attending the conference as a representative of: (name of organisation)
_____________________________________________________ __
I am interested in presenting a paper on: ______________________
_____________________________________________________ __
_____________________________________________________ __

Print off this registration form, and please return form to:

Dr Helen Jarvis,
C/-School of Information,
Library and Archive Studies (SILAS)
University of New South Wales,
Sydney NSW 2052 Australia.
Or Email to: apiaustralia@peg.apc.org
Or fax to: 02-96901381

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