Event Reports & Photos – South Asia
Dhaka — Changemaker
ChangeMaker organized a round table discussion with a youth group. A dialogue has been started with the government on identifying priority sectors and due allocation in the sectors, with the intention of cutting down the military and other non-priority budgets.
Dadabari, Kota, Rajasthan — Rural Development & Youth Training Institute
On 15th, 16th and 17th April 2012, we organized two workshop and five village rallies and village meetings in connection with the Global day of action on Military Spending (GDAMS) 2012.
We discussed in detail India’s military spending expenses on Huge Forces, Missiles, Aircraft, Guns etc. Meanwhile, our Poverty alleviation activities expenses (Millennium Development Goals etc.) are very low. And therefore, there is no need for heavy expenditure on Military Spending expenses in our country.
All our taxes are going to Military expenses, Weapons, Warfare preparation, instead of to solve the drinking water, Health and food problems, Literacy etc. So we are living in very bad condition and we should put the pressure to our Government through Member of Parliament – MP, MLA and elected leaders, that they must reduce the budget of Military Spending and this money should be used in Community Development activities – MDG activities. Energy Crises, Creating of new jobs for youths or tackling poverty and climate change problems and other social issues. Priorities must be fixing in connection of our National Agenda or Development agenda.
Two Budget experts had also actively participated in our workshop and village rallies in connection of GDAMS.
Our GDAMS Campaign and workshop have also published in News papers as well as broadcast in local TV and Radio and due to this efforts, a very good environment have become formed in our region and discussion is continuing among educated people, youths and activists.
Kerala — Independent organizer
50 members and 89 students attended a round table meeting in Kerala. Many students raised their objection on our government plan to raise defense funds in the future. During the discussion it was decided that:
1) We will conduct a campaign for memorandum submission before our govt in the future
2) we will raise our voice against defense budget
3) we will contact our MPs and MLAs in this regard
4) we will conduct some seminar in our area in the future
5) We have planned to conduct classes among students after reopening of our schools
New Delhi — Control Arms Foundation of India/Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network
On 17 April 2012, members of our joint network organised an awareness programme at Dilli Hatt, INA market, where fliers were distributed to the public. The members and volunteers explained and distributed fliers to more than 200 people in Delhi Haat to join and support the cause (to cut military spending and fund more on human needs) for better peace and development in India and the world as a whole. Later 7 memorandum were submitted to to the Indian Prime Minister and his cabinet calling for cutting military spending and fund more on human needs.
Shri Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
Shri Satpal Maharaj Chairman, Standing Committee on Defence
Shri S.M. Krishna, Ministry of External Affairs
Shri E. Ahamed, Ministry of State External Affairs
Smt. Preneet Kaur, Ministry of State External Affairs
Dr. M. Mangapati Pallam Raju, Ministry of State for Defence
Smt. Sushma Swaraj Member of Parliament, Leader of the Opposition, Lok Sabha
The Pakistan Peace Coalition staged a series of events in cities and towns all over Pakistan, earning lots of great press attention. They also sent along this poster they used to promote their events:
Islamabad — Pakistan Peace Coalition
A public protest was held in Islamabad on 18th April demanding drastic reductions in military spending and greater priority given to the hitherto neglected social sector, especially education and health. A peace activist Raja Jahangir Akhtar, 75 years in age, staged a week-long hunger strike in Islamabad in protest against bloated military spending in Pakistan, demanding diversion of resources towards public welfare. The hunger strike camp situated in a prominent public place was visited by a large number of people, which provided him an opportunity to discuss the issue with them. Colin Archer of International Peace Bureau contacted Mr. Akhtar and interviewed him.
Karachi — Pakistan Peace Coalition
Pakistan Peace Coalition staged a protest rally outside Karachi Press Club against excessive military spending in the country, and demanding diversion of resources to the human and material development of the society.
Lahore — Pakistan Peace Coalition
A seminar was organized in Lahore in the Press Club by the Pakistan Peace Coalition and South Asia Partnership Pakistan, where speakers highlighted the severe harm that has been caused to the nation by an excessive military spending over several decades. The seminar demanded turning the present security state into a welfare state. After the seminar, the participants staged a sit in outside the Press Club for a while. Pamphlets highlighting the importance of the issue were distributed.