Focus on the Global South Statement on the 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2018

When Rodrigo Duterte won the presidency in 2016, some even among the left toyed early on with the idea that a “maverick” president could just be what the country needed to stir things up, and jolt us from almost 30 years of elite-dominated rule.

Save the Mekong, a coalition of non-government organizations, community-based groups and concerned citizens within the Mekong region, wish to express our shock and concern at the recent collapse of the Xe Pian - Xe Nam Noy hydropower project in Laos, and our deep condolences to communities affected by this tragedy, both in southern Laos and downstream in Cambodia.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is currently being negotiated between 16 countries in the Asia and Pacific regions. It includes China, members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other key trading nations such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and India.

On the 20th of July 2018, 25 civil society organizations in Thailand in the sectors of health, agriculture, fishery, environment, internet, labor rights, women rights and climate change convened a meeting on the impact of RCEP and CPTPP. We have several serious concerns over the both trade agreements. We have consensus on our position on RCEP and CPTPP as follows:

Focus on the Global South, the ETC Group and Chulalongkorn University Social Research Institute (CUSRI) are organizing a Forum on Corporate Concentration in Food and Agriculture; Implications on Food Sovereignty in South East Asia on 24 July. 

"I feel unsafe. I always lose things, even clothes. Clothes get stolen when being dried. If we have money to buy good (valuable) things and keep them in the room, we have to be watchful."

Public Statement, 4 June 2018 

The US based Multinational Corporation (MNC) Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart undermines India’s economic and digital sovereignty and the livelihood of millions in India. If the $ 16 billion deal goes through, two US companies (the other being Amazon) will dominate India’s e-retail sector. They will also own India’s key consumer and other economic data, making them our digital overlords, joining the ranks of Google and Facebook.

On 22 May 2018, about 500 citizens of Thailand gathered at Thammasat University in Bangkok and marched peacefully towards Government House, demanding an end to martial law and return to democratization and civilian rule, starting with elections by the end of 2018.

Laws and policies have not always been on the side of the people. For the basic masses—workers, farmers, indigenous peoples, urban poor, especially the women from these basic sectors—the country’s legal and justice systems have also often times failed to protect their rights and interests. But to be totally without rule of law, to cause the collapse of already weakened democratic institutions and processes is more dangerous.

“P-move (Peoples Movement for a Just Society) wishes to affirm that we are not only poor people who are troubled or abused, but we are also groups of people with our own concrete development models to solve our problems.  We have savings groups, community banks, community welfare systems for building houses, building communities, waste disposal and disaster preparedness; various models exist in concrete form in many localities.”

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