Tag Archives: South Asia

Asia and Pacific: International Day for the Culture of Peace

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .

A survey by CPNN

We have found 42 events in 13 Asian and Pacific countries. They were listed in Google during the week of September 21-28 this year under the key words “International day of peace”, “Peace Day” and 国际和平日 (Chinese). 3 come from the facebook page of International Cities of Peace and 2 came from the website of Campaign Nonviolence. No doubt there were also events listed on the Internet in languages other than those for which we searched.

In addition to these, there are about 120 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.


Children in a Rohingya refugee camp

AUSTRALIA

Australian Raising Peace Festival from 16-26 Sept, celebrating the UN international Day of Peace. Sponsored by Pace e Bene Australia in Partnership w/ Raising Peace. 33 great FREE online events.

ANNA BAY, AUSTRALIA

Peace is Possible. During this time, if fully vaccinated, people are able to exercise in groups of 2s or 5s on a reflective walk through the environment. This activity will be in solidarity with the aims of Campaign Nonviolence and awareness of the the need for Peace in this world.

BLUE MOUNTAINS, AUSTRALIA

The Blue Mountains Interfaith Group are inviting all concerned people to join with them in a gathering offering meditation, prayer, music and reflection via Zoom at 11am Tuesday, September 21

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

Two Indian origin sisters based in Australia are planning to set a world record by singing the world’s 195 national and UN permanent member state anthems in 100 languages, including Qatar’s national anthem. Siblings Teresa Joy and Augnes Joy will attempt the record at the St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane in Australia on September 21 as part of Cathedral’s International Day of Peace celebrations in approximately six hours, with a 10-minute break permitted every two hours. . . United nations Association of Australia Queensland and Augnes & Teresa Peace foundation are organising the programme.

COWRA, AUSTRALIA

Despite the cancellation of traditional World Peace Day events in Cowra, Chairperson of the Australian Chapter of the World Peace Bell Association, Ian Brown said the spirit of the occasion was important now more than ever. . . this year’s event will be scaled down with Mr Brown ringing Cowra’s World Peace Bell at 12pm on the day. . . Mr Brown also paid tribute to the nine nominees for this year’s Cowra Youth Peace Award, with the winner being named at a Rotary dinner on September 23.

SHEPPARTON, AUSTRALIA

Tuesday marks the International Day of Peace, and while the Shepparton community can’t gather together, more than 100 people across the city will come together online to light a candle for Afghanistan. Organised by Picnic 4 Peace, the annual event is designed to bring people together in solidarity against war across the globe, but this year’s event has a focus on Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country last month.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Sydney’s Peace and Anti-War networks are collaborating on an 11-day, online Raising Peace Festival, 16-26 September. . . Raising Peace features more than 30 public events, clustered around the United Nations International Day of Peace on 21 September, when the keynote address will be given by His Excellency Mr Armando Vargas Araya, Ambassador for Costa Rica, at noon. . . The Festival brings together academics, activists and practitioners to celebrate key achievements, and to address challenges and strategies. The objective is to raise the profile of peace in public debate. . . The concept of a Raising Peace Festival began two years ago when International Volunteers for Peace (IVP), the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF NSW) got together. Now some 30 peace groups are registered to be part of the Festival, from Knitting Nannas and the Marrickville Peace Group to PEN Sydney, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and the United Nations Association of Australia (NSW). The festival will showcase a variety of approaches to peace, including a day devoted to First Nations voices and a session on Youth for Peace. Other topics include practising non-violence; prospects for peace in Afghanistan; faith and peace; peacebuilding in the Asia-Pacific; disarmament and anti-militarism; permaculture for peace, and the road to a nuclear free future. The program will also feature musical performances, poetry reading, yarning circles, film screenings and workshops.

BANGLADESH – ROHINGYA REFUGEE CAMPS

To mark World Peace Day on 21 September and as part of NRS Relief’s #PeaceDoves campaign launch, NRS Relief partnered with Danish Refugee Council (DRC) to run an art exhibition in three refugee camps within the Kutupalong area in Bangladesh. More than 300 Rohingya refugee children participated in the contest that highlighted peace and hope in conflict settings. Children were awarded with cuddly dove-shaped toys made from upcycled aid blanket and tarpaulin offcuts. . . .The #PeaceDoves project is NRS Relief’s latest CSR-driven awareness campaign that creatively and responsibly transforms production waste into messengers of peace. The campaign aims to spread ‘messages of peace’ and addresses critical issues such as the refugee crisis, sustainability and the private sector’s contribution to achieving a more peaceful society.

BRAC UNIVERSITY, BANGLADESH

For International Peace Day, CPJ and UN Women along with Peace Café members organised a series of events and activities such as peace adda, rally, seminar, social media campaigns, peace-message, essay, and photography competitions. . . Following the Peace Adda, a photo book named “The Power of Women”, was officially launched. This Photo Book displays the top submissions from all categories, selected from a range of excellent works from very talented youth artists across the country. This virtual programme was broadcasted live, and the recording can be viewed on CPJ’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/cpj.bracu

DHAKA, BANGLADESH – CENTER FOR PEACE STUDIES

CPS celebrates Peace day 2021 through Book Launching, Rohingya Art Exhibition and Peace rally at NSU – A launching ceremony of a Bangla book on the Rohingya titled “Rohingya Refugee-Life: The Uncertain Future and the Liability of Civilization” was held virtually on 21 September 2021. It was jointly organized by the Center for Peace Studies (CPS) of South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance (SIPG), North South University (NSU) and Prothoma Prokashon. . . . CPS also celebrated World Peace Day 2021 through in person activities maintaining physical distance. These are; releasing balloons and pigeons, organizing a peace rally and a week-long Exhibition of Rohingya Artifacts. . . . Discussants in the book launching opined that the recommendations of the various chapters of this book would play a key role in policy formulation and implementation of action plans to address the Rohingya crisis. The program started with a poem recitation by a young Rohingya refugee. Arun Bosu, Coordinator of Prothoma Prokashon delivered the concluding remarks and hoped that the Prothoma Prokashon has been successful in conveying the true picture of Rohingya people’s lives to the readers. Academics, researchers, diplomats, journalists, and students were present among the participants. The event came to an end with a performance of a Rohingya traditional song by the Rohingya musicians.

DHAKA, BANGLADESH – RUSSIAN CULTURAL CENTER

Scores of school children discussed the consequences of war at an event at the Russian cultural centre in Dhaka on the occasion of International Day of Peace on Tuesday. The programme — Why do we need peace –was organised by Russian House (Russian Centre of Science and Culture) in collaboration with Russian compatriots association Motherland, and online children and youth forum Dove of Peace. Apart from the local school children, their parents and teachers also took part in the programme.

KUSHTIA, BANGLADESH

World Peace Day is celebrated today (Tuesday) 21st September 2021 with the slogan “We will all be a messenger of peace”. A colorful bicycle rally was organized by Bangladesh Scouts, Kushtia District Rover to spread the message of peace to all. Rover Leaders, Rover Scouts and Girl-in-Rover Scouts from various colleges and universities of the district participated in the rally, which started from Kushtia Government Central College at 8.30 am. They went to Kuthibari, stayed there for a while, talked to the people on the occasion of International Peace Day and distributed masks to raise awareness of Corona. Then everyone left from there and went to the shrine of the famous mystic saint Lalon Shah. On reaching there, a short song session was set up. After staying there for some time, we left again for Kushtia Government College. Arriving there our bicycle rally ended.

CAMBODIA

Events on the occasion of the International Day of Peace were held at the Russian Embassy in Cambodia. . . On this occasion, the school at the Russian Embassy in Cambodia joined the Dove of Peace Children and Youth Forum initiated by the Heirs of Victory International Union and the Dove of Peace International Project. The event was attended by teachers and schoolchildren of the educational institution at the RZU.

INDIA

On September 21, the International Day of Peace. . . an online launch event to kick-off the new World BEYOND War India and Afghanistan chapters! We’ll discuss World BEYOND War’s mission and campaigns, the current state of the peace movement in Afghanistan and India, and why we need a world beyond war. We’ll have time to break out into discussion groups to talk about what anti-war issues matter to you and how we can work together to create World BEYOND War chapters in India and Afghanistan.

AKHNOOR, INDIA

The Indian Army celebrated the International Day of Peace with local people at High School jogwan and Battal village. The program started at 9:30 from Battal village, where 7 villagers includin Sarpanch, Panch, women and children joined forces for the march raising slogans of peace. After the program a drawing competition was organized in which a total of 63 children participated. An Indian Army officer addressed the local people and delivered a lecture about the importance of peace and co-existence in the society followed by distribution of prizes bo the winners of the drawing competition.

DELHI, INDIA

Celebrating International Peace Day with a spirit of providing protection to the community, Aarohan (Delhi) with CFAR and DLSA has iitiated to vaccinate 1000 transgeners in Sultanpuri.

DIMAPUR, INDIA

To commemorate International Day of Peace 2021 on September 21, The Morung Express, a Nagaland-based newspaper, is organising a YouTube singing competition with theme: The Road to a Lasting Peace. An update issued on Sep. 9 informed that the competition, ‘Sing For Peace’ is to celebrate through music the International Day of Peace which was established in 1981 by the UN General Assembly to commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and people. The competition is said to be free and open to all with no age limit. The song must be an original composition sung in any one of the Naga languages

GARAMPANI, INDIA

Various competitions were organized as Messenger of Peace by Innovative Scout-Guide Open Group at Rainka Khairna. In the painting competition organized, Ankit Kumar got first. . . various Cub Bulbul Scout Guide Rover Ranger and Unit Leaders will participate in a three-day Messenger of Peace webinar on behalf of the National Headquarters of Bharat Scouts-Guides.

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Question for this article

What has happened this year (2021) for the International Day of Peace?

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JEHANABAD, INDIA

Under the leadership of Bihar State Bharat Scouts and Guides District Jehanabad, a painting competition was organized on the occasion of World Peace Day. In which Vaishnavi Kesari stood first. . . The organization commissioner, while addressing the scouts and guides on this occasion, said that people from all over the world adopt humanity on this day and forget all the gaps of the society and think about the well being of each other, United Nations Organization Invites countries to honor the cessation of their respective hostilities on this day.

JHAPA, INDIA

Today, on the occasion of World Peace Day, Purnima Devi, head of Gram Panchayat Jhapa, was speaking in a seminar organized in the Panchayat Bhawan of Gram Panchayat Jhapa, on the occasion, social worker Mukund Saw said that by talking peacefully. Every issue can be resolved. . . In the meeting, the Vice President and Treasurer of the Gram Sabha from all the 14 villages of the Panchayat, all the honorable members, all the people of the Gram Panchayat Jhapa were present.

LEH, INDIA :

All India Council of Human Rights, Liberties & Social Justice (AICHLS) and Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC ) are jointly organizing 11th International Peace Conference to observe International Day of Peace, in Leh. . . the Peace Conference will be conducted in collaboration with the all religious organizations in Ladakh. On the occasion, the Council also conferring the 7th Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award to Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena, the Founder of Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre.

MANIPUR, INDIA

Manipur would be organising ‘Foot March for Justice and Peace’ from September 21 (International Peace Day) to October 2 (International Non-violence Day) in some select villages of five districts of the state. In a statement, the Parishad informed that the march will be carried out along with its associated groups and partner organisations. On the occasion of International Peace Day, a campaign will be launched at Karang Thanga and Andro-Huikap in Bishnupur and Imphal East district respectively. The foot march will also be participated by Ekta Parishad national coordinator Ramesh Sharma and state coordinator Aribam Rishikanta Sharma. The foot march will be carried out in more than 100 districts of 13 states including Manipur. The main objective of the march is to propose establishment of Ministry of Justice and Peace at national and state level.

MEERUT, INDIA

On the occasion of World Peace Day, a program was organized by the Environment and Sanitation Club at the Commissioner’s residence. In this, Commissioner Surendra Singh flew white pigeons as a symbol of peace. . . Commissioner Surendra Singh said that the importance of World Peace Day becomes more in today’s context.

NAGALAND, INDIA

Nagaland State Bharat Scouts and Guides (NSBSG) will be celebrating the ‘International Day of Peace’ on September 21 at Mezhür Higher Secondary School in Kohima on the theme “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.” Different activities are being taken up by members at various levels to celebrate the day in a befitting manner.

NAGPUR, INDIA

Every year, the India Peace Centre commemorates World Peace Day by holding its major event. This year, in light of pandemic guidelines and to have a broader impact, an All India Speech, Competition on the concept of Peace has been arranged. . . Dr. Tejinder Singh Rawal, the project manager and Deputy Director of the India Peace Centre, explained the event, saying, “Submissions are welcomed from citizen Indians of all age ranges.” The preliminary round’s topic is “What Constitutes Peace in the Indian Context.” . . Nagpur Toastmasters Club will manage the entire procedure, screening entries, providing technical assistance, and judging the occasion.

PARIKRAMA MARG, INDIA

World Peace Day was celebrated by Rotary Club Samarpan at New Horizon School, Parikrama Marg. On this occasion, speech competition, poster making competition and slogan competition were organized among the students. The students who secured first, second and third place in all the three competitions held on Tuesday were awarded with prizes and certificates.

PHAGWARA, INDIA

International peace day was celebrated at MLU DAV College Phagwara with great zeal and enthusiasm under the guidance of Dr. Kiranjeet Randhawa Principal of the college . . . A seminar was ogranised by faculty members for students to encourage them to learn the word ‘Peace’ and its true meaning. Peace day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit and build a culture of peace. Students participated in various activities and shared their views through speeches, poems and songs.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, INDIA

Local Self Government, Rural Development and Excise Minister MV Govindan Master, who arrived at the Magic Planet yesterday evening as part of the International Peace Day celebrations organized by the Child Rights Commission and the Different Arts Center, flew balloons into the sky as a message of peace with children with disabilities. The sight of hundreds of water balloons soaring into the sky fascinated children and spectators alike.

JAPAN

Friends in Japan celebrate the International Day of Peace by wearing traditional kimono as a symbol of the Culture of Peace and the World Peace Flag Ceremony. May Peace Prevail On Earth. See video

SHIJUKU, JAPAN

International Peace Day-Panel exhibition and lunch lecture on human rights was held in Shinjuku on September 20th to learn about human rights again.

SEOUL, KOREA

The Kyung Hee University System will host the Peace BAR Festival 2021 to mark the 40th U.N. International Day of Peace that falls on Sept. 21. The event will kick off under the theme of “No Time to Lose, A Quest for Immediate Action for Planetary Crisis”. . . This year’s festival will consist of five conferences to be held until December, bringing together scholars from around the world, including representatives of the Club of Budapest and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and professors from Stanford and Harvard universities. They will discuss measures to overcome various crises facing the world, such as climate change, exhaustion of natural resources, the COVID-19 pandemic, social polarization and inequality. . . All conferences will be held online due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, and will be streamed through the YouTube channel of the Kyung Hee University Global Academy for Future Civilization.

PENANG, MALAYSIA

In conjunction with the International Day of Peace on September 21, Penang Harmony Agency organized the “Ride around the World, Ride for Peace” virtual cycling event. . . Penang State Women’s Social Development and Non-Islamic Religious Commettee Chairman Zhang Ying said at the launching ceremony that the state government celebrated the International Day of Peace for the first time this year.

BANKE, NEPAL

On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, we celebrated by ‘lightening the lamp’ (Deep Prajwalan). This and the Panchmukhi Shiva Temple sanitation program were jointly organized by Nepal Unites, Nepal Youth Council Lumbini, Genteel Society Nepal, and the United Religions Initiative at Rapti Bridge in Duduwa Rural Municipality Ward No. 4 of Banke District. The chief guest of the program, ward Chairperson Bhandari Lal Yadav, expressed the need for peace in the world and the need to clean the environment because we are all human beings living on the earth. Bandari said that we need to protect and find peace in nature.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND

An online vigil to support victims of the Auckland terror attack will take place on Sunday. The prayer vigil, organised by the Wellington Interfaith Council, will be an opportunity for people all over the country to offer solidarity to the victims of the attack, and also the Sri Lankan and Muslim communities. The vigil would also mark the United Nations’ International Day of Peace on Tuesday.

PAKISTAN – KASHMIR PARLIAMENTARY PEACE CONFERENCE

Pakistan on Tuesday observed the International Day of Peace calling upon the United Nations to play its due role in mitigating decades’ long sufferings of the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). . . . Addressing the Kashmir Parliamentary Peace Conference here, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser said it was the history that Kashmir region always remained peaceful but its peace was destroyed during the Dogra rule before creation of Pakistan. He said more than 1.5 million homes had so far been burnt by brutal Indian forces in IIOJK where all basic human rights were being denied. The speaker was of the view that a referendum should be held in IIOJK in accordance with the resolutions passed by the UN Security Council, giving people of Kashmir their legitimate right to self-determination. . . . In Sukkur, Shaheed Dodo Soomro Welfare Orgnization (SDSWO) held a ceremony to mark the International Peace Day.

PAKISTAN PEACE LEAGUE

A number of peace activists, human rights defenders, religious leaders, media, political qnd CSO representatives attended the Pakistan Peace League 2021. Guests, audience and youth appreciated the idea qnd speaches about the importance of peace.

LAHORE, PAKISTAN

A walk was held in connection with World Peace Day at Cathedral Crunch Lahore.

PHILIPPINES – OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER ON THE PEACE PROCESS

Throughout the month of September, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) will spearhead various peacebuilding activities to instill greater consciousness and understanding among the Filipino people on the comprehensive peace process to strengthen and sustain institutional and popular support for and participation in this effort, as well as in the global movement spearheaded by the United Nations to promote a Culture of Peace based on nonviolence, respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, tolerance, understanding and solidarity. .. . The Peace Month celebration also coincides with the observance of International Day of Peace with this year’s theme, “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.” For more details, click here

PHILIPPINES BOY SCOUTS

Boy Scouts of the Philippines – Messengers of Peace Roadshow. Held on September 21, 2021 (5-7pm) via Zoom Meet together with Scouts and Leaders around the Philippines! Where the Base Commanders gave us an exciting activities! ; shares one’s hobbies, showing our talents in dancing, slogan & poster making, fun games & quiz and a dialogue for peace. Understanding the meaning of Peace, the Impact in making Peace.

CAGAYAN DE ORO, PHILIPPINES

On the commemoration of the International Day of Peace, with the theme “Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World,” the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) has appealed to both the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)to give peace talks a try.

LIPA CITY, PHILIPPINES

Just like in the previous years, De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) actively commemorated the International Day of Peace and International Peace Month last September 21. DLSL’s symbolic observance was in accordance with this year’s theme for the United Nation-led activity, “Recovering Better for a Sustainable and Equitable World. Among the highlights of the event were the recollection of the past years’ Peace Month remembrance, Prayer for Peace, showcasing of Peace Cranes, and a Song for Peace.

DHAMMAKAYA, THAILAND

In Thailand, Buddhist monks lit 200,000 candles on Tuesday at the Dhammakaya temple near Bangkok to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

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

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

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

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

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.”

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

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

.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

Timelines

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 d.dani@unesco.org or youth.mgiep@unesco.org

International Women’s Day : Images from Europe and Asia

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .

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)

Spain

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)

Turkey


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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Asia

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)

Russia

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

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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.

(Article continued in the column on the right)

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?

(Article continued from the column on the left)

* “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

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

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?


© 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

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article from rt.com

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

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

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.

(The article is continued on the right side of this page)

Question for this article:

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

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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.

India: Nagaland’s Rebecca Changkija Sema conferred with ‘Mahatma Gandhi National Award’

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An article from The Sentinal of Assam

Filmmaker and social worker Rebecca Changkija Sema from Nagaland was conferred with the esteemed Mahatma Gandhi National Award during the 4th International Web Conference on Global Peace on July 25 by the Mahatma Gandhi Global Peace Forum.

Joining the ranks of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) who were previous awardees of the Mahatma Gandhi National Award, Rebecca Changkija Sema has broken the glass ceiling for female social workers in India.

Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

Sema is an Advisory Panel Member at the Censor Board Mumbai and the founder of “Northeast Unsung Heroes”. She describes it as a non-profit organization, emphasizing that there are people from all walks of life, who choose to do good for the society and their country who have not received enough recognition.

She reiterates that bringing recognition to these ‘heroes’ translates into them receiving better opportunities further ahead in life.

Sema promotes tourism as well and takes a keen interest in utilizing the talent that comes up from the Northeast region; primarily through social work and cinema. She reiterates that the award has “humbled” her.

“Words are not enough to describe how humbled am today to receive this prestigious award. this is extremely encouraging beyond any words. Thank you Human Rights Saviour to be considering me for @Nagaland #northeast_india #BlessedAndThankful #HumanRights”, she wrote on Twitter.

The Mahatma Gandhi Global Peace Forum is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that aims to promote the culture of peace around the world through the medium of arts, culture and education.

A total of 14 personalities from various parts of the country working in the field of Human Rights were conferred with the award.