Asian Solidarity Network – Toronto
Statement of Principles and Call for Endorsement
The Tsunami Justice Working Group’ emerged from a January 29th, 2005 Strategy Planning meeting convened by the Asian Solidarity Network of Toronto. In attendance were representatives from major labour, social justice and non-governmental organizations; from persons whose homelands are the tsunami-affected communities; and from concerned individuals.
The Statement of Principles reflects our commitment to an ongoing monitoring of developments in the tsunami-affected countries through the constant co-ordination with local organizations working at the grass roots level in the most devastated areas.
We, “The Tsunami Justice Working Group”, strongly believe that your endorsation of this Statement of Principles will provide strength, energy and solidarity to the tsunami victims in their struggle for collective justice.
- All donor countries and donor agencies must give a full disclosure of the financial aid given to each government in the affected region and if and how any funds were spent directly by the donor agencies. As well, all recipients of aid in the affected region (governments and independent agencies) must disclose the details of the aid that they have received and how it was used.
- All donor countries and donor agencies must ensure that they do not become complicit in globalization agendas driven by the neo-liberal model, including but not restricted to (a) free trade regimes; (b) structural adjustment programs; and, (c) privatization and deregulation policies that increase the power of private capital at the expense of working people and their communities.
- Government and agencies must involve the local communities and their organizations in planning and implementing rehabilitation and reconstruction programs to ensure that they meet the needs of the communities, conform to their development goals and support or encourage local initiatives.
- Governments and agencies in tsunami-affected areas must not use the disaster as a pretext to displace fisher people off their land, thus jeopardizing their livelihood, their traditional economies and the significant role that fisher people play in fulfilling their country’s food security needs.
- In those tsunami-affected countries where there are armed conflicts -e.g.,. Aceh (Indonesia) and Sri Lanka—we demand that all parties (both state militaries and armed militant groups) which are engaged in armed activities must commit to a “cessation of hostilities” because those armed conflicts are exacerbating the crisis by increasing human rights abuses and by compromising full, safe and fair humanitarian access.
- In countries where a ‘state of emergency’ exists, it should be lifted.
- Those donor countries which send their military forces to perform “emergency relief work” in affected countries must declare a time frame for withdrawal. Further, emergency efforts should be led by civilian agencies, whereas national and international military forces should only play a limited logistical support role.
- Reconstruction work conducted by governments and agencies should be done in ecologically sound ways so as to not repeat previous mistakes where, in the pursuit of profits, “development” was carried out in irresponsible ways that contributed to the devastating effects of the tsunami.
To get a PDF version of this statement, or see a list of others who have endorsed the statement already, please visit http://www.tsunamijustice.org/