Thursday, May 31, 2007

Nandi Gram’s incident and patriarchy: statement of Shruti from Varanasi,UP,India

Nandi Gram’s incident and patriarchy: statement of Shruti from Varanasi,UP,India
Communist Party of India (Marxist) has gone far ahead in Nandigram, East Midnapur district, West Bengal state, India to establish chemical plant of a multinational company and to strengthen the roots of other multinational companies in West Bengal by inflicting indiscriminate violence against the villagers and illegally dispossessing the poor peasants from their lands. Through democratic means people’s power is vested into the government for their welfare and security but CPM government is acting as an agent of multinationals and using the power given by the people against the common people of the state. Now it has been clear beyond any doubt that for the benefit of few people West Bengal government is brutally suppressing the demands of the people and inflicting all sorts of violence against the poor people. It is unfortunate that it is being done by a leftist government that boasts to be a party of workers and peasants.

To terrorize the people, State government of west Bengal is taking resort to all those means which can not be imagined in any civilized society. We are shocked to know that in Nandigram, the women who were protesting peacefully against the acquisition of their lands were brutally assaulted, raped and then killed. Rape against women in Nandigrame is nothing but one of the ways deliberately exercised by the police force and CPM activists to terrorise the people in favour of the benefit of the multinational company. It is a matter of great shame that the CPM women’s wing, which is very powerful and has its membership in millions, did nothing and kept silent for the violence committed against women by the state government led by CPM.

In 21st century when people from all corners of the world are reaching on a consensus that the women should be given equal opportunity and freedom so that they could be able to take decision about their life and could be able to resist against the patriarchal supremacy. But so called progressive and communists in India are still involved into oppression of women and playing with the dignity of women. It is unfortunate that the CPM is doing the same thing to crush the voice of women and it is really a matter of great concern for all those women’s organizations who work for the upliftment of the women in India.

Shruti is founding member of People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) and Managing Trustee of Jan Mitra Nyas.
Savitri Bai Phule Mahila Panchayat is women forum for rights of Dalit women. Mobile Number:+91-9935599330

Open letter to Governor of Gujrat,India

Sri Naval Kishore Sharma
The Honorable Governor of Gujarat

The People's Vigilance committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) would like to draw your attention to some of the very vital problems of Gujarat haunting the state and taking a very ugly turn in an alarming scale.

The Soharabuddin encounter case

The Govt. Gujarat has submitted all the documents related to the fake encounter of Soharabuddin and admitted the murder of Kasur Bano. The Gujarat Govt. too admitted in the Gujarat State Assembly that Sohrabuddin was an ordinary criminal & not a member of Lashkar-e-Toiba in last November, 2006. The Govt. of Gujarat is taking all the measures to show the SC just to avoid the CBI enquiry. The SC too finds enquiry in right path. Once the SC said no to CBI enquiry, the Govt. of Gujarat breathed a sigh of relief and there after started all kinds of hurdles for the enquiring officer Ms. Geeta Johri. As a result she is reluctant to proceed further as she is not getting any co-operation rather facing hurdle in each step. Even she has gone to the extent of asking for CBI enquiry. The duality of the state Govt. in this case has been nakedly exposed.
Moreover the BJP and the Sangh Parivar has launched a serious campaign & released the CD defending the fake encounter of Sohrabuddin and trying to create a cult figure around Vanjhara. The local film channels are showing movies justifying the fake encounter by the police, where the human right bodies, courts are ridiculed.
An atmosphere has been created to create halla gulla that if the case is transferred to CBI,alleging that the Central Government is interfering in the state affair. A public psychology is created in an alarming scale.
Baroda in Turmoil
The trail of the vandalism in the faculty of Fine Arts of M.S.University finally did not leave the Muslim community. They were provoked at the nude painting of Prophet Mohammed by an unknown scrupulous element in the University campus. The naked painting of Prophet Mohammed was done deliberately to provoke the Muslim Community. The senate member of the M.S.University Shri Deepak Shah declared a prize of one lac rupee cash who can dare to paint Prophet Mohammed in nude. The Muslim community raised objection before the authority but the administrative authority did not bother to take any measures and Shri Deepak Shah was allowed to move freely without being charged by the police. It is very shocking to see the desperate Muslim came out in open protest with the portraits of Osama Bin Laden. Of course this act has been condemned by the Muslim Community immediately. Instead of finding a solution to control and calm down the wounded Muslims the police & the administration taken repressive measure making the situation more volatile.
The law and order situation
The law and order situation in the State is in shamble. Day by day rapes and murders are increasing. The rape of murder of a girl belonging to Koli community in Junagadh has caused strong public resentmentcreate and now taking a political turn. This shameful incident is the mirror of the State. Thefts and loots have become a very common phenomenon. The securities of the senior citizens are in danger. They are looted and killed. Suicide for economic as well as the social reason too has become routine affair. The State which was enjoying the social security years back has been totally destroyed. The criminalisation apart from the existing communalization of the society, administration, and police is endangering the very fabric of democracy.
This State Govt. is relaxing the Prohibition Policy in the name of SEZ & investment which will push the State towards criminalization where women will become the worst victim.
Now as the election for the Assembly is nearing. The political atmosphere is taking very ugly turn fragmenting the society. The show of strength of Sri Narendra Modi led meetings and conferences and the Yatra of Congress and their utterances are creating more social cleavage detrimental to the democracy.

Apart from it the condition of the unorganized workers are in a pitiable condition. The workers are devoid of any kind of legal rights.

The education has been totally thrown to the market forces encouraged by the Govt. The attack on education will have a severe consequence in the social as well as cultural fabric of the society and break the moral backbone of the coming generation.

There are many more problems taking away the life, bread and spirit of the people
.In a democracy it is the duty of the Govt. to protect the citizens from all kinds of insecurity.

The PVCHR urge upon you to take measures to provide all out protection and security to the people of Gujarat

Thanking You-- Dr. Lenin (Ashoka Fellow) Mobile:+91-9935599333 Please visit:

Monday, May 28, 2007

518 International Solidarity Program: Acceptance Speech of Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi

518 International Solidarity Program: Acceptance Speech of Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi

Mockery of Indian Constitution by High Court of Rajsthan,India: Ms. Shruti, Coordinaor,Savitri Bai Phule Mahila Panchayat

Mockery of Indian Constitution by High Court of Rajsthan,India: Ms. Shruti, Coordinaor,Savitri Bai Phule Mahila Panchayat

Was Manu the maker of modern Indian constitution? If not then what was the purpose of installation of the statue Manu in front of the Rajasthan High Court in 2001 that first made the discriminatory code of conduct in ancient India that that made it possible for millions of people to live a life worst than the animals? Is it not the insult of those millions of people who has been suffering for centuries?

Our modern constitution which declares the right to equality of every citizen irrespective of caste and creed, sex and religion and which declares any kind of discrimination illegal and unlawful and on the basis of which our judiciary is functioning then the installation of a statue of Manu in front of the building of the High Court of Rajasthan at Jaipur indicates that even today the castiest and patriarchal forces want to keep alive the discriminatory practices in the society which deprived the large section of the society from their equal social and cultural life and which had been the main reason of all sorts of backwardness that took them hundreds of year back in the past and made it impossible for them to resist the injustice based of extreme inequality, exploitation and degradation.

According to the code of Manu “If a human from lower caste or outcaste dares to sit equal to upper caste Hindu then as a punishment s/he should be marked on his/her hip by the means of burning and should be expelled from the locality”
“A person belonging to a lower caste should depend upon the foods left by the upper caste man after eating and they should wear only old clothes. They should be given poor quality of food grains and other used and old articles.”
“A man from lower caste should be provided with food only after work”

After a long and strenuous struggle and resistance of our dalit thinkers and leaders like Jyoti ba Phule, Savitri bai Phule, Dr. Ambedkar and others we became successful to have a constitution drafted by Dr. Ambedkar which propounds our rights without any discrimination and prejudices. In 2001, after more than 50 years of the formation of our constitution, the installation of statue of Manu means the attempt of reestablishment of discriminatory Manuist Code of Conduct which had long before been the subject of museum. It is surprising that even in this modern age of democratization, the reactionary Hinduist forces are trying to usher in undemocratic and unjust system.
Shruti is founding member of People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) and Managing Trustee of Jan Mitra Nyas.
Savitri Bai Phule Mahila Panchayat is women forum for rights of Dalit women. Mobile Number:+91-9935599330

Two Indian Human Rights Defenders Win the 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development is a regional human rights organization with 40 member-organizations in 15 countries in Asia.

Two Indian Human Rights Defenders Win the 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights

Thursday, 24 May 2007
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) applauds the awarding of the 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights to Lenin Raghuvanshi and Irom Sharmila, two human rights defenders from India. The award was given during the Gwangju International Peace Forum and the East Asian Human Rights Forum on 18 May 2007 in Gwangju, South Korea.The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights is awarded annually by the South Korea-based May 18 Memorial Foundation to people who have worked tirelessly for the promotion and protection of human rights. The recipients’ work reflects democracy, freedom, and human rights, the main tenets of the spirit of the 18 May 1980 uprising, when the students and citizens of Gwangju protested against a military dictatorship. Lenin Raghuvanshi leads the People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), a group at the forefront of the resistance against the discriminatory caste system in India. Caste is a multi-layered social hierarchy system practiced in India for hundreds of years. The caste system was banned in the Constitution of India 50 years ago, but its discriminatory and inhumane practices still exist today. The PVCHR has grown into a nationwide and worldwide network composed of legal experts, journalists, and human rights advocacy groups. As the organisation’s leader, Lenin Raghuvanshi brings hope to people discriminated on the basis of caste as more than 3,500 bonded child labourers in India who work as slaves to pay for their families’ debt.Lenin Raghuvanshi considers the Gwangju uprising an inspiration to people like him who are fighting for human rights in India. In his acceptance speech, he declared, “It is time to revive the far-sightedness, the vast imagination and great sensitivity of the people who are remembered on May 18. It is time that we re-articulate their aspiration in global terms and it is time to grasp the possibilities of that moment. The spirit of the May 18 Gwangju uprising has become the light of hope to us.”Lenin Raghuvanshi’s co-recipient, Irom Sharmila, is a citizen of Manipur state who has initiated her own protest against the military forces in India under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). The AFSPA was enacted in 1958 and allows arbitrary detention, shooting and killing of civilians, and search and enter on private property without a warrant by the military forces under the ambiguous cover of “maintaining public order”. On 2 November 2000, the Indian military fired into a crowd of citizens in Manipur. Since the incident, Irom Sharmila has refused to eat and drink anything to protest the indiscriminate use and abuse of the powers under the AFSPA. She was arrested on charges of “attempted suicide” and force-fed by the Indian authorities. Irom Sharmila was eventually released from detention, but continued to fast in protest. In October 2006, Irom Sharmila travelled from Manipur to New Delhi to pursue her campaign for the abolition of the AFSPA. She was arrested by police authorities on her second day in the city. Irom Sharmila is currently in the custody of police authorities at the JN Hospital in Manipur.The brother of Irom Sharmila, Irom Singhajit Singh, accepted the award on her behalf. In his speech, he relayed the response she gave after being told she had won the award: “Go and accept the award on behalf of the people of Manipur,” she said, “The movement needs it. We must thank Gwangju and the world for the solidarity and support.”FORUM-ASIA’s Executive Director Anselmo Lee believes that the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights serves as a reminder that the uprising in Gwangju was not an isolated struggle by the people of Gwangju: “The Gwangju uprising should be seen as part of a universal battle to advance democracy, freedom, and human rights by all humanity.”FORUM-ASIA invites all human rights defenders in Asia to relive the spirit of Gwangju, support the struggle of this year’s awardees and show solidarity. FORUM-ASIA also urges the government of India to address the issues of discrimination against those labelled “untouchables” in India and to abolish the oppressive AFSPA.India was re-elected on 18 May 2007 to the UN Human Rights Council for another three-year term. India must thus show the international community that it is committed to further respect for human rights and the rule of law. “The government of India must demonstrate its sincerity in eradicating discrimination against so-called ‘untouchables’. It must also prove its commitment in establishing the rule of law by abolishing oppressive legislation like the AFSPA,” said Mr. Lee.Past awardees of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights are former president of East Timor, Xanan Gusmao, Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi, and Thailand’s Angkhana Neelaphaijit.For more information, please contact Anselmo Lee, Executive Director, telephone +66 2 391 8801; or Emerlynne Gil, Programme Officer of the Human Rights Defenders Programme, telephone: +66 2 391 8801;

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Acceptance speech of Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi for 2007 Gwangju Human Rights Award

Distinguished President of the May 18 Memorial Foundation Mr. Lee, Hong-Gil, distinguished members of the Board of Directors,Member of FORUM-ASIA, distinguished guests, dear people of Gwangju:
It is a great and revolutionary honour for me and my colleagues at the People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) to receive the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights for the fight for the dignity of the poor and “untouchables” of India. Further, as a co-recipient with Ms Irom Sharmila Chanu, an icon of resistance against the draconian state law of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the honour is manifolds.
Greetings and thanks to May 18 memorial foundation for reorganization of most wretchedly treated people in the world, the Dalits of India, known once as ‘untouchables’. The silence imposed by draconian suppression sanctified by religious rituals of the Upper Caste was such that the outside world knew little about this colossal cruelty. Justice V.R.Krishna Iyer, former Judge, Supreme Court of India described the plight of the Dalits in the following words, I quote, ” Courts to them are alien, laws their enemy and human justice their despair.”
The caste system continues to determine political, social, and economic life of a billion people in South Asia. The caste system, straddling across the scrawny shoulders of the Untouchables, is like that Old man in Tolstoy’s story, who has all the sympathy for the poor bearer and would like to do anything but to get off his shoulder. The most significant aspect of caste is its ability to resurface without a trace of remorse on the part of the perpetrator. It is like that chemical addiction which once had makes you vulnerable to its guiles forever.
Modern India embarked on the road to freedom with a resolute face to deliver social justice along with dignity to its millions of ever enslaved, downtrodden, poor and Dalits. In 60 years little has changed. The atrocities against Dalits have taken more blatant and bizarre form and in some parts of my country, shaken the confidence in humanity in the fact that it has the ability to call itself Civilized! In the past, we are told, that if anyone from the lower caste breached the unwritten law of caste hierarchy, the person would be beaten up in public. Now the person will be shot dead and the village burnt down and the women raped. A bride groom daring to ride a horse during his marriage, an enterprising peasant digging a well in his land, or if, a boy falls in love with a girl – do you kill them. Yet, if they belong to the dalit caste they are killed. We still say that there is rule of law in India!Dalits have an appalling rate of literacy. When the national average touches 67%, among the dalits it is a mere 32%. And if at all you are a woman from that community, it is still less at 23%. Only 6% dalits own land. Most of them labour in someone else’ field or migrate to cities to lose their identity.
The fight for Dalit rights in India has had a chequered history. At every turn they have been betrayed and let down by their own and the political masters. Mainstream politics in India has only recently and reluctantly acknowledged the space for dalits. Till now the main thrust of political intervention has been in the shape of reservations in government posts without adequately making them empowered to get a rightful and dignified place in society.
There is considerable amount of conspiracy, nationwide by Hindu fascist forces, against the lower caste. This was evident from the nationwide spell of destruction of statues of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. It is an irony that he is the father of the Indian Constitution and also a dalit who fought his way in the caste ridden society. The destruction of Amebkar statue happened in several places in India. In one such incident, which happened in Piyari village of Uttar Pradesh, the people from the lower caste tried to fight against those who came to destroy the statue. To their surprise they found that among those who came to destroy the statue there were police officers. The people from the Dalit caste faced them with sticks and tried in vain to prevent the destruction. The result was that the local police registered a case and a counter case. One against those who came to destroy the statue and one against those who tried to prevent the destruction. Of course when the police registered the case, they conveniently avoided those from the police department. The case was filed in a local court. However, soon to the surprise of the upper caste they found that the judge was from a lower caste, which is a rarity. Without any notice to anyone involved in the case, the case was soon transferred to another court.
To transfer the case it needs to be done with the sanction of a superior court. So it means that the superior courts also in a way connived with the upper caste. Nothing better could be expected from a place where in the recent past, a District Judge, before occupying the chair used by his predecessor, who happened to be from a lower caste, conducted some religious ceremonies in court to purify the chair and washed the chair with the water from the river Ganga, which is believed to purify all the sins.
When a person from the upper caste commits a crime, whatever it may be, after trial the person who committed the crime is punished. However, when it comes to the lower caste the entire community is punished. The punishment is not by the court, but by members from the upper caste and the crime is not theft or murder. It could be anything from polluting the village well by draining water from it or washing in the pond thereby polluting the pond or even walking in the road while an upper caste was using the same road. The punishment is instant and often carried out by gangs of upper caste members by burning down the houses of the lower caste, beating the residents and often molesting or raping their women in public. In one such incident which happened in Narkati village of Kaimur Range of UP when a similar upper caste police raided the village a five year old girl cried out loud since she was afraid of strangers. Her name is Anjali. These people who saw her crying did not spare her. She was also beaten up by the policemen. A complaint was lodged with the NHRC. Indian People’s tribunal headed by Justice Sukumaran was appointed. But no action has yet been taken. There is no law and there is no rule of law for these people.
The current trend is to charge anyone and everyone alleging that the person is a Naxalite. Even children aged from 9 are charged with offences allegedly of having involved in Naxalite activity. This happens with the knowledge of the court. Currently the Ram Nagar juvenile court has ordered detention of nine such children.
Indian society still remains in a semi feudal and semi capitalistic mode of production relation. Caste system serves this mode perfectly. The pyramid of Indian society remains aloft on the shoulders of these millions of dalits who forego their human rights so that some people can say India is shining.

However two thousands and eight hundred years ago, lord Budha took up the challenge to end the caste system. In the modern times, Bhakti movement gave birth to Kabir, Raidas later Periyar, Savitri Bai Phule to Jyoti Ba Phule and recently Dr. Bhimrao Ambedker, who took the courage to shake it.

Lastly the movement of Marathwada is the base of Dalit movement in India, which consisted of feminist, socialist and progressive revolution; this caused mortal shocks to caste system, patriarchy, feudal Bramhinism.

On the other hand, from Marathwada itself, RSS germinated. The RSS chief organizer Guru Golwalker, who held Hitler in very high esteem, described India to be a purely Hindu Country and Muslims second class citizens.

The danger faced by the caste dictatorship created a new link in communal Hinduism fascism and imperialism. Till all progressive powers joined hand to crush Brahminism from its roots, till then Manu’s patriarchal dictatorship would persist and flourish. Although very little can be attained so quickly such time communal fascism not get crushed.
The typical danger is from Indian Hindu communal fascism to the entire globe is that every fifth person of the world is Indian.

PVCHR is fighting back the caste system of India through participatory activism through “local thinking and local-global action”. Now Dalit is un-censoring themselves and claiming their own voice in a sustained way, PVCHR has aimed at voicing the disgust of the silent millions not through the bayonet, but by reinstituting their faith in the system of democracy; by fighting continuously with the state to assert their rights.

Dalit associated with PVCHR ask,”We ask, "Is the earth alone?" Don't you have to go to the earthworm,busy making earth fertile, and ask before taking any important decision!Who knows if the ants are more concerned about the earth’s future than you?
I am worth an earthworm. For you I am only an ant to be crushed.
My human rights puny before your demon rights
We may be insignificant come on.Agreedyet our claim over the earth is no way less than yours.”
It is time to revive the far-sightedness, the vast imagination and great sensitivity of the people who are remembered on the May 18. It is time that we re-articulate their aspiration in global terms and it is time to grasp the possibilities of that moment. The folk-school spirit of the May 18 Gwangju uprising has become a light of hope to us.
The wind of unification that is blowing in Korea is taking place in this climate. It is with subdued excitement that we on the outside are watching.
I thank the May 18 Memorial Foundation in Gwangju for presenting me with the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, which I humbly accept and which I am happy to announce will be used to spread the folk-school approach towards the promotion of human rights and democracy.
Thank you.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Gwangju Human Rights Award 2007 to Dr. Lenin and Ms. Irom Sharmila from India

Announcement of Awardees of the 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights

India is one of Asia’s leading nations, boasting a brilliant civilization developed throughout its long history. However, its outdated social class system, the caste system, has long been indicated by the international community as one of the biggest obstacles to national development as well as the advancement of its citizens’ basic human rights, since this system still holds sway over the reality of the Indian society through a rigid set of religious practices, despite its prohibition by national law.
In addition, the military powers of India have become the focus of international attention. This concerns the Armed Forces Special Powers Act(AFSPA) enacted in 1958, which is operative at the time of a ‘suspected’ riot(s) in order to ‘maintain public order.’ As this law allows killing by shooting, entering and search of property, and arbitrary detention, etc., its abuse is currently spawning grave human rights violations in some parts of India. Still, the practical near-impossibility of indicting the abusive military person(s) concerned is a more serious problem.
The 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Committee came to take a deep interest in the above two problems encountered by the Indian society today.
The caste system is composed mainly of 4 castes, and those who fall outside of this system altogether are often called the “untouchables.” As the fifth caste, the untouchables are living across the nation, accounting for around 15% of the total Indian population. Traditionally, they have been engaged in the hardest and most difficult jobs in the Indian society, bearing the brunt of rigid caste-based discrimination in terms of residence, occupation, etc. Although the caste system was banned under the Indian constitution 50 years ago, it persists throughout all aspects of the present-day Indian civil society, proving powerfully effective in some 80% of the total Indian provinces.
Lenin Raghuvanshi and the People’s Vigilance Committee On Human Rights, PVCHR) led by him, have put up vehement resistance against the caste system through various social activities, including the supporting of torture victims in 5 northern states with 50,000 members participating, and the operation of education centers in 45 viilages for the numerous number of local children. This organization has developed into a nationwide and worldwide network composed of legal experts, journalists, human rights advocacy groups, etc. Also, its leader has brought hope back to the minds of more than 3,500 bonded child laborers and those suffering human rights infringements prompted by the caste system, especially to the untouchables.
On November 2nd, 2000, the Indian military opened fire on its own citizens in the state of Manipur. This was one of the many such incidents following the enactment of the AFSPA. Since the incident in Manipur, Irom Sharmila, a resident of the tragic state, has refused to eat and drink anything in resistance to indiscriminate use of the AFSPA against civilians. The response of the Indian government to her resistance has been repetitively evasive: the government has arrested her on a charge of ‘attempted suicide’, force-fed her and then freed her under applicable law, but, up until now, has failed to provide any fundamental alternative to the law in question. In October 2006, Ms. Sharmila left Manipur for New Delhi, the capital of India, at the peril of her own life, to facilitate the accomplishment of the goal of her 6-year-long struggle, i.e. the abolishment of the AFSPA. However, her daring mission was brought to an abrupt halt when she was arrested by the New Delhi police on her second day in the city. Currently, she is in custody at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital(RMH).
In recognition of their efforts to improve human rights in India, the 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Selection Committee has selected Lenin Raghuvanshi and Irom Sharmila as co-recipients of the award. Regardless of the difference in the methods respectively employed, they both have fought for the same noble cause of the advancement of human rights and social justice, yet they still have a long way to go. The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights will provide boost in their further struggles. It can make the two awardees and their struggles known to a wider audience while offering them the strength and courage required to complete their journey towards their goals. We believe there lies the principal objective of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. In closing, the 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Committee would like to send an encouraging message to all human rights activists around the world as well as this year’s co-awardees.

The 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Committee

Committee Chairman: Lee, Hong-Gil
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the May 18 Memorial Foundation
Committee Members: Kim, Chil-Jun
Secretary General of the National Human Rights Commission,

Jeong, Ui-Yong
Korean National Assemblyman, Moon, Guk-Joo Executive Director of the Korea Democracy Foundation,

Cha, Sung-Hwan
Director of the Pusan Democratic Movement Memorial Association

The same could be found at

What is Gwangju Prize for Human Rights? Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award 2007 The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award was established to celebrate the spirit of the May 18 Gwangju Uprising by recognizing both individuals, groups or institutions in Korea and abroad that have contributed in promoting and advancing human rights, democracy and peace in their work. The prize is awarded by the citizens of Gwangju in the spirit of solidarity and gratitude from those whom they have received help in their struggle for democratization and search for truth. It is hoped that through this award the spirit and message of the May 18 will be immortalized in the hearts and mind of humankind. The previous winner of Gwangju Prize for Human Rights are: 1) 2000 : Xanana Gusmao (President of East Timor) 2) 2001 : Basil Fernando (Executive Director of AHRC, Hong Kong) 3) 2002 : Korean Association of Bereaved Families for Democracy (South Korea) 4) 2003 : Dandeniya Gamage Jayanthi (Monument for The Disappeared, Sri Lanka) 5) 2004 : Aung San Suu Kyi (NLD General Secretary, Burma) 6) 2005 : Wardah Hafidz (UPC General Secretary, Indonesia) 7) 2006 : Angkhana Neelaphaijit (Thailand) and Malalai Joya (Member of Parliament, Afghanistan) The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award was established to mark the spirit of the Gwangju Uprising May 18, 1980. Over 200 people were killed - going by official figures - when the people in that South Korean city rebelled against military rule and demanded establishment of democracy. The rebellion was violently suppressed by the then South Korean president Chun Doo-hwan, who was also the country's army general.
After Chun Doo-hwan's reign ended in 1988, the incident was officially recognized as an effort to restore democracy after military rule.
Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar is among past winners of this award.
To read more about Gwangju Prize for Human Rights 2007, please cut and paste the link below:

Web linkage about Lenin and PVCHR Industries-envirn-resettlement/2002/kiln.htm overall/people/uttarpradesh/ngosvaranasi.htm DailyNewsBulletin/6/10%20June%202005.doc - 41k - 30 Apr 2007