Sunday, 9 November 2014

Updates: 15th Year of Irom Sharmila's Fast against AFSPA

On 5th November, Irom Sharmila completed her 14 years and entered in 15th year of her fast against AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act). 

Few updates are:

During 3rd to 5th November: Imphal, Manipur 

Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign participated in media interaction and fast (on 5th Nov) at Imphal, Manipur. This was organised by May 18 Memorial Foundation, Korea; Asia Forum Bangkok and Just Peace Foundation-Manipur. Program was organised to express solidarity of Gwangju Laurets who participated in this event. These Gwangju Laurets include Warida Hafidz (Indonesia), Sushil Pyakurel (Nepal), Lenin Raghuvanshi and Dr Binayak Sen (India). Apart from these laurets few persons received special invitation to participate on collective decision of organisers. These persons included Geo Sung Kim (Chairperson-Transparency International-Korea), Prof Kwangsu Lee (Prof of Indian History in Korea and Co director - Solidarity for Peace and Human Rights in Asia), Amit Sen Gupta (Faculty Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Human Rights Activist India), Mukunda Kattel (Director-Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development-Thailand), Harsh Dobhal (Editor-Combat Law and Executive Director-Human Rights Law Network-Delhi), Lynn Jeong (Director-May 18 Foundation), Ravi Nitesh (Human Rights Activist and freelance writer - Delhi) and Raghu (Amnesty International). Local activists, specially Babloo, Rojesh, Basanta and Onil and members of civil society hosted the event and worked hard to spread the voice and participation of people.  

It was observed in Imphal that there is a huge support of Irom Sharmila in the state. In spite of the 'general observation' of solidarity with Irom and demand of repeal AFSPA as 'anti-state', it was seen that more than 15 schools of Imphal participated officially in the solidarity fast. School students participated in their uniform and they all were proud to be on fast. During my talk , I found that they all had permission from their parents and even in many cases, parents were also on fast while staying at home. Fast was organised at more than 10 places in Imphal itself and people participated in large numbers. In evening we also lit candles at Relay fast venue. Local media covered the solidarity event with huge response and other decisions were also taken to pressurise the government.  

We also visited 'Malom', the place where 10 persons got killed by firing of Assam Rifles in year 2000. We met with family of victims. We also met with family of Manorama Devi, who was raped and killed by Assam Rifles in year 2004. We also met with widows and families of persons of extra judicial killing. 


On 6th Nov at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

A solidarity fast was organised at New Delhi at Jantar Mantar by Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign and other individuals and organisations. Many people participated in the fast including SSSC members and volunteers. This fast was coordinated by Devika Mittal (SSSC), Hidam Peter, Rajesh Mehta, Rajeev, Salaam Singh and others. A memorandum also submitted to President and Prime Minister. 

SSSC also sent a memorandum to Member of Parliaments from North East and J&K and demanded to raise the issue in parliament as well as within their party. 

SSSC issued statement to appeal with the government and demanded to repeal AFSPA. 

Few newslinks of above mentioned activities:

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