Speech of the Delegate of the Philippine Peace and Solidarity Council (PPSC) to the 9th Congress of the Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization (AAPSO) held in Colombo, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, on October 18-19, 2014
Esteemed members of the presidium,
Fellow delegates representing the national committees of AAPSO,
Dear militants of the Sri Lanka Peace and Solidarity Council,
Comrades and friends :
At the outset, I must thank the Sri Lanka Peace and Solidarity Council for kindly hosting this 9th Congress of AAPSO, for extending warm comradely hospitality to us foreign delegates, and for providing excellent facilities to help ensure the success of this Congress. It is a great pleasure to be here in this beautiful city of Colombo, the city which helped to give birth to the AAPSO.
AAPSO of course was born as the peoples’ organization of the governmental Non-Aligned Movement which was launched at the Bandung Conference of 28 Asian and African countries in April 1955. However, previous to that, the plan to hold the Bandung Conference was made here in Colombo on April 28 to May 2, 1954, at the Conference of 5 prime ministers --- the host John Kotelawala of Sri Lanka, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, U Nu of Myanmar, Mohammed Ali of Pakistan and Ali Sastoamidjojo of Indonesia. It was here where these forefathers of the solidarity movement planned to strengthen cooperation among former colonial countries of Asia and Africa. It is therefore with this sense of history that this 9thCongress of AAPSO is being held here in this beautiful capital of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
The Final Communique of the 1955 Bandung Conference laid down the basic principles to promote world peace and to forge cooperation for progress. Known as “Panchasila”, or the “Ten Principles” of Bandung, these are the following principles which the international solidarity movement must always uphold and promote :
1. Respect for fundamental human rights, and for the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations ;
2. Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations ;
3. Recognition of the equality of all races, and of the equality of all nations, large and small ;
4. Abstention from intervention or interference in the internal affairs of another country ;
5. Respect for the right of each nation to defend itself singly or collectively, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations ;
6. Abstention from the use of arrangements of collective defense to serve the particular interests of any of the big powers ; and abstention by each country from exerting pressures on other countries ;
7. Refraining from acts or threats of aggression, or the use (or threat of use) of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country ;
8. Settlement of all international disputes by peaceful means, such as by
negotiation, conciliation, arbitration or judicial settlement, as well as other peaceful means of the parties’ own choice, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations ;
9. Promotion of mutual interests and co-operation ; and
10. Respect for justice and international obligations.
However, it is sad to note that the Bandung Principles have been consistently denigrated by imperialism, primarily by US imperialism. Instead of respect for fundamental human rights, imperialism respects only the corporate right of transnational corporations to plunder. Instead of respect for the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, imperialism wants to turn the UN into a “rubber-stamp” to lend legitimacy to imperialist aggressions everywhere.
Instead of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations, imperialism likes to trample upon the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries. This may be seen from the USA’s present war to balkanize Iraq and Syria, in pursuance of the so-called “Greater Middle East Plan” of imperialism and zionism. The present US-NATO war against Iraq and Syria is even being made under the pretext of fighting the jihadist terrorists that were in fact organized and sustained also by the USA and its allies.
Instead of recognizing the equality of all races and of all nations, imperialism continues to support the zionist regime’s racist genocide against the Palestinian people. Imperialism also continues to interfere in the internal affairs of developing countries, and to threaten the security of countries such as the Lebanon, Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and the countries of the Bolivarian alliance (or ALBA) in Latin America.
Instead of respecting the territorial integrity and political independence of other countries, imperialism continues to squat on foreign territories such as Guantanamo in Cuba, and to threaten with assassination and coup attempts national leaders who dare to declare independence from imperialist dictation. Instead of recourse to peaceful means in order to settle international disputes, imperialism continues to exercise its declared prerogative to launch “pre-emptive wars” such as its invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the attacks on Libya and Syria.
Instead of promoting mutual interests and co-operation, imperialism seeks to subjugate countries everywhere, either through invasion threats or through World Bank, IMF and WTO dictates which are meant to privatize, liberalize and deregulate national economies. And instead of respect for justice and international obligations, imperialism continues to flaunt its disregard for the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, for UN Resolutions condemning its criminal blockade against Cuba, and for multilateral agreements such as the Kyoto protocol on the protection of the world’s common ozone layer.
The only way to revitalize the international solidarity movement is by going back to the Bandung Principles, by drawing strength and inspiration from their continuing relevance. The only way is through consistent defense of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations ; defense of the equality of all races and peoples ; disengagement from imperialist military agreements forged under the guise of anti-terrorism campaigns ; resistance to the imperialist instigation of wars and conflicts within countries and within regions ; and resistance to all forms of social injustice.
In the economic field, the more practical issues are related to the dictates of the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO. Countries lose their independence if they bow to imperialist economic dictates relating to the deregulation, liberalization and privatization of national economies. It is time to reinstitute regulations that will protect the livelihood of the peoples in developing countries, and will ensure for them fair terms of trade. It is time to re-nationalize strategic industries and resources such as petroleum, power and water. And it is time to resist and end the drift towards the privatization of state services. In the same way that the international solidarity movement rallied strength and support for political decolonization in the 1970s and the 1980s, so also must our present international solidarity movement rally strength and support for the economic liberation and social progress of developing countries (the so-called Third World).
Particular Issues of Solidarity
In the Philippines, US military forces are constantly present in many parts of our country, in denigration of our national independence and sovereignty. The murder by a US marine of a Filipino transgender in the port city of Olongapo last Saturday, as well as the earlier rape by another US marine of a Filipina woman in the same city, are examples of the hate-crimes that Filipinos endure at the hands of visiting US forces. More than this, frequent port visits by US fleets pose the danger of widespread annihilation of our people in case of any accident involving on-board nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction.
Also, the presence of US forces in our country pose a threat to our territorial integrity, considering the history of covert US support for islamic secessionism in potentially oil-rich areas of our southern island of Mindanao. Even the terrorist “Abu Sayyaf” bandit gang in Mindanao, which had recently pledged allegiance to the “Islamic State”, and which is threatening to behead a German kidnap victim if ransom is not paid, has its roots in the CIA’s proxy war in Afghanistan in the 1990s. In view of all these, the PPSC continues to demand the immediate removal of US military forces from Philippine territory, and the immediate abrogation of all military agreements between the Philippines and the USA.
At the same time, 4 countries of the ASEAN --- the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei --- are threatened by China’s bellicose assertion of its dynastic claims over 90% of the South China Sea. Tensions are rising due to the dangerous stance of both the USA and China in showing off their military might in the area. This is a competition to “reserve” the resources within the Exclusive Economic Zones of the neighboring countries for exploitation by transnational corporations which are allied either to the USA or to China. On this issue, the PPSC calls for the peaceful resolution of all conflicting maritime claims over the South China Sea, based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and with recourse to its tribunal and arbitral bodies.
On a broader area, an Asian version of NATO is being improvised by the USA, with the participation of Japan, South Korea and Australia which have all allowed the stationing in their territories of more US military forces. In this connection, the PPSC condemns the deployment of more US military forces in the region, and calls for the immediate dismantling of all US military bases in the Asia-Pacific region and worldwide. The PPSC supports the struggle of the Japanese people against the reinterpretation of the pacifist Article 9 of their constitution, against the resurgence of Japanese militarism.
Regarding the Korean peninsula, the PPSC condemns the USA’s continued military threats against the DPRK, and demands the immediate removal of all US military bases and nuclear weapons from South Korea, as well as the immediate ending of joint military exercises by the USA, Japan and South Korea which only serve to escalate tensions. The PPSC supports the Korean people's struggle against imperialist war plans, for independence and sovereignty, for demilitarization and nuclear disarmament, and eventually for the peaceful reunification of their country.
The PPSC supports the promotion of South-East Asia, and the whole of the Asia-Pacific Region, as Zones of Peace, free from nuclear weapons, foreign military bases and military pacts. The PPSC further supports immediate freedom for the nations and territories of this region which are still under foreign colonial domination --- Micronesia, Kanaky and Polynesia.
Regarding Central and South Asia, the PPSC demands the complete withdrawal of all occupation forces from Afghanistan, and an end to US drone attacks in Pakistan. Peoples have to expose and oppose the covert US-led organization and support for jihadist terrorists in Central Asia, the Middle East and even South-East Asia. In South Asia, flashpoints of Indo-Pakistani conflict have to be addressed through the immediate disengagement of forces, and the curtailment of the activities of intolerant religious forces on both sides. The PPSC condemns all forms of religious fundamentalism, all calls to religious war or jihad, and all self-righteous attempts to subvert secular rule and impose theocratic rule.
The PPSC is seriously concerned about Obama’s new air war over Syria, which in fact is ultimately aimed against the Syrian government. Heavily armed foreign jihadi mercenaries are continuously being trained and guided in their terrorist actions to bleed and balkanize Syria. The PPSC condemns the covert CIA-Mossad creation and sponsorship of the “Islamic State” terrorist group (as revealed by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden), as well as the supporting role of Turkey and the tyrannical Gulf monarchies in the war against Syria.
The PPSC is also seriously concerned about the US-NATO threats and sanctions against Iran, which are being made under the pretext of containing Iran’s alleged nuclear program. In fact, imperialism aims at a regime change in order to control the rich energy resources of Iran, to perpetuate US control of shipping in the Persian Gulf, and to eventually balkanize Iran also. The PPSC stands in solidarity with the progressive people of Iran in their complex struggle to achieve peace, secular rule, democracy and social progress.
The PPSC condemns the US-NATO support for the continued Israeli occupation of Palestine, as well as for the zionist genocide against the Palestinian people. The PPSC stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for ending the zionist occupation and for the establishment of an independent and secular Palestinian State --- at peace alongside Israel --- on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, and with East Jerusalem (Al-Quds) as its capital. Furthermore, the PPSC demands the immediate withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the Syrian Golan Heights and the Lebanese Shebaa farms, and supports the return to their homeland of the Palestinian refugees in diaspora on the basis of UN Resolution 194. The PPSC also demands as immediate measures the complete dismantling of all Jewish settlements on annexed Palestinian lands, the demolition of the “apartheid walls” built around Palestinian areas, and the release of all Palestinian political prisoners from Israeli jails.
The PPSC stands in solidarity with the peoples of the Arabian peninsula, the Gulf and Maghreb region, in their struggles against despotism, for democracy and human rights. The PPSC also supports the struggle of the bi-national people of Cyprus against the Turkish occupation of the northern half of their country ; the struggle of the people of Western Sahara against Moroccan occupation ; the struggles of the peoples of Mali, the Central African Republic and Eritrea against imperialist intervention ; as well as the struggles of the other peoples of Africa against “Boko Haram”, “Shebab” and other jihadi terrorist groups.
Regarding Latin America and the Caribbean, the PPSC reaffirms its militant and unwavering solidarity with the Cuban Revolution and denounces the criminal blockade imposed by the USA on Cuba. The PPSC supports the international demand to dismantle the US military base in Guantanamo. The PPSC also demands the release of the remaining members of the “Cuban-5” from US prisons, who are incarcerated for the only “crime” of preventing US-supported terrorists from launching attacks on Cuba and Cuban personnel abroad. Further, the PPSC condemns the US campaign of destabilization against the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance (or ALBA), as well as against the countries of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (or CELAC).
The PPSC demands immediate freedom from US colonial domination and occupation of Panama and Puerto Rico, and further demands the return of the Malvinas Islands to Argentina. Regarding the present turmoil in the Ukraine, the PPSC condemns the US-NATO support for the neo-fascist regime in Kiev, and supports the call for peaceful negotiations on the status of the secessionist regions of Eastern and Southern Ukraine.
The PPSC further calls for the re-strengthening of the Non-Aligned Movement, for the democratization of the United Nations with greater powers vested in the General Assembly, and for the strengthening of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.
Imperialism’s increased aggression against the peoples of the world puts humanity at serious risk of nuclear extinction. Today, more than ever, we need to intensify our anti-imperialist and solidarity actions, and reinvigorate AAPSO’s anti-imperialist thrust. Theinternational solidarity movement should be a strong movement against the policies of imperialist globalization and war ; a movement for peace, democracy, human rights, justice, equality and progress ;a movement to get rid of foreign bases, occupation, terrorism andreligious fundamentalism ; and a movement for the abolition of all nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.
Especially during the present deep economic crisis of the capitalist system, we need to highlight the relation of capitalism, its crisis, and the tendency towards wars and aggressions. We must connect our peace agenda with all struggles for justice and democracy – for decent jobs and wages without precarious conditions and outsourcing policies, for extensive social rights, for free public health care, against commercialization of culture and education, for a safe and secure environment, and for the provision of other public and democratic services that will serve the peoples’ needs and not the greed of the monopolies.
Thank you for your kind attention.