CALL FOR PEOPLES SAARC 2008
18th TO 20th JULY 2008
South Asian heads of government will meet in Colombo , Sri Lanka for the annual
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit between 27
July and 3 August 2008. Regrettably, this SAARC summit will be no different
to its predecessors in having little relevance to the needs and daily struggles
of the peoples of South Asia . Its agenda will be shaped by the policy choices
of post-colonial elites, while it has spectacularly failed to achieve
regional unity or even facilitate grassroots initiatives in that direction.
Therefore, since 1993, social movements and peoples' organisations have
also converged in parallel to the SAARC summit to raise our agenda for
our region, to demonstrate our will for friendship, solidarity and visa-free
movement of people across imposed boundaries, and to manifest our desire
for a peoples union of South Asia .
On 18, 19 and 20 July 2008, hundreds of women, workers, peasants, artisans,
urban and rural poor, students and youth, cultural activists, scholar
activists, and representatives of marginalised and excluded social groups
and communities from around South Asia will gather at Peoples SAARC 2008
in Colombo , Sri Lanka .
The main theme of Peoples SAARC 2008 is "Towards A Peoples Union
of South Asia" while the sub-themes include women's rights; demilitarisation,
de-nuclearisation and democracy; right to food, livelihood, health, education
and social security in the context of alternatives to neo-liberalism;
environmental justice and natural resource rights; and South Asian solidarity
with anti-imperialist struggles worldwide. A mass rally for peace and
justice in South Asia will form part of the closing ceremony.
We call upon all those who affirm the vision of a peoples union of South
Asia to join country-level preparations, mobilise for, and participate
in Peoples SAARC 2008 in Colombo on 18, 19 and 20 July
For further information contact:
Peoples SAARC 2008,
19/1/1, Siri Dhamma Mawatha, Colombo 10, Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 11 - 267 2586