----- Original Message -----
From: Xan Sam Joi
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 2:43 AM
Subject: [jeju] Urgent-from Jeju Island - Signatures needed TODAY
SOOOO sorry this is last minute - my fault totally, I slipped up. But PLEASE do take the time today to sign and email!
Dear friends all
This is Koh, Gilchun, artist of Jeju.
Korea elected a new president. We are really sorry not to have a president who may keep the peace well in korea and as a result of dissapointment, a few labours committed suicide just after the election. Gangjeong Village is also in very diffcult situation. The new president, a daughter of dictator will also push the construction of naval base in Gangjeong. Congress decided to postpone the construction and order to stop it until the research is finished to examine the problem of the construction, but the company is more illegally working harder. Therefore, we are working of campaign to nominate Gangjeong Village for the Nobel Peace Prize. We don't have much time so we are hurrying it. It will be a strong pressure for korean government if this works, then the world will know of the situation. And a result, many peace activist, Gangjeong villagers and Jeju people will be encouraged to support non naval peace island of Jeju against violence of judical power.
The qualiication of recommendation of the nobel prize is professor, jurist and a nobel prize winner, so please ask professors who you know to sign for it.
I received the nomination appeal from Prof Noam Chomsky today.
If possible, please send back your signature by January 28, 2013.
1. Gangjeong Village - Nobel Peace Prize nomination
2. Form for the List of Nominators.
Please send your email to: me at <email@example.com> and the Gangjeong Village International team at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In solidarity and action,
Xan Sam Joi
DISARM DISARM DISARM
work for peace; hold all life sacred; eliminate violence
Dear Members of the Nobel Committee,
We, undersigned individuals, are pleased to nominate the Gangjeong Village Association as a candidate for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. Gangjeong village is located at the Jeju Island which is at the southern part of the Republic of Korea. Since May 2007, Gangjeong villagers have been peacefully protesting against the Government’s attempts to construct the naval base.
Jeju, the Island of Peace, appointed by the Government in 2007, is currently experiencing harsh conflicts because the Ministry of Defence and the Navy of the Republic of Korea are enforcing the construction of a naval base at Gangjeong Village. The naval base construction at Gangjeong is being pushed under the name of "national project" in the absence of justification while human rights violence is frequently employed. A number of academics, priests, peace activists and parliamentarians have shared their grave concerns on the construction of the naval base as it will intensify unnecessary tensions in East Asia and maritime militarisation in East Asia.
From the beginning of its construction, Gangjeong villagers have faced undemocratic decision making process by the Government. In April 2007, only 87 out of 1,900 villagers participated in a town meeting that decided to host the naval base in Gangjeong village. In August 2007, a referendum on the naval base proposal was held again where 725 villagers participated in. The referendum was resulted in an overwhelming opposition by 94% of the villagers. Despite this, the Government has continued with the project. This is indeed an affront to the rights of the people of Gangjeong village, particularly their right to take part in the decision-making process affecting their community.
Human rights violations by excessive use of police forces against villagers and peace activists have been continuously reported as well. According to the information submitted by the Police Agency during the parliamentary inspection of the administration in October 2012, 512 people were arrested for their participation in peaceful demonstration against the naval base construction from 2010 to June 2012. The arrestees include catholic priest, protestant pastor, human rights defenders and foreign activists from other countries like the UK and France as well as Korean human rights defenders, and most of all, Gangjeong villagers. On 30 May 2012, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of peaceful assembly and of association sent a joint allegation letter to the Government of the Republic of Korea on human rights violations in Gangjeong village towards villagers.
While facing various obstacles, Gangjeong villagers have peacefully protested against the naval base construction to maintain peace not only in Gangjeong but also in East Asia. Villagers continue sit-in protest or hold banner in front of the naval base construction site, organise peace march not only around the Jeju Island but also across the whole country, hold a press conference, write an appeal letter, and bow on their knees for more than 1,000 times per day to address their desperation for peace. Professor Noam Chomsky, a prominent American scholar, also sent support messages to Gangjeong villagers while shared his concerns that the naval base construction would increase tensions between China and the US. In this regards, we strongly support the Gangjeong Village Association as the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize candidate based on its tireless efforts, peaceful struggle and courage to uphold and promote peace in the World.
For further details on Gangjeong villagers’ struggle, please visit HYPERLINK "http://www.peoplepower21.org/english" www.peoplepower21.org/english or HYPERLINK "http://savejejunow.org" savejejunow.org. If you have any questions or need a clarification for the nomination, please do not hesitate to contact Gangjeong village international team at <HYPERLINK "mailto:email@example.com" \t "_blank"firstname.lastname@example.org>_and Koh Gilchun <HYPERLINK "mailto:email@example.com" \t "_blank"firstname.lastname@example.org> any time. We hope this will help in your work.
Attachment 1. Asia-Pacific Peace Declaration for No Naval Base in Jeju Island
Attachment 2. [Press Release] UN Special Rapporteurs sent a joint allegation letter to South Korean government on human rights violations in Gangjeong, Jeju Island
Attachment 3. [Press Statement] 2012 Peace Activists’ Conference for the Life and Peace of Gangjeong Village
Asia-Pacific Peace Declaration for No Naval Base in Jeju Island
Bring peace and cooperation to East Asia!
Don’t militarize Jeju Island and the pacific!
Make Jeju an Island of World Peace!
While witnessing the construction of a gigantic naval base in beautiful Gangjeong village in Jeju Island, located in the Western Pacific Ocean, we cannot help but raise questions again: why war and destructions are repeated under the name of peace and prosperity?
The 20th century was the century of war and militarization!
Two World Wars broke out followed by the Cold War. Even during the Cold War era, big and small wars continued. The legacies of conflicts stay until today and turn various parts of world into powder kegs.
The Asia-Pacific region, where the Korean peninsula is located, was one of the most intensive battlefields in the world. During the 2nd World War (the Pacific War), the whole Jeju Island was used as an outpost to stage war in China. And during the era of turmoil caused by the Cold War, the Island experienced 3 April Massacre in 1948 that resulted in more than 30,000 civilians’ death by their own Government.
After the end of the Cold War and at the beginning of the 21st century, the whole humankind sincerely hoped for a new era, an era of peace and cooperation. People wanted to bring justice not only by getting away from an exaggerated fear from outside, but also resolving conflicts and violence inside the community. Also, people expected all governments to cooperate with each other to solve problems the world faces rather than pointing guns at each other. In this way, we all dreamt of harmoniously developing a democratic system where people’s happiness, safety and sustainable lives are top priorities. Around this time, the idea of making Jeju Island an Island of Peace was also raised. Jeju Island which belongs to the divided Korean peninsula is a world natural heritage site.
Unfortunately, the new millennium started with another war. Justice has not been delivered and democracy has been set back. In the last 10 years, war, destruction and greed have swept the whole world, unregulated and uncontrolled. As a result, the world economic crisis has emerged. This disaster was caused by neo-liberalism and militarism being not put under democratic controls. 99% of people had to pay for the price in pain and agony.
Militarism is rising again in East Asia despite lessons from the past.
Arms race and military confrontation have accelerated in parallel with East Asia’s potential and economic vitality despite global economic crises. In the last few years in East Asia, militarism and conflicts regarding sovereignty and territory have been dramatically rising. In the Korean peninsula where the 59th year of the Armistice Agreement continues without ending the Korean War, military tension has been rising sharply. Military alliance and military drills which are legacies of the Cold War have intensified with more aggressive gestures under the name of maritime security.
While militarization of East Asia is further intensified under the excuse of military threats from outside, national and regional cooperation to solve problems such as damaged environment, polarized economy, and broken social security and community is developing only too slowly.
Why does the history of conflict repeat even if most people do not wish for it? Why do solutions that have proven to be failing and making everyone unhappy continue to be used? Why do things such as evicting people, destroying their environment and threatening their safety under the name of economic growth and national security continue? Is it really impossible to make the world into a place where everyone can peacefully cooperate and co-exist without being stolen or stealing and without being occupied or occupying?
The Pacific must be the sea of peace and lives, not the sea of war and destruction.
The Pacific Ocean means peaceful ocean. It was named by a European who sailed the ocean in search of Asia. However, when we look back on the history, since the Ocean was named as the Pacific, lives of the people who lived in the ocean have never been peaceful.
Now, we must change this. The sea of East Asia, the Western Pacific Ocean, is a common livelihood of all people who are living here and the biggest platform of trade and exchange worldwide. It should never be a place of conflict, struggle, and dispute. What we have to bring to the sea of East Asia is not militarism but a cooperation that makes everyone happy.
People have gathered here to realize the dream – though now endangered by the construction of a naval base – to make an Island in East Asia the Island of World Peace.
There are Jeju people including villagers of Gangjeong who have continued a non-violent and peaceful resistant for the last 6 years against the construction of a naval base which will militarize the sea of East Asia.
Gangjeong village is a buffer zone of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and one of the oldest and the most beautiful villages in Jeju Island. Clean water from two big streams falls into the front sea of Gangjeong village all year round. These two streams are rarely found in Jeju Island because the Island is made of a volcanic rock called basalt. Thanks to this, Gangjeong village has been the centre of agriculture and residence in Jeju Island since the Bronze Age. Gangjeong village and its front sea is also a livelihood of many endangered species including soft coral, narrow-mouthed toad and the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. At this place, to save their own community and environment, villagers have peacefully protested against navy base construction, which has been enforced without their consent.
Living peacefully without being caught up in war and conflict is individual and collective right that everyone is naturally entitled to. Gangjeong villagers’ human right to peace and human right to environment must be protected and promoted. Their freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association must be guaranteed at all times.
Jeju people have a full right to stand against a repeat of the last century’s tragedy. Also, they present a strong call to open a new era of peace and cooperation in East Asia for themselves and for all of us.
People of the world can move one step closer to a peaceful world and the new era of coexistence by standing in solidarity with Jeju people’s struggle. We, together with the wish of the peoples of the world for world peace, strongly urge the followings:
Stop Jeju naval base construction immediately!
Guarantee human right to peace, human right to environment and freedom of expression of Gangjeong villagers!
Guarantee Gangjeong villagers’ right to speak during the World Conservation Conference which will be held in Jeju!
Allow Gangjeong village to remain a community of life and peace, and keep Jeju Island as the Island of World Peace!
No militarization of the sea! Make the sea of East Asia the sea of Peace!
No to arms race in the Asia Pacific! Yes to peace in the Asia Pacific!
Give peace a chance.
2 September 2012
Gangjeong Village Association
Jeju Pan-Island Committee for Stop of Military Base and for Realization of Peace Island
National Network of Korean Civil Society for Opposing to the Naval Base in Jeju Island
[Press Release] UN Special Rapporteurs sent a joint allegation letter to South Korean government on human rights violations in Gangjeong, Jeju Island
(13 September 2012) In response to individual complaints sent to the UN special procedure mandate holders, a joint letter was sent to South Korean government on alleged acts of harassment, intimidation and ill-treatment of peaceful protesters in Gangjeong village on 30 May 2012.
In the letter, the Rapporteurs ask questions on the cases for clarification and request the Government to send a response within sixty days so that it can be presented at the UN Human Rights Council. Unfortunately, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights until today which has passed almost 100 days since the letter was sent, the Government has not submitted any responses to the Rapporteurs.
The letter was jointly written by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression (Frank La Rue), Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of associations (Maina Kiai), and Special Rapportuer on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders (Margaret Sekaggya). The letter is included in the Communications Report of Special Procedures (A/HRC/21/49) and is submitted to the 21st Session of the UN Human Rights Council which is now being held in Geneva, Switzerland (10 September~28 September 2012).
In the letter, three special rapporteurs expressed serious concerns regarding the physical and physiological integrity of all persons involved in the actions against the construction of the naval base. It also reminds the Government on principles and values in various international human rights standards including the UN code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individual, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally.
The Rapporteurs urged the Government “to take all necessary measures to guarantee that the rights and freedom of all persons involved in” the actions against construction of the naval base respected. They also requested that the Government “adopt effective measures to prevent the recurrence” of these violations.
We believe that the allegation letter and attention of the Special Rapporteurs on the human rights violations in Gangjeong shows that human rights violations on no Jeju naval base campaigners are grave. We would also like to remind the South Korean government that they will be soon reviewed under the Universal Periodic Review in October 2012. As the Government has shown their interest in running for the election to be a member of the UN Human Rights Council in 2013, we urge the Government to promote and protect human rights as enshrined in the international human rights standards and respect procedures of the UN Human Rights Council including Special Procedures. The South Korean government should responds to the joint allegation letter based on facts and immediately stop human rights violations on human rights defenders who are peacefully protesting against the naval base construction.
For full text of allegation letter, please see the attachment or visit http://www.peoplepower21.org/English. Please note that names of human rights defenders and sites where human rights violation happened are not made public in the UN document.
[Press Statement] 2012 Peace Activists’ Conference
for the Life and Peace of Gangjeong Village
The Jeju Naval Base Construction that Marches against the Peace and Prosperity of Northeast Asia Should be Immediately Stopped
Participating in the Peace Activists’ Conference for the Life and Peace of Gangjeong Village held in the Gangjeong Village, Jeju, from May 30 to June 2, we have discussed cooperation measures to save and nurture Jeju as the Island of Peace. During the process, we reconfirmed the overall problems of the Jeju naval base construction which is being enforced against the will of the residents of Gangjeong Village.
First, the Jeju naval base construction is being enforced in an anti-environmental manner, even though it is clear that it would bring serious destruction to the heaven-blessed natural heritage of the island. Gureombi Rock and the surrounding sea in the coastal area of Gangjeong Village is an absolute conservation area, Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea-designated Natural Memorial No. 442, and heaven-blessed natural heritage which is close to the UNESCO-designated World Natural Heritage Site of Beom Island. However, for the purpose of enforcement of the naval base construction, the government is proceeding without proper evaluation while expediently easing various regulations. It should be obvious that the construction runs counter to the basic purport of the World Conservation Congress that will be held on Jeju Island this coming September.
Second, the Jeju naval base construction is being anti-democratically enforced, ignoring the opposition of the majority of the villagers. Even though it is a basic role of a government to protect the right of residents to live peacefully, the Government is employing various anomalies and illegalities to deprive the rights of Gangjeong Village residents. By charging villagers as lawbreakers, it is also oppressing those who express their opposition to the illegal and abnormal enforcement of construction (destruction) in peaceful ways with arrest, detention and huge fines.
Third, in driving the naval base construction, the government is irresponsibly making economic promises to the people of Jeju Island that it cannot keep. The government has made a public pledge to provide economic compensation to Gangjeong villagers and Jeju islanders by constructing a civilian port for the simultaneous docking of two 150,000 ton cruise ships within the military port. However the Prime Minister himself has acknowledged that such a pledge can hardly be kept, considering its economic validity and reality. Also, it has never been verified whether a civilian ship of such size could make a safe port entry to the base without military control. It is becoming increasingly clear that the government has no will to seriously carry out its promise to construct a civilian port.
Fourth, above all, by militarizing Jeju Island and the Northeast Sea in the name of maritime security, the naval base construction is actually threatening the peace and prosperity of the region. The government and Navy, which has regarded itself a junior partner in the U.S.-led maritime initiative to dominate Northeast Asia of recent years, recently developed ROK-US-Japan maritime military cooperation against China. The Jeju naval base is expected to be utilized as its outpost. It is expected that US nuclear submarines and nuclear aircraft carriers, not to mention South Korean Aegis destroyers, would use the base as a port of call. This is not advisable for the peace and prosperity of the whole of Northeast Asia, not to mention the future of South Korea-China relations which will be marked by the 20th anniversary of good relations in 2012.
Jeju Island given its location should adopt a central role in Northeast Asia by making the 21st century a true ‘era of peace and prosperity,’ overcoming the era of confrontation and conflict. In designating Jeju as the World Peace Island the stated purpose was to make it an exchange and cooperation hub of Northeast Asia and the Sea of Northeast Asia as the Sea of Peace and Coexistence. The Jeju naval base construction runs fundamentally counter to such a vision.
The Jeju Forum, an international forum that marks its seventh year this year, aims for the construction of a Northeast Asian community for Peace and Prosperity. In this year's forum, of which the subject is ‘New Trends and the Future of Asia’, it is known that global corporate personnel, bureaucrats, politicians, and researchers, not to mention Prime Minister Kim Hwang-Shik, will join. To make a sea of horror and tension where the most technologically war vessels would confront each other can never be the future of East Asia. The pursuit of profit through militarism and to be silent on environmental destruction and human rights violations can never be a new trend. We urgently appeal to forum participants to seriously discuss the matters of militarization of the Northeast Sea, environmental destruction and infringement of the human rights of residents.
For the coexistence and prosperity of Asia into the future, Jeju Island should remain wholly as the Island for Life and Peace. To make the Sea of Northeast Asia as the Sea of Peace and Cooperation, the Jeju naval base construction should be stopped.
June 1, 2012
All the participants present of the Peace Activists’ Conference for Life and Peace
Hosting organizations: Gangjeong Village Association, Peace Activists in Gangjeong, Pan-Island Committee for Prevention of Military Base and for Realization of Peace Island, Nationwide Committee to Stop the Jeju Naval Base Construction, Preparatory Committee for the Peace Activists’ Conference
Video message of Prof. Noam Chomsky to Gangjeong villagers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5laCn5I5Ey4