Got the below message on the Pedestrian Pictures mailing list. Please spread the info and attend the seminar if you can.
I strongly support the repeal of AFSPA and ending the military rule that currently exists in several states of the Union. I believe AFSPA in its present form is a shame on the Republic.
On Manipur, while I support the Naga demand for Nagalim (either within the Indian Union or as an independent state), things have to be decided only by a referendum across the region. But Irom Sharmila is certainly a hero. I also think Assam Rifles should either be disbanded or made into a regiment of the Army and withdrawn from policing duties in the north-east.
We would like to invite to attend a seminar on Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and protest in solidarity with Irom Sharmila, who is on a hunger fast for more than ten years in Manipur. Irom Sharmila is being force fed through the nose by the administration. Many official bodies of Government of India as well as international bodies including the UN have demanded the repeal of AFSPA. However, this draconian act is responsible for murder, torture and rape of hundreds of innocent people every year in Manipur.
In this context, many civil society organizations in Bangalore have joined together to initiate a campaign against AFSPA in solidarity with Irom Sharmila. A seminar on AFSPA will be held at the SCM House, Mission Road, Bangalore from 9.30 am to 4 pm.
We invite you to join us in a seminar on AFSPA, speakers from north east including Manipur will be sharing their concerns. 'Le Mashalien' a one woman play on Sharmila Irom by Ojas SV will also be staged during this meeting at 4 pm. 'April 6th', a film on the plight of the widows of Manipur whose husbands were murdered by the Indian Army will also be screened at the venue at 1.30 pm.
Venue: SCM House, Mission Road, Bangalore
Date: February 3, 2011
Time: 9.30 am to 4pm
The main speakers are:
Prof. Bimol (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Babloo (Human Rights Alert, Imphal)
Nitan (Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families’ Association Manipur)
Chandam Netraj (Director of documentary film, `April 6th).
And other speakers from various organisations of Bangalore.
A protest in solidarity with Sharmila Irom Chanu is also organised at 5-7pm, Town Hall, Bangalore.
The events are organised in Bangalore by Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns, SICHREM, Pedestrian Pictures, Open Space, New Socialist Alternative, Students Christian Movement of India, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Visual Search, Indian Social Institute, Moving Republic and other orgnisations. We request you to support the events with adequate media coverage within your means.