Tuesday, February 16, 2010
From Gandhi to Sharmila Campaign
From Gandhi to Sharmila Campaign touched Varanasi City today with the PVCHR and the Just Peace Foundation (JPF) jointly organised a public meeting at Vishwajoti Communication Centre, Nepali Kothi, Cantonment areas on 16 February 2010. JPF is organising the campaign form 30 January, the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated to 14 March the day Irom Sharmila was born.
Irom Sharmila has been on a hunger strike demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 following the massacre of 10 civilians by the Armed Forces on 2 November 2000. She was arrested in on charges of attempt to commit suicide and kept as a high security prisoner. Amnesty International, on 29 January 2010, has already made a public statement stating that criminalizing Sharmila is in violation of the international law. JPF believes that criminalization of Sharmila is nothing less than murder of the very spirit of Gandhi.
The campaign is to gather support of Sharmila's struggle and to demand the repeal of AFSPA. Government of India's own Jeevan Reddy Committee (2005), the Administrative Reform Commission headed by the present Union Law Minster Dr. Veerappa Moilly and the Working Group on Confidence Building Measures headed by the present Vice President Mr. Hamid Ansari have consistently recommended the repeal of AFSPA.
An Armed Forces Special Powers Amendment Bill 2009 was listed for discussion in the last winter session of the parliament, but it was not brought up for discussion. We are expecting that the matter will come up during the budget session of the Parliament starting from 22 February 2010.
In the meeting various organization and other peoples’ participated and decided to start signature campaign and launch pomplet “Listen the voice of Iron Sharmila” in the entire state from 8th March i.e. International Women Day to 14th March.
The Campaign which started in 30 January 2010 at Imphal has travelled to Arunachal Pradesh and Delhi and in now in Varanasi City and further proceeds to Bangalore and Kerela. Irom Singhjit (brother of Irom Sharmila) and Babloo Loitongbam of the Just Peace Foundation are in Varanasi City soliciting support for the repeal of the AFSPA.
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) with the grass root organization of Manipur, Wide Angle sent open to the parliamentarian of both houses. Please visit the URL: http://pvchr.blogspot.com/2009/12/open-letter-to-prime-minister-of-india.html
Campaign Against AFSPA