December 10, 2015
In support of the rights of the indigenous people of the Philippines
Candle Light Vigil on December 10 at Broadway Skytrain Station, 5.00 pm
South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) is proud to stand with Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR) and the international League of Peoples’ Struggles (ILPS) in Unceded Coast Salish territory (Vancouver, BC ) on International Human Rights Day, 2015 to express our solidarity with the Lumads of Mndanao and other indigenous peoples in the Philippines.
For several years the government of the Philippines has been conducting a counter-insurgency operation against the indigenous people in the Philippines to make their ancestral lands available for mining by foreign companies, some of which are based in Canada. As a consequence of this the Philippine Armed Forces and paramilitaries set up by them have engaged in widespread killings, torture,forced displacement, and harassment of residents, students and educators. Many children have been killed and many schools have been closed, depriving children of education.
We deplore these violations of human rights. We urge the Government of Philippines to cease its counter insurgency, withdraw its Armed Forces from Mindanao, disband the paramilitaries, and respect the rights of the indigenous people of the Philippines. We appeal to the Government of Philippines to end the regime of impunity and bring the killers of Lumad people to justice.
The struggle of the indigenous people of the Philippines is the same as the struggle of adivasis (aboriginal people) in India against predatory corporations and the repressive state that serves their interests. It is the same as the struggle of the indigenous people of Canada for their rights to their ancestral territories and their ways of life. We urge the Government of Philippines, the Government of Canada, and the Government of India to endorse and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.