IMPHAL November 9: Several civil organizations including the Just Peace Foundation will appeal the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit which will commence in Maldives tomorrow to address militarization and the Sharmila issue.
A declaration of the JPF has appealed to the summit to consider the accelerated militarization in the South Asian region in the name of counter terrorism. It has further mentioned that the military forces are taking over the developmental activities including the mega development projects and extractive mining, devastation of natural resources, displacing and further marginalizing the indigenous peoples inhabiting the region.
It further mentioned that the groups salute the resilience of Irom Sharmila as she enters her twelfth year of hunger strike demanding repeal of AFSPA and considers her as a symbol of struggle for justice. It has also condemned the apathy to take a proper favourable decision on AFSPA, in spite of several official committees and commissions of the government and international bodies like the UN, recommending immediate appeal of AFSPA.
JPF calls upon the governments of South Asia to immediately halt the futile process of militarization generating a spiral of insecurity and to redirect its resources and energy to build genuine democratic institutions to ensure the human security including education, health, housing and other welfare of the people.