Category Archives: South Asia

Search for Common Ground: Engagement — Not Isolation — Offers Best Hope for Afghanistan


An article from Search for Common Ground

August 18, 2021 — Search for Common Ground expresses profound concern for the safety and well-being of the people of Afghanistan and urges the international community to engage with all parties, including the Taliban leadership, who can affect the well-being of the Afghan people. We also urge the Taliban to engage with the full diversity of Afghan society, as well as international actors, to support intra-Aghan reconciliation and the protection of the rights of all Afghan citizens.

“International isolation will hurt all Afghans by exacerbating an already-dire humanitarian crisis and raising the specter of renewed civil war” said Shamil Idriss, CEO of Search for Common Ground. “Engagement offers the best promise of securing progress toward internationally recognized standards to which Afghans – and all people – aspire, which are articulated in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the rights of women and ethnic minorities. While international actors work to assure the safety of their colleagues and partners in Afghanistan, we ask that all who are able redouble their commitment to engaging and supporting the Afghan people and society.”

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Question related to this article:

Is peace possible in Afghanistan?

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In Afghanistan, Search for Common Ground will continue its work as guided by the Common Ground Approach. This is a process that: humanizes people using diverse methods devised by local teams who, themselves, embody the dividing lines that they seek to bridge; mobilizes people to advance common interests, understanding that shared success is the best way to build trust and make allies out of adversaries; and systematizes cooperation through changes in institutions and the culture of conflict resolution. This approach does more than resolve disputes; it changes systems.

Search for Common Ground recognizes that the Taliban, Afghan public, and international community share substantial common ground. All parties want Afghanistan to have standing and participate in the community of nations. All parties want a functioning nation-state that protects rights and dispenses services through functioning institutions. And all parties want basic security and dignity for Afghans in their daily lives. From this foundation of shared wants, peace can take shape.

“Afghanistan is facing a new and uncertain phase. Search for Common Ground encourages all parties to work towards a healthy, safe and just society. Isolation would likely lead to renewed violent conflict, and violent conflict is not a solution,” Idriss said.

(Editor’s note: At CPNN we have received an email from the Director of Search for Common Ground, Shamil Idriss, saying “We want you to know that we are not giving up. Our country director, Zuhra Bahman, and her staff are committed to continuing to work in Afghanistan. We are staying the course because we know that intensive and consistent dialogue between all parties is the key to building a safe, healthy, and just society.  . . Please send a gift today to help ensure Zuhra and her staff have the support they need — because they are needed now more than ever. All donations will be matched by a board member and worth 2X as much.”)

Bangladesh: Dhaka to host World Peace Conference on Dec 4-5


An article from the Dhaka Tribune

The government has fixed December 4 and 5 to hold the planned “World Peace Conference” as part of the ongoing celebration of birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen adressing the press in Dhaka on Thursday, May 20, 2021 Focus Bangla

“We have decided to hold the conference in the month of victory, and we are hopeful to make it in-person,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters at his residence on Monday.

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Question related to this article:
Are there countries that promote a culture of peace?

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He said that the “Bangabandhu Peace Award” would be introduced and conferred during the conference. Many countries introduce such awards after the name of their father of the nation, like Gandhi Peace Prize in India.

Momen also said Dhaka is not planning to invite any heads of states or governments to the conference, rather the government will gather the world-renowned peace activists, writers, poets, singers and global civil society figures to promote the culture of peace and tolerance.

A national committee headed by Speaker Shirin Sharmin Choudhury has already been formed to organize the peace conference successfully. The committee members sat for the first meeting on Monday.

At the conference, a special discussion would be held on the life of Bangabandhu as Bangladesh is now a model of peace following the path shown by its founding father, the minister said.

He added that Bangladesh, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is spreading the peace message across the world, which is the “culture of peace.”

Afghanistan: Striving for Human Security While Ending Forever Wars


An article from the Global Campaign for Peace Education

The announcement of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has initiated an essential discussion of the terms and conditions under which the demilitarization of security might be carried out without undermining the human security of the populations involved.  While the process of demilitarization will be long and complex, the immediate requirements of something more than careless abandonment are evident in Afghanistan. We urge the peace education community to inquire into the terms of the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan that would be as ethical and constructive as possible. We see such an inquiry as a first step toward the design of a comprehensive and effective transition strategy from a militarized to human security system. In the near future further pieces on the problematic of troop withdrawals and human security will be shared here as we explore the possibilities for such design.

A woman walks in front of tents at an internally displaced persons (IDP) site in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan. (Photo: OCHA Afghanistan/Fariba Housaini)

We recommend that educators begin this process with a discussion of Nicholas Kristof’s Op Ed in the May 17, 2021 issue of the New York Times reproduced below. Carefully review the multiple practical needs withdrawal that he outlines, and reflect together on Kristof’s assessment of the significance of education.  Also, note that he quotes our colleague and longtime GCPE member and IIPE participant, Sakena Yacoobi. And, if you are so moved, write to the President and other US responsibles, urging them to assure that the withdrawal process does not cause further suffering among the Afghan people.

-BAR, 5/17/21

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Question related to this article:

Is peace possible in Afghanistan?

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Education Poses an Existential Threat to Extremism

(Reposted from: New York Times.  May 15, 2021)

By Nicholas Kristof

Lying in her hospital bed in Kabul, Afghanistan, having survived an extremist group’s bombing  that killed more than 80 students at her school, a 17-year-old named Arifa was as determined as she was frightened.

“I will continue my education, even if I’m afraid,” Arifa, who hopes to become a doctor, vowed  to Richard Engel of NBC News.

Afghan girls and boys may lack books, pens and laptops, but in their thirst for education, they have plenty to teach the world. Indeed, one of the few things the extremists and the students seem to agree on is the transformational power of education, especially girls’ education.
In some hideous way, perhaps it was rational for fundamentalists to blow up the school, because girls’ education poses an existential threat to extremism. That’s why the Pakistani Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai in the head. It’s why the Afghan Taliban threw acid in girls’ faces.

In the long run, a girl with a book is a greater threat to extremism than a drone overhead.
“The way to long-term change is education,” said Sakena Yacoobi, a hero of mine who has devoted her life to educating her fellow Afghans. “A nation is not built on temporary jobs and mining rights, contractors and political favors. A nation is built on culture and shared history, shared reality and community well-being. We pass these down with education.”

Since 9/11, we Americans have sought to defeat terrorism and extremism with the military toolbox. As we pull our forces out of Kabul and Kandahar, this is a moment to reflect on the limits of military power and the reasons to invest in more cost-effective tools to change the world, like schooling.

After almost 20 years and $2 trillion, the mightiest army in the history of the world couldn’t remake Afghanistan. Some Americans are critical of President Biden for withdrawing from Afghanistan, but I think he made the right decision. I’ve long argued that we were losing ground and that the war was unsustainable.

I reached that conclusion after Afghan contractors in Kabul who supplied U.S. forces told me  that for every $1,000 America paid them, they gave $600 to the Taliban in bribes to pass through checkpoints. To support a single U.S. soldier in Helmand Province, contractors paid the Taliban enough in bribes to hire 10 men to fight against that American.

Yet while America’s longest war is unsustainable, we must remember our obligations. We should greatly accelerate visas for the roughly 17,000  Afghan translators, aides and others who have worked with the United States and will be in danger when our forces are gone. Otherwise, their blood will be on our hands.

So with a heightened appreciation of the limits of military power, let’s try to chip away at extremism with tools like education. It’s also much cheaper. For the cost of deploying a single soldier in Afghanistan for one year, we can establish and pay expenses of 20 rudimentary schools.

There’s a misperception that the Taliban will not allow girls to be educated. It’s not easy, but it can be done. The Taliban tolerates many girls’ schools, particularly primary schools and those with female teachers, but aid groups must negotiate with communities and win support. It doesn’t work to have a sign saying it’s donated by America.

“Most aid groups have been able to operate successfully on both sides of Taliban front lines,” noted Paul Barker, who has spent many years in the region as an aid worker.

Girls’ education is not a magic wand. Schools were built in all corners of Afghanistan over the last 20 years, yet this was not enough  to stymie the Taliban.

“It’s not that you go to school and suddenly are empowered,” a young Afghan woman told me. Let’s be honest: Nothing works as well as we would like to overcome extremism.
Yet this young woman is an example of what’s at stake. She studied on her own in the Taliban heartland and then was able to come to the United States — where she is now doing research on quantum algorithms.

Education is an imperfect weapon against extremism, but it helps. It works through some combination of opening minds, building a middle class, giving women a greater voice in society and reducing population growth and thus a destabilizing “youth bulge” in the population.

So I hope that as we, chastened, pull military forces from Afghanistan, we will learn something from extremists and their victims alike: Promoting girls’ education isn’t about mushy idealism, but about employing an inexpensive tool that is frustratingly slow — but sometimes the best tool we’ve got.

“There is no other way to build a nation,” Yacoobi told me. “Maybe someday we will melt down some of these guns and trade them in for medicines and new Homeric epics. If we wish to get there, we must always start with education.”

South and Southeast Asia: Digital Games for Peace: Creativity, Innovation & Resilience


.An announcement from the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development

The #DigitalGamesForPeace challenge calls upon youth (aged 18-35) from South and Southeast Asia who are game designers, game developers, or researchers in the fields of peacebuilding, prevention of violent extremism, or intercultural dialogue – to submit their applications for a chance to develop innovative ideas on the use of games for peacebuilding.

What is the Challenge about?

The #DigitalGamesForPeace Challenge aims to harness the creative energies of youth from South and Southeast Asia and the promise of game-based innovations in cultivating pertinent competencies for prevention of violent extremism. The Challenge is being organised by the United Nations Office of Counterterrorism (UNOCT), United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), and United Nations, Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).

Who is it for?

Youth who wish to apply must: – Be between (and including) 18 and 35 years old. – Be nationals from or have a domicile in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka. – Have experience with 1 or more of the following areas of expertise: social and emotional learning (SEL), the prevention of violent extremism (PVE) or (video)gaming. – Have good research and writing skills – Apply before June 7, 2021, 11:59 PM IST

What’s in it for me?

If selected, you will have the opportunity to spearhead a UN project. Further, your capacities on intercultural dialogue, social and emotional learning, game-based methodologies will be significantly improved such that post the project, you will have additional skills to wage sustainable peace in your respective community. You will meet and work with a formidable group of young gamechangers from South and Southeast Asia. Additionally, you will be part of a select group of individuals who will have the opportunity to meet and interact with experts from the fields of social emotional learning, game-design, and prevention of violent extremism.

Questions for this article:

Where can one find games for peacebuilding?

How do I participate?

To be considered for selection, submit the call for application on the link that helps us understand your motivations and past experiences to be a gamechanger. We are also seeking some specific information related to digital games and how you think they have the potential to promote ideas of peace, social and emotional learning and prevention of violent extremism.

Apply to be a Gamechanger


Phase 1 (June – September 2021)

Release of Call for applications to shortlist 51 gamechangers between the ages 18-35 years. The shortlisted youth will embark upon improving their capacities on game-based methodologies for peace. This includes exclusively curated training, bootcamps, and mentorship opportunities by thought and industry leaders in the disciplines of game design/development, social-emotional learning, and prevention of violent extremism. The shortlisted youth would then review and test existing games that contribute to building intercultural dialogue and SEL competencies for PVE.

Phase 2 (October – December 2021)

21 selected youth will move into the next phase based on their activity reports and participation in Phase 1. The cohort of gamechangers will ideate, design, and develop innovative projects on the use of games for peacebuilding.

Expected Products

The final products would range from creating a repository of reviewed video games, designing alternate endings to existing games, defining ideal governance practices that define the future of gaming and PVE, designing game storyboards of SEL and PVE, adapting games for SEL and PVE curricula and other possible projects that expand the scope of games for peacebuilding. A team of experts and partners will continue to mentor the gamechangers towards the fruition of their selected project.

Expected Outcomes

1. Youth-led, innovative, game-based methodologies are harnessed to enhance social emotional learning and intercultural dialogue competencies for PVE amongst young people in South and Southeast Asia.

2. Young people in South and Southeast Asia have improved skills capacities for intercultural dialogue and social emotional learning to prevent violent extremism, using the practical guidance developed.

Expected Impact

It is expected that at the conclusion of the initiative, the long term impact will be the use of digital games by young peacebuilders, education professionals and students – to cultivate social and emotional competencies in youth for intercultural dialogue in the South and Southeast Asia Region.

Be a Game Changer! Apply Now!

Interested to learn more? Contact Dani at or

International Women’s Day : Images from Europe and Asia


An article from the Los Angeles Times

Women across Europe and Asia shouted their demands for equality, respect and empowerment Thursday to mark International Women’s Day, with protesters in Spain launching a 24-hour strike and crowds of demonstrators filling the streets of Manila, Seoul and New Delhi.

An artist paints a message on a wall in Sana, Yemen, to mark International Women’s Day. (Yahya Arhab / EPA/Shutterstock; A.M. Ahad / Associated Press)

During a Women’s Day rally in Dhaka, Bangladesh, men hold placards highlighting violence against women. (Yahya Arhab / EPA/Shutterstock; A.M. Ahad / Associated Press)


Spanish women were staging dozens of protests across the country against the wage gap and gender violence. In Barcelona, protesters disrupting traffic into the city center were pushed back by riot police.

In Madrid, hundreds of women gathered in its central square to demand change. Teresa Sonsur, a 38-year-old social services agency worker, said she wanted to end workplace discrimination.

The 731 crosses at Forti de Vinaros beach in Castellon, Spain, represent women who died in gender-related violence since 2007. (Domenich Castello / EPA/Shutterstock)

A young woman in Barcelona attends a protest during a one-day strike for women’s rights. Right, riot police surround women on a Barcelona street during the general strike for International Women’s Day. (Lluis Gene / AFP/Getty Images)


Women gather as they shout slogans and flash the V-sign for victory during a demonstration to mark International Women’s Day in Diyarbakir, (Turkey. Ilyas Akengin / AFP/Getty Images)

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Questions for this article

Prospects for progress in women’s equality, what are the short and long term prospects?

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Across Asia, women came out to mark the day. In China, students at Tsinghua University used the day to make light of a proposed constitutional amendment to scrap term limits for the country’s president. One banner joked that a boyfriend’s term should also have no limits, while another said, “A country cannot exist without a constitution, as we cannot exist without you!”

Pakistani women rally in Karachi to mark International Women’s Day. (Shahzaib Akber / EPA/Shutterstock)

In Manila, Filipinas hold a march to mark the day and to protest President Rodrigo Duterte’s human rights abuses. (Jes Aznar/Getty Images

South Koreans supporting the #MeToo movement wear all black to rally in Seoul. (EPA/Shutterstock)


International Women’s Day is a public holiday in Russia, but opposition presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak was one of only a few demonstrators in Moscow.

A member of the Russian feminist movement attends a rally dedicated to the struggle for women’s rights and against the patriarchate in St. Petersburg, Russia. Anatoly Maltsev / EPA/Shutterstock

(Editor’s note: For other photos from India, Turkey, Indonesia, Nepal, Japan, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Pakistan, Germany, Kosovo, Italy, Romania and France, see the report in Al Jazeera.)

India: Activist Disha Ravi, 22, Arrested Over Toolkit, Faces Conspiracy Charge


An article from NDTV

A 22-year-old climate activist from Bengaluru, Disha Ravi, was the first person to be arrested by the Delhi Police in the case involving “Toolkit” tweeted earlier this month by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg to show support for protesting farmers. The police — which earlier said “Toolkit” was a Khalistani conspiracy — have accused her of being a key conspirator in the document’s formulation and dissemination and alleged that she is trying to revive a Khalistani group.

Video about Disha Ravi arrest

“I did not make Toolkit. We wanted to support the farmers. I edited two lines on February 3,” Disha Ravi told the Delhi court where she was produced earlier on Sunday. She wasn’t accompanied by any lawyer and spoke in the court for herself. The court has sent her to police custody for five days for further questioning. Several opposition parties and activists have condemned the arrest.

Here are the Top 10 points in this big story:

* “Disha Ravi is an Editor of the Toolkit Google Doc & key conspirator in document’s formulation & dissemination,” the Delhi Police tweeted, adding that she started a WhatsApp Group and collaborated to make the Toolkit doc. “In this process, they all collaborated with pro Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation to spread disaffection against the Indian State,” the police tweeted.

* “She was the one who shared the Toolkit Doc with Greta Thunberg. Later, she asked Greta to remove the main Doc after its incriminating details accidentally got into public domain. This is many times more than the 2 lines editing that she claims,” another tweet by the Delhi Police read.

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Questions related to this article:
Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

What is the relation between movements for food sovereignty and the global movement for a culture of peace?

Are we seeing the dawn of a global youth movement?

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* “Completely atrocious! This is unwarranted harassment and intimidation. I express my full solidarity with Disha Ravi,” tweeted Congress’s Jairam Ramesh.

* “Some serious charges applied against a 21 year old for sharing a ‘dangerous’ toolkit. As per BJP our nation is so weak that a written document about farmer agitation shared by an international celebrity will lead to its ‘breakup’ The nation is much stronger than this toolkit, BJP,” tweeted Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi.

* “Modi regime thinks by arresting a grand daughter of farmers, under Sedition, it can weaken the farmers’ struggles. In fact, it will awaken the youth of the country and strengthen the struggles for democracy, tweeted CPM’s Sitaram Yechury.

* “The question is when will those people be arrested who continue to issue a literal ‘toolkit’ to break the national and social unity of India morning and evening, giving rise to hatred and division among the masses,” Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav posted in Hindi.

* The 22-year-old is a graduate of Mount Carmel College, one of Bengaluru’s top women’s colleges. The Delhi Police, which arrested Disha Ravi on Saturday evening, claimed she is influenced by terrorists like Gurpatwant Singh Pannu and Khalistani groups like Poetic Justice. Thousands of others are involved in the conspiracy and further investigation into the matter is in progress, the police said.

* According to the Delhi police, incidents similar to what was stated in the toolkit took place on the Republic Day, The police also claims that the Toolkit was made by M O Dhaliwal of Poetic Justice Foundation, which is a Khalistani organization. The Delhi Police called the toolkit a part of conspiracy against the Government of India and filed a case of sedition against its creators.

* On February 3, Greta Thunberg had tweeted the “toolkit” to show support for the farmers’ protest against the Centre’s farm laws that has been in progress at the borders of Delhi since November 26.  She later deleted the tweet, posting an updated one.

* The Delhi Police had asked Google and some social media platforms for help with the investigation. The police had sought email ids, URLs and social media accounts related to the creators of “toolkit”. Later, the Centre asked Twitter to remove 1,178 accounts, which it said were spreading misinformation and provocative content on the farmers’ agitation.

Irate farmers storm Delhi on tractors as tear gas deployed and internet cut off in scramble to defend Indian capital


An article from Russian television

Tens of thousands of farmers descended on the Indian capital and stormed the city’s iconic Red Fort complex in protest at new agricultural reforms which could imperil the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of citizens (See CPNN December 12, 2020).

Protesters cheer after overturning a trailer during a tractor rally to protest against farm laws near New Delhi on Tuesday. © REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

Farmers mounted on horseback or driving tractors waved flags and brandished tools and swords as they breached police barricades and made their way to the heart of New Delhi.

Media reports  indicate that internet services have been suspended in parts of the capital at the behest of the government and law enforcement, which is struggling to bring the situation under control. 

“As per government instructions, internet services have been stopped in your area till further notice,” a message from local internet service providers read.

Internet services have also been suspended by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) at the Singhu border near Delhi, where thousands of farmers have made their camp for the past two months. 

Several splinter groups of protesters commandeered cranes and used tractors and ropes to breach police barricades on India’s Republic Day, which marks the country’s adoption of its constitution in 1950.

Riot police fired tear gas but were greatly outnumbered and eventually had to fall back, such were the overwhelming numbers of irate farmers and agricultural workers who eventually stormed the country’s historic Red Fort complex. 

Question for this article:

What is the relation between movements for food sovereignty and the global movement for a culture of peace?

How effective are mass protest marches?

© REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Prime Minister Narendra Modi regularly addresses the nation from the walls of the Red Fort, highlighting its cultural significance. 

“Modi will hear us now, he will have to hear us now,” said Sukhdev Singh, 55, a farmer from the northern state of Punjab.

Tens of millions of smaller producers feel the new government regulations undermine their position in the market and afford more power to larger, private buyers, threatening to upend a vast swath of the country’s economy.

Nine rounds of talks with farmers’ unions failed to end the protests and, though the government offered to delay the new legislation for 18 months, the farmers demanded a full repeal. 

The official number of arrests and injuries has yet to be released but state TV showed images of multiple bloodied protesters.

Somewhere in the region of half of India’s 1.3 billion population are employed in the agricultural sector, underscoring what’s at stake and why the protests were so furious as they swept through the capital. 

Leaders of the march have denounced outlier groups that splintered off from the main protest.

India’s Supreme Court puts controversial agricultural laws on hold amid farmers’ protests


An article from

The top court in India has decided to suspend implementation of new farm laws and form a panel to hold talks, as farmers demand that the legislation be repealed.

The court ordered the temporary stay on the controversial laws, which MPs passed in September, and is forming a committee to hear the farmers’ grievances and resolve the impasse, Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde said at a hearing on Tuesday. “We have the power to make a committee and the committee can give us the report,” he said. “We will protect farmers.”

Police officers detain an activist of the youth wing of India’s main opposition Congress party during a protest against new farm laws in New Delhi, India, January 12, 2021. © Reuters / Adnan Abidi

Question for this article:

What is the relation between movements for food sovereignty and the global movement for a culture of peace?

Farmers have been clashing with police and braving increasingly cold weather to protest. They are demanding the laws be repealed, because they say the new legislation will erode a longstanding mechanism that maintains a minimum support price for crops. The government insists the laws will help modernize India’s antiquated farming system. [See CPNN December 12.]

The court’s ruling came after it heard several petitions challenging the laws, and those regarding citizens’ rights to free movement amid the protest. “These are matters of life and death. We are concerned with laws. We are concerned with lives and property of people affected by the agitation,” Bobde said. “We are trying to solve the problem in the best way. One of the powers we have is to suspend the legislation.”

An advocate for the protesters, ML Sharma, complained to the court that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not held any discussions with the farmers or their representatives, but Bobde explained: “We cannot ask the prime minister to go. He is not a party in the case.”

Farm unions reiterated their demand for the laws to be repealed and warned the protests could be intensified. They are to hold an urgent meeting to discuss the court’s decision.

India : ‘Delhi Chalo’ explainer: What the farmers’ protest is all about


An article from Mint

Thousands of farmers have reached the national capital [the Centre] on their tractor-trolleys and other vehicles, responding to the “Delhi Chalo” call against the agri-marketing laws enacted at the Centre in September.

Farmers having food at a Langar during ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest against farm laws, at Singhu Border in New Delhi. (ANI)

On Saturday morning, it wasn’t clear if they will agree to move to the Burari ground on the outskirts of the city, where police said they can continue with their protest. Many protesters were demanding a better venue in the centre of Delhi. Originally, the protest was meant to be on November 26 and 27.

A look at the protest so far: Day 1: On Thursday, thousands of farmers crossed from Punjab to Haryana. At border points, the Haryana Police tried to stop them, using water cannons and teargas. But later they were allowed through. There were skirmishes with police at other points as well on the highway to Delhi as it passed through BJP-run Haryana. A large group of protesters camped for the night near Panipat. Day 2: Protesters assembled at Delhi’s border at Tigri and Singhu. Police used teargas and water cannons to stop them from breaking through barricades, which included sand-laden trucks. In the evening, they offered to let them into the city and continue their protest at Burari ground. But many appeared reluctant. Day 3: The standoff continued on Saturday morning at Delhi’s border. More farmers were making their way from Punjab and Haryana.

What farmers fear: Farmer unions in Punjab and Haryana say the recent laws enacted at the Centre will dismantle the minimum support price (MSP) system. Over time big corporate houses will dictate terms and farmers will end up getting less for their crops, they argue. Farmers fear that with the virtual disbanding of the mandi system, they will not get an assured price for their crops and the “arthiyas” — commission agents who also pitch in with loans for them — will be out of business. Their demands: The key demand is the withdrawal of the three laws which deregulate the sale of their crops. The farmer unions could also settle for a legal assurance that the MSP system will continue, ideally through an amendment to the laws.

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Question for this article:

What is the relation between movements for food sovereignty and the global movement for a culture of peace?

How effective are mass protest marches?

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They are also pressing for the withdrawal of the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020, fearing it will lead to an end to subsidised electricity. Farmers say rules against stubble burning should also not apply to them. Key players: The `Delhi Chalo” call was given by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee. Several other organisations including Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh and factions of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) came out in support.

The march is being held under the banner of Samyukta Kisan Morcha. The Rashtriya Kisan Mahasanghathan, Jai Kisan Andolan, All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha, Krantikari Kisan Union, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda), BKU (Rajewal), BKU (Ekta-Urgahan,) BKU (Chaduni) are among the participants.

Most protesters are from Punjab, but there is a substanial number from Haryana as well. There have been scattered support for the “Delhi Chalo” protest from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Earlier protests: Before “Delhi Chalo” farmers in Punjab and Haryana held sit-ins and blocked roads in sporardic protests. Punjab farmer unions then announced a “rail roko” agitation, which lasted for abour two months, leading to a suspension of trains to the state and shortages in critical areas, including coal for thermal power stations.

At one point, the unions relaxed the agitation to let goods trains through, but the Railways insisted that they will either run both freight and passengers trains or none. The contentious laws The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The Congress-majority Punjab Assembly reacted to these central laws by passing Bills meant to “negate” their effect in the state. The Punjab Bills, however, are still awaiting assent of the state Governor.

What the Centre says The Narendra Modi government says the new laws will give more options to the farmers to sell their crops and get them better prices. It has assured that there is no move to end the MSP system, and the new Acts do not refer to it.

Before the Delhi Chalo agitation began, the Centre had invited representatives from over 30 farmer unions for a meeting with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on December 3. An earlier meeting on November 15 had remained inconclusive.

Asia and Pacific: International day of Peace


A survey by CPNN

We have found 33 events in 13 Asian and Pacific countries. They were listed in Google during the week of September 21-28 under the key words “International day of peace”, “Dia Internacional da Paz” and 国际和平日 (Chinese). Two come from the facebook page of International Cities of Peace and two came from the website of Campaign Nonviolence. No doubt there were many events listed on the Internet in languages other than those for which we searched.

In addition to these, there are about 125 events listed on the maps of One Day One Choir and Montessori schools singing for peace, but there is no indication which took place this year and which took place only in previous years.

Korea Peace Appeal


Peace is Possible is commemorating the UN International Day of Peace 2020 and joining with Pace e Bene Campaign Nonviolence to provide access to the recorded online conference held on 8/8/20. A peace picnic will be held at Birubi Beach on Sunday 9/20/2020 from 4-6pm


Video of event at the United Nations Association of Australia


On the International Day of Peace, the United Nations Office in Canberra in partnership with the Rotary Club of Canberra Burley Griffin organized an event at the Canberra Rotary Peace Bell, Nara Peace Park on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. The event commenced with the performance from the Chorus of Women, Canberra’s renowned Women’s Peace Chorus. The keynote speaker Tim Weeks spoke passionately about the importance of taking collective action to bring about peace and to support those fleeing conflict.


Victoria University International Peace Day forum live online with thought leaders and special guests on 21 September from 4pm to 5.30pm to explore notions of peace, marking the UN . The panelists are Mr Craig Foster, Amnesty International, Ms Mazita Marzuki, Consul General of Malaysia, Mr Charles Allen APM, Institute of Economics for Peace, Ms Rohini Kattadath, Immigration Museum, and Tom Clark, Victoria University


The piazza at Mindeerup will be lit up for several nights from Monday in recognition of the United Nations International Day of Peace.


The City of Rockingham has planted a gingko biloba tree at City Park to recognise International Peace Day 2020 and to commemorate 75 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. This is part of the Mayors for Peace program, which is an international organisation of cities from around the world dedicated to the promotion of peace.


Bangladeshi youth organizer  Sumon Rahman (Ruhit Sumon) received India’s International Day of Peace Award.. Ruhit Sumon, president of the Mayurpankhi and Mayurpankhi Family Social Welfare Organization for Children and Adolescents, received this international honor in recognition of his work in protecting world peace, health and human rights through social services at home and abroad. This prestigious award is given by the Mission Global Peace Association of India. Ruhit Sumon is conducting various activities in the epidemic corona situation through its established organization “Mayurpankhi”. Corona preventive and corrective training and workshops during the outbreak, coordination of volunteers, provision of masks, disinfectants, soap for the destitute, destitute and torn roots, distribution of awareness leaflets, distribution of food and iftar items, sewing machines for self-sufficiency and employment. In addition, food, financial assistance and protection materials were provided to flood victims.


On September 21, 2020, the Russian Embassy in Cambodia held a ceremonial assembly on the occasion of International Day of Peace. Head of the diplomatic mission, its personnel, as well as teachers and pupils of the Embassy School attended the event. Ambassador H.E. Mr. Anatoly Borovik delivered address, stressing the importance of peace in the world and need of joint efforts in its attainment and preservation.


To celebrate the International Day of Peace and to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, the China World Peace Foundation, the Beijing International Peace Culture Foundation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and Beijing co-organized the seventh “Heyuan Peace Festival” in Beijing with the theme “Promoting Peaceful Dialogue, Civilized Health, and Youth Space”. The guests at the conference agreed that mankind is a community of shared destiny, sharing weal and woe. All countries should form a more inclusive global governance system, more effective multilateral mechanisms, and more active regional cooperation through peaceful public welfare, international exchanges, technological innovation, and cultural interaction.


On September 21, UNESCO, the National Commission for UNESCO, the Information Office of the People’s Government of Jiangsu Province, and the People’s Government of Nanjing jointly hosted the “Youth in Action” 2020 International Peace Day event in Nanjing . . .  As one of the activities of the 2020 International Peace Day, the “Art for Peace Youth Sharing Session” used a cross-border performance of music, poetry and dance to express the concept of peace, promote dialogue and exchanges, and stage a peaceful confession. Subsequently, young people from all over the world recite poems on the spot, and express their watch for peace in the form of poetry sessions. At the same time, the live “TV Art Installation” shows through videos the peaceful memories of artists and young people around the world, discussing a wide range of topics such as peace and aesthetics, technology, politics, and economy, reflecting on war in a peaceful way, and paying tribute to peace in an artistic way. 


On September 21st, Tumshuk Airport launched a publicity campaign on the theme of “International Day of Peace”.  During the event, the airport staff introduced the knowledge of the “International Day of Peace” to the passengers. The International Day of Peace is the Global Day of Ceasefire and Non-Violence, calling on all countries and people to cooperate with the United Nations to achieve a global ceasefire on this day, and use electronic LED Celebrate the International Day of Peace with education and publicity methods such as screens, TV broadcasts, and handbooks.


On the International Day of Peace, Wenzhou Xiangyu Junior High School Teachers and Students Learn Sign Language Together. After introducing the emblem of the United Nations, Assistant President Liu Yuee introduced the Xiangyu Education Group logo to everyone. Under her initiative, students and teachers follow the voice guidance, learn the sign language “I love peace” together, express their love for peace, desire for peace, oppose hegemonism, and oppose war of aggression.


Hefei Xinhua College “World View · Watching Youth” International Peace Day Interdisciplinary Works Exhibition. The students used Chinese characters and artistic visual elements to paint the repudiation of war and the beautiful imagination of peace. . . Today’s young people should understand that mutual respect and equality are the right way in the world, and peaceful development is the future of the world.


Today is the “International Day of Peace”. Students from Huandong Junior High School and Taozhu Street Central School in Zhuji City took up paintbrushes, applied colors and thoughtfully conceived, using vivid and lively paintings to express the blessings of peace and hope for good.


Intternational Day of Peace was observed by youngsters of the city. The day began with Plantation for Peace on a property in Neelbad, Bhopal. This land is being managed by the youth initiative ANANT Mandi for the Community Supported Agriculture experiment, it is an alternative socioeconomic model of agriculture and food distribution that allows the producer and the consumer to share the risks of agriculture. Before the plantation, everyone sang the song of Jai Jagat. With the goal of contributing to our country’s Green Drive, traversing global warming and thus reducing its impact on climate change, and ultimately presenting a better environment for the next generation, the team planted more than 20 trees.


World Peace Day was celebrated on behalf of the students of St. Soldier Divine Public School Una Road. An online program was organized under the leadership of Director Urmil Sood. During this, the students gave the message of world peace by making different posters and writing slogans. In the message to the students, Director Sood said that the main objective of celebrating this day is to spread peace and peace around the world, leaving aside the policy of violence and war.


Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. International Peace Day celebrated during the online sessions by primary students of Kids’ Pride School.

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Question for this article

What has happened this year (2020) for the International Day of Peace?

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The NSS unit of Gobindgarh Public College, Aloud, Khanna, observed International Peace Day. An online declamation contest was organised on the theme “Importance of peaceful living”. Programme officers Mandeep Singh and Professor B Rupinder Kaur highlighted the importance of the day. Principal Neena Seth Pajnii appreciated the NSS unit for organising such a programme. In the declamation contest, Nancy Gupta got first position. Jasmeet Kaur and Tanya got second and third positions, respectively.


The Meghalaya Bharat Scouts and Guides celebrated the International Day of Peace on Monday. The programme included a Prayer for Peace by the Jt. State Secretary of the Meghalaya Bharat Scouts and Guides, W. Lyngdoh followed by a Special Message on Peace by the State Secretary, Meghalaya Bharat Scouts and Guides, A. Swer and flying of Pace Lanterns in the evening.  Online competitions on peace videos and peace slogans were also organised. Tree plantations were also held at the State Training Centre, Umtyngar on  September 10 (Pachmarhi Day) to mark the inauguration of the International Day of Peace 2020. 


Run/Ride for International Peace Day. Run for 5 km, 10 km . . . 100 km. Goldengate Awards. “Peace is the way to bring the world together”


In observance of the International Day of Peace celebrated this week, Silk Road International School has a pleasure to invite you for our “Hopes and Dreams” event held on: Friday, 25th September 2020, from 14:30 to 15:30. On this occasion, we will create SRIS Wish Tree decorated with cards, including our wishes and hopes. The school will also prepare additional art activities for children and their parents and refreshments.
We look forward to seeing you this Friday! Silk Road Primary Team


International Peace Day: Civil society organizations call for end of Korean War. More than 350 South Korean and international civil society organizations, including the Korea office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, have launched a campaign calling for an end of the Korean War.
Although the conflicting parties signed an Armistice Agreement in 1953, there have been a number of political and military conflicts between two Koreas. The Korea Peace Appeal is an international petition set to run from 2020, the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, until 2023, the 70th anniversary of the armistice.  The Korea Peace Appeal emphasizes four demands: 1. End the Korean War and establish a peace agreement.  2. Create a Korean Peninsula, and a world, free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat.  3. Resolve the conflict with dialogue and cooperation instead of sanctions and pressure.  4. Break from the vicious cycle of the arms race and invest in human security and environmental sustainability. 

The Pan Pacific and Southeast Asia Women’s Association (PPSEAWA) celebrated the International Day of Peace here on Monday at a leading hotel with the theme “Shaping Peace Together”. PPSEAWA Vice President Datin Dr Jayanthi Krishnan said this year, it has been clearer than ever that the common enemy is a tireless coronavirus known Covid-19 which threatens Malaysian’s health, security and way of life.


We the promoter of Global Cultural Peace Walk, Nepal (GCPW/N) is organizing the local peace walk event since 2017 at the eve of International Day of Peace awaking global harmony. The nurturing activity is continued in 2020, remodeling with social value, an educational tips to Covid-19 pandemic. This year celebration are limited to the location near by the members’ residence. A cultural ghee/oil lightening were perform with creative activity at Charumati Stupa, Sankhapark in UN Park, Swayambhu, Panauti and Namo Buddha managed by Palden Lama, Surya Rana, Deva Sainju, Rajaram Karmacharya and Subarna Shrestha at each places respectively in collaboration with Namo Buddha International Cities of Peace,


Lotus Mindfulness and Relaxation Services (LMRS) in Kathmandu organized a peacemaking event through meditation on the occasion of the UN International Peace Day on Monday. The organizer hosted an online event inviting international peacemakers from different corners of the world to share their experiences and encourage people to make meditation ‘The New Normal’ during these turbulent times. A total of 70 participants, mainly youths, from different countries including the US, Germany, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal participated in the virtual event.


VIDEO: Hear the Unheard: Stories of Nepal is being organized jointly by Peace for People and MasterPeace Nepal on the occasion of World Peace Day on September 21, 2020.


The National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese of Karachi yesterday held a rally for Peace and a seminar dedicated to this year’s International Day of Peace. Various humanitarian groups, students, lawyers and religious congregations took an active part in the events . . . Participants in the peace seminar pledged to play a role in promoting peace and tolerance in society. A peace candle was lit, a dove was released, and trees were planted as gestures of peace and special prayers were offered for peace in the world.


People from different walks of life held a rally in Hattiyaan Bala town of Azad Jammu & Kashmir on Monday to mark the International Day for Peace under the aegis of Pasban-e-Hurriyat Jammu Kashmir and International Forum for Justice and Human Rights titled “Justice, Independence, Peace Rally”. Speakers on the occasion said that the world was celebrating World Peace Day while around 1 million Indian armed forces have illegally Occupied the internationally-acknowledged disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir. They demanded United Nations and other peace building organisations to take notice of existence of immense armed forces in disputed territory. They also demanded that UN must fulfill its obligation on Kashmir issue as the resistance movement in IOK was legitimate according to UN resolutions.


Bacha Khan Trust Educational Foundation : Spreading the message of justice for minorities in Pakistan on Social Media.


With the help of ZABIDA , a local partner of Manos Unidas in the Philippines, we want to get closer to the people of Mindanao on the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Peace 2020. . . This year we want to look at the young people of Mindanao who have been directly affected by the consequences of a conflict that, with greater or lesser intensity, is still being felt despite the undeniable progress in the peace process. The conflict that has lasted for more than four decades and which confronts the Philippine government with Islamist armed groups that demand the independence of the region, has its roots in economic and political factors and branches out into very different types of violence, from attacks and armed confrontations to episodes. of bulling in schools and tensions between neighbors due to the origin or personal and family history of each person.


In celebration of National Peace Consciousness Month as well as the International Day of Peace, Lasallian students and Partners took part in numerous activities including the 2020 Institutional Peace Concert on September 21, 2020. The concert was live-streamed via De La Salle Lipa’s official YouTube channel and Facebook page. . . The Institutional Peace Concert was not the only way that members of the De La Salle Lipa community commemorated the Month of Peace. Other activities have also been lined up and participated by Lasallians all throughout the month. Grade school students participated in an activity focused on making paper planes. The meaning behind the paper plane must not be overlooked. It serves as a symbol of hope and optimism during a time when we need those things most. The efforts placed into crafting a paper plane will enable it to fly. The same goes for the ongoing struggle for peace as the efforts made, no matter how small, can make a difference and cause great causes to take flight. Also featured during the event were the Junior High School students joining together as they formed a virtual sign of peace. The meaningful gesture represents how even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, we can still remain united as we pursue the same goals. Senior High School (SHS) students, on the other hand, commemorated the International Day of Peace in their own unique way. Some students took to Instagram to get involved in a Story Chain. The students struck a pose while wearing their white tops and also tagged their friends to take part in the Story Chain.


International Day of Peace Celebrated at Dover Court. The children were able to articulate that peace may mean giving people the space to think and relax, or that it means not arguing with one another and respecting difference in viewpoints. Where right now it may seem the world is pulling people apart from one another, we as a community are seeking ways to build connection through shared discussion and collaborative projects. In the Library we acknowledged International Peace Day by thinking about children around the world who may not live in a peaceful country. We thought about how lucky we are to live in the safety of Singapore.  We came up with some ideas of how we could acknowledge world peace day in our everyday lives by being kind to our siblings, showing love to our family etc.  We then looked at books about children around the world and some of us coloured doves of peace and wrote poems about peace.


Launched this week on world peace day, Vietnam based independent restaurant chain Pizza 4Ps has partnered with Ki Saigon to bring to life their mission to make the world smile for peace, one pizza at a time. The agency thought of bringing together ingredients of nations in conflict to create ‘Peace Pizzas’. By combining tastes of these countries in harmony to attempt to prove that if ingredients can be together on a pizza, so can we on the planet. Over many months, their chefs Mr. Shotaro Hirukawa & Ms. Natsumi Kobayashi worked with the Ki Saigon team to create three individual ‘Peace Pizzas’: India & Pakistan; China & USA; Israel & Palestine. To celebrate the unity of flavors the agency transformed the 4PS pizza boxes to a garden of peace. The pizza boxes were re-engineered to open to an intricate, handcrafted three dimensional flower. Each flower is made by combining the colors of the two flags: Israel + Palestine, China + USA & India + Pakistan. 27 unique handmade flowers blossom with each pizza to celebrate peace and tranquility. A total of 250 of these boxes were also displayed as an art piece titled ‘garden of peace’ at one of their marque venues, which is holding a one week event to celebrate ‘peace week’ where the pizzas will be sold. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the peace pizzas will go to the UN Peace Building Fund.