A peace march in Lahore FRIENDS OF SOUTH ASIA (FOSA)
working towards a peaceful, prosperous, and hate-free South Asia
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - DECEMBER 3, 2008
Contact: friendsofsouthasia@gmail.com
 
MEDIA ADVISORY
 
INDIA-PAKISTAN PEACE VIGIL
SAN FRANCISCO CITY HALL, 6 DECEMBER 2008, 3pm - 6pm
 
In Support of Peace, Harmony, Justice, and Prosperity
 
We are a coalition of progressive South Asian Americans -- Indians and Pakistanis -- who have organized a Peace Vigil for Mumbai on December 6, 2008, 3pm at San Francisco City Hall.
 
The purpose of the peace vigil is to bring together Indians, Pakistanis and other concerned friends, allies and journalists to show solidarity and share our grief over the senseless loss of lives in the spate of recent terror attacks in South Asia. This rally is in remembrance of ordinary citizens who lost their lives in these attacks most recently in Mumbai, but also in Islamabad at the Marriott hotel, Delhi, Karachi, Bajaur and other cities in the past couple of years. The Chabad Center in Mumbai, a Jewish place of worship was also attacked and innocent people killed. December 6th marks the 16th anniversary of another attack on a place of worship, the demolition of the Babri Mosque in India that triggered a wave of violence against the minority Muslim community.
 
We express our deepest sympathies for the victims, their families and the heroic security forces who laid down their lives protecting Mumbai and its people and recognize the bravery of ordinary citizens and staff at the hotels, the train station and the hospital.  At the same time we stand against politics of hate and reject any attempts to hold entire communities responsible be it Muslim, Hindu, or Jewish; Kashmiri, Pakistani, Indian. We recognize that people of many different faiths and countries were victims of these tragedies. 
 
"Terrorism thrives when large number of people feel oppressed, alienated and unheard," says Maheen Adamson.  "An effective response to terrorism is not more militarism. Bombing or military action against civilian population as witnessed along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border or the oppression of minorities in Indian states like Orissa and Gujarat only exacerbate the problem."
 
We urge the governments of India and Pakistan to work together with mutual respect and sensitivity to ensure a safe and secure environment for all citizens. "We are alarmed and concerend with the jingoism that is emerging in the subcontinent," says Ramkumar, member of Friends of South Asia.
 
We demand the following:
1. Fair and transparent investigation and justice for the victims
2. That India, Pakistan shun militaristic responses to insurgencies and conflict
3. Stoppage of US bombing in civilian regions 
4. That our governments work together to address root causes such as poverty, inequality and injustice
5. India and Pakistan governments, which are nuclear powers must work together for a peaceful and stable South Asia
6. No reinstatement of draconian anti-terror laws such as Prevention of Terrorism Act in India - similar to the Patriot Act in the US
7. Restoration of a fair judiciary in Pakistan
8. A fast and efficient emergency response system such as medical aid, fire fighters, etc. accessible to all segments of society
 
SOUTH ASIANS FOR PEACE - A coalition of concerned Pakistanis and Indians


Endorsing Organizations:

Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA) | http://www.asata.org
Association of South Asian Political Activists, Berkeley (ASAPA) | http://asapa.berkeley.edu
Friends of South Asia | http://www.friendsofsouthasia.org/
Indian Muslim Relief and Charities  | http://www.imrc.ws/
Jewish Voice for Peace, South Bay / Silicon Valley | http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/publish/SouthBaySiliconValley.shtml
Jewish Voice for Peace, San Francisco / East Bay | http://www.jewishvoiceoforpeace.org/publish/sanfrancisco.shtml
Pakistan American Cultural Center | http://pcc-ca.org
Pakistan Science and Engineering Foundation | http://paksef.org
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf | http://www.insaf.pk/
South Asia Disaster Relief Coordinators | http://sarelief.com
San Jose Peace and Justice Center | http://www.sjpjc.org
South Bay Mobilization | http://sbm4peace.org











2008 - Friends of South Asia (FOSA). Site hosted by ektaonline.org