Category Archives: Bulletin Board

Book launch with David Barsamian

Panel: David Barsamian, Lindsay Brown, Annie Ross, Dionne Bunsha

Moderator: Samir Gandesha

Saturday, February 24, 2 pm – 4 pm
Harbor Centre Rm 7000
515 W Hastings Street, Vancouver
Global Discontents is a compelling new set of interviews with Noam Chomsky, who identifies the “dry kindling” of discontent around the world that could soon catch fire. In wide-ranging interviews with David Barsamian, his longtime interlocutor, Noam Chomsky asks us to consider “the world we are leaving to our grandchildren”: one imperiled by the escalation of climate change and the growing threat of nuclear war. If the current system is incapable of dealing with these crises, he argues, it’s up to us to radically change it. These ten interviews examine the latest developments around the globe: the devastation of Syria, the reach of state surveillance, growing anger over economic inequality, the place of religion in American political culture, and the bitterly contested 2016 U.S. presidential election. In accompanying personal reflections, Chomsky describes his own intellectual journey and the development of his uncompromising stance as America’s premier dissident intellectual.David Barsamian: One of America’s most tireless and wide-ranging investigative journalists, David Barsamian has altered the independent media landscape, both with his weekly radio show Alternative Radio—now in its 32th year—and his books with Noam Chomsky, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Tariq Ali, Richard Wolff, Arundhati Roy and Edward Said. His new book with Noam Chomsky is Global Discontents: Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy. He lectures on world affairs, imperialism, capitalism, propaganda, the media, the economic crisis and global rebellions.
David Barsamian is the winner of the Media Education Award, the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. The Institute for Alternative Journalism named him one of its Top Ten Media Heroes. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center. In 2017 the South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy presented him with their Lifetime Achievement Award. He has collaborated with the world-renowned Kronos Quartet in events in New York, London, Vienna, Boulder and elsewhere.
Barsamian was deported from India due to his work on Kashmir and other revolts. He is still barred from traveling to “the world’s largest democracy.”

Lindsay Brown is a Vancouver writer, designer and activist. Her book, Habitat 76, an illustrated history of Vancouver’s 1976 UN Habitat Conference on Human Settlements was published in 2017.

Dionne Bunsha is an award-winning author and journalist. She is the author of the acclaimed non-fiction book, Scarred: Experiments with Violence in Gujarat (Penguin India, 2006) about the aftermath of the communal violence in Gujarat. As a Senior Assistant Editor for Frontline magazine ( in Mumbai, India, she travelled extensively to report on human rights, social justice and environmental issues.  Dionne writes for The Guardian, The Hindu newspaper, the New Internationalist, Guernica, Toronto Star and The Tyee. Dionne was a Knight International Journalism Fellow at Stanford University in 2008-09. Currently, Dionne coordinates a project mapping indigenous knowledge for Lower Fraser First Nations and teaches communications at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.


Samir Gandesha is an Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University. His recent books include  Reification and Spectacle: On the Timeliness of Western Marxism and Aesthetic Marx.

Annie Ross is an Indigenous (Maya) teacher and artist working along and with community in Canada. She teaches Environmental Ethics in First Nations Studies at Simon Fraser University.

Organized by South Asian Network for Secularism (SANSAD) and co-sponsored by the Institute for the Humanities, Simon Fraser University

UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Wepons

SANSAD News-release November 26, 2017

Canada Should Sign the Nuclear Ban Treaty

A screening of the new documentary on the devastating effects of nuclear weapons testing in Kazakhstan and the US, “Where the Wind Blew” was held at SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver on November 24. The film was introduced by Dr. Jennifer Simons, founder and President of The Simons Foundation and followed by a panel of experts comprising Alimzhan Akhmetov, founder and director of the Centre for International Security and Policy, Astana, Kazakhstan, Paul Taylor, former Canadian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, and M. V. Ramana, Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, UBC. The event was organized by The Simons Foundation and the Institute for the Humanities, SFU, and was supported by SANSAD.

The following call to the Government of Canada to sign the Nuclear Ban Treaty was presented by Chin Banerjee, President of SANSAD and endorsed by people gathered for this event:


A Call on Canada to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

We, the undersigned citizens of Canada gathered in Vancouver, BC on November 24 to discuss the devastating consequences of the testing, development and use of nuclear weapons at this time when the world is facing the most urgent threat from the deliberate or accidental employment of these weapons, call on the Government of Canada to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The Ban Treaty has been agreed upon by the majority of the world’s nations and opened for signature on September 20th, 2017 despite the opposition of all nuclear-weapons possessing states and their military allies.  We understand that, though neither possessing nor developing nuclear weapons, Canada has opposed the treaty because of its military alliances, compromising its long-held goal, shared with the global community, of a world without nuclear weaponsWe urge Canada to sign the treaty to add its voice to the considerable moral force of the treaty against the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences of the continued development and potential use of these weapons of mass destruction.


We believe moral force is a great power in defense of humanity. By signing the Ban treaty Canada will not only strengthen this force in the world but also show its commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons and in good faith work to end NATO’s reliance on nuclear weapons and in order that NATO conforms both with the NPT and the Ban Treaty. Canada will then be able to join and lead other signatories in the further goal of a nuclear-weapons free world.


South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy,

Three films on partition of India

70th Anniversary of Partition Film Screening

SAFES and SANSAD present 3 films on Partition of India

Sunday October 8, 2017

12.00 PM – 5.00 PM

4955 SFU Centre for the Arts

149 West Hastings St, Vancouver

A THIN WALL,  dir. Mara Ahmed, 65 mins

A documentary about memory, reconciliation and the partition of India. Shot in Delhi, Lahore, and New York.

MILANGE BABA RATAN DE MELE TE, dir. Ajay Bhardwaj, 95 mins

A lyrical feature documentary focusing on the Dalit Sufis of Bhatinda that explores the continuities of local cultures and the crossings of religious identities in post-partition Punjab.

“It is a story of how love survived a Holocaust.” Arundhati Roy.

SKY BELOW, dir. Sara Singh, 75 mins

A poetic portrait of the borderlands of Pakistan and India in which the landscape of ruins of past civilizations and the rhythms of local life intersect to question the lines of national borders, while the interviews with those who lived through partition offer reflections on the bordering.

Ajay Bhardwaj will be present for      Q & A. There will be discussion following screening.

Admission is free.

Open doors for Rohingyas

News-release IAPI-SANSAD joint statement September 19, 2017

Open doors for Rohingya refugees


Indians Abroad for Plural India (IAPI) and South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) condemn the Government of India’s endorsement of the Myanmar government’s treatment of the Rohingya minority that has been described by the UN as “ethnic cleansing” and the Hindu nationalist BJP government’s determination to expel the Rohigya refugees already in India as “illegal migrants”. 

Rohingyas are a historically persecuted Muslim minority in Myanmar, who have been denied citizenship and recognition as an ethnic minority though they have been settled in the Arakan district for hundreds of years, with the majority of them being settled there by the British after they conquered Arakan in early nineteenth century. They have been denied even the right to call themselves “Rohingyas,” being instead labeled “Bengalis” by the state. They have been subjected to genocidal violence since 2012, which has led to the fleeing of hundreds of thousands and the internment of thousands in camps in abysmal conditions.  Thousands have languished in camps in Bangladesh since 1976. Hundreds have perished at sea and hundreds captured and enslaved by pirates. They are a people without a state.

In the current spate of state violence, triggered as genocide often is by the attack of a group of Rohingya resistance, the military and Buddhist extremists have unleashed a terror that has led to hundreds of deaths and driven more than 400, 000 Rohingyas to already over-burdened Bangladesh. The attack on August 25 by Rohingya militants on a police outpost in northern Rakhine state that triggered this current violence and exodus has given both the Buddhist nationalist Myanmar and the Hindu nationalists of India the justification of framing this genocide/ethnic cleansing as a fight against Muslim terrorism. We deplore this familiar genocidal alibi that falls within the currently popular bogey of Muslim terrorism.

We deplore religious nationalism in Myanmar and India. We demand that the Modi government immediately stop its attempts to deport the Rohingya refugees. We demand that the Government of Canada take the strongest measures to stop the genocidal violence against Rohingyas in Myanmar and strip Aung San Suu Kyi of the honorary citizenship in Canada. We further demand that the Government of Canada use all diplomatic means to persuade India to respect its international commitments and refrain from violating international law by protecting rather than deporting the Rohingya refugees currently resident in India.