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2006 CALD

Council of of Asian Asian Council Liberals & & Democrats Democrats Liberals


MESSAGE OF THE CHAIRMAN Last November, 2006, for the first time in the 13-year history of the Council


of Asian Liberals & Democrats (CALD), our Executive Committee meeting was held outside Asia — in Marrakech, Morocco. This was in line with the 54th International Congress of Liberal International, an event that was characterized by the attendance of a large Asian contingent and an unprecedented number of speakers and panel presenters from our region. The occasion was made more auspicious with the awarding of the prestigious Prize of Freedom to our good friend, Sam Rainsy, leader of the opposition of the Kingdom of Cambodia and former CALD chairman. Sam Rainsy is in good company and among the past awardees are Taiwan President and former CALD Chair Chen Shui-bian, Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, former Philippine President Corazon Aquino, and Hong Kong’s Martin Lee. During this congress, Sam Rainsy Party and the Malaysian People’s Movement Party (Gerakan) were accepted as observers and Dr. Martin Lee, founding chairman of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong, was named as LI individual member. More and more from CALD are joining LI after the Liberal Parties of the Philippines and Sri Lanka and the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan. A few decades ago, most Asian countries were under dictatorships. Now, it is becoming a leading beacon for liberalism and democracy. Yet despite Asia’s successes in democracy and development, more needs to be done. To this day Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is still under house arrest and the strength of the Burmese military dictatorship has not waned. Cambodia remains, in the words of Sam Rainsy, a mere “façade of democracy.” Singaporean opposition leader, Dr. Chee Soon Juan, after being declared bankrupt, continues to be politically harassed and persecuted. Thailand


and the Philippines, two countries that not too long ago were considered as democratic icons in Asia, are both under political crises. Thailand is ruled by a military government, while questions regarding the legitimacy of the Philippine president’s rule continue to hound her troubled administration, a situation that has had negative repercussions in our country’s political and economic life. 2006 was a productive year for CALD. Among our significant projects were the Conference on Public Accountability in Official Development Assistance in Cambodia and the CALD-ALDE-LI Meeting in the Philippines that tackled population, migration, and the globalization of labor. During these events, we have realized the extent of the challenges faced by liberals and democrats in Asia. But it has merely strengthened our resolve that ultimately, we need democracy, good governance, human rights, and social justice to solve our countries’ ills. There are no shortcuts to development; never again must we allow our people to be deceived into thinking that democracy can be sacrificed in the name of economic progress.

FRANKLIN M. DRILON President of the Philippine Senate President of the Liberal Party & Chairman of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats






CALD PROJECTS FOR 2006 CALD Conference 2006 ALDE-CALD-LI Meeting 4th CALD Communications Workshop CALD in 54th Liberal International Congress

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SPEECHES Keynote Address of Former President Cory Aquino Acceptance Speech of Mr. Sam Rainsy

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Hon. Sin Chung Kai as CALD’s Second Individual Member Farewell to CALD Program Officer Brian Gonzales CALD Welcomes New Program Officer Dr. Chee Soon Juan’s continuing saga Senate President Drilon’s Election as Chairman of the IPU Human Rights Committee Election of Parliamentarians Bi-Khim Hsiao and Dina Abad as Vice Presidents of LI and INLW Official Missions of the CALD Executive Director Official CALD visitors CALD Program Officers in International Events The return of CALD’s Yale University Intern

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Naw K'nyaw Paw, National Council of the Union of Burma Naing Ko Ko, National Council of the Union of Burma Tee Yen Yen, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Argee S. Gallardo, Liberal Party of the Philippines









Speech BEYOND METAPHORS: TRANSLATING LIBERAL IDEAS IN A VASTLY CHANGING WORLD Speech delivered during the 54th LI Congress by Hon. J.R. Nereus Acosta, MP; Secretary General of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats; Secretary General of the Liberal Party of the Philippines

Bonjour. Asalaam Alaikum. Good morning. Lord Alderdice, Mohamed Abied, our colleagues in the Union Constitutionnelle for the gracious hosting and warm hospitality and to Jasper Veen and the LI Secretariat for putting this all together so magnificently. On behalf of the CALD and its Chair, the Hon Senator Franklin M. Drilon, former President of the Philippine Senate and the LP, it gives me great honor to speak before you today. As CALD did in Ottawa, Dakar, Sofia and today, Marrakech, CALD takes great pride in affirming our ties with the LI and draws much inspiration from the networks forged and friendships nurtured over the years, and across continents. The growth and spread of liberal ideals – manifest in our largest attendance from Asia to date, including the presence of Dr. Sein Win, Prime Minister-in exile of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, and having Bi-Kim Hsio reelected as LI VP and the only woman and Asian in the Bureau, and holding the first CALD ExeCom outside Asia, as well as the formation of many new regional networks and organizations – have been nothing short of dynamic and phenomenal. Our CALD-ALDE historic meeting in April this year in the Philippines, graced by former President Corazon Aquino, herself an LI Freedom Prize Laureate, and the bonding of RELIAL-CALD today built from initial talks in Sofia, only point to the fact that our horizons have expanded and our common efforts and vision have, as our new LI logo depicts, taken to confident flight. This year’s conference has offered us many useful metaphors to serve as conceptual and practical guideposts. Lord Alderdice presented us with a portrait of a “permanent conference table” – of the primacy of dialogue and the search for convergence, where we are able to bring our ideas, frustrations, and hopes into sharper deliberation and meaningful discussion. Graham Watson spoke of a “drawbridge” that if allowed to be laid down, not pulled up, opens vast possibilities for change and new energy in myriad dimensions and fields – politics, the economy, arts, technology, trade, migration, the environment.


In CALD (and its video) we have used the symbol of the Oriental fan – each strip, each facet representing a distinct culture and experience, but brought together at a base from whence, when opened, serves its function of utility and unity. A fan that opens new vistas of cooperation and partnership – fanning flames of freedom, hope, and change. The metaphors underline our commitment to democracy, human rights, the rule of law, liberty. These are high-minded, ennobling standards we believe in and live by. Yet for those of us who are citizens of the largest and most populous continent on earth, where over half of its peoples continue to live in abject poverty, these ideals may simply be abstractions. For the ordinary Asian, many these ideals are only made real and given flesh with narratives of sacrifice, with sagas of struggle, with stories of pain and difficulty and paying a high price for a principle. Ninoy Aquino, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, Kim Dae Jung – and for us in CALD, our friends Chen Shui Bian, Chee Soon Juan, Martin Lee. And, of course, this year’s Freedom Prize honoree, Sam Rainsy, who at a time when he was stripped of his parliamentary immunity by the Hun Sen government made full use of the CALD headquarters in Manila as his “safe harbor,” following CALD Chair Senator Drilon’s active intercessions on Rainsy’s behalf in the IPU’s Human Rights Committee (chaired by the Senator Drilon). Beyond the heroism and strength of these remarkable individuals whom we hold in the highest esteem, however, liberal democracy as we know is lived in the more simple interconnections we build, the inchoate networks we forge and allow to evolve, the friendships we nurture and deepen. Ottawa, Dakar, Sofia, Marrakech and many other venues of exchange and cooperation symbolize more than just locations of LI Congresses. They represent the affirmation of our higher purpose of changing the world, the more audacious dream of making the world more Liberal in the truest sense of free dialogue, free expression, understanding, openness, responsibility. These gatherings of ours therefore represent, perhaps more importantly, the commitments we take to face up to the difficult choices we have to make as Liberals in our own contexts – and the challenges we need to tackle with sacrifice and responsibility for our constituencies and communities. That is why beyond the well-deserved celebration of our triumphs and gains as Liberals worldwide, it becomes more pressing and crucial that we are ever mindful of the dilemmas and challenges that face us in a world of dizzying change and damning contradictions. As Liberals, true to ourselves and our ideals, we must face the harsher questions that bedevil us and place disquieting predicaments in our way.


In Asia as in many other areas of the world, the spread of democracy is threatened by the insidious reach of illiberal democracy, an alarming phenomenon of “elected autocrats” who use and manipulate the elections and democratic rule to consolidate more authoritarian control of the body politic, damaging democratic institutions in the process. Thaksin of Thailand, Arroyo of the Philippines, Chavez of Venezuela have been known to subvert institutions for sheer political control and use the levers of power to engender not “informed choices” of a largely impoverished electorate, but “manipulated choices” of those who in their destitution fall prey to the ills of patronage and money-dominated practices. The arena of economic cooperation and trade, highly contentious as it is for many countries, challenge us Liberals to revisit our own beliefs vis-à-vis the policies we may support or tolerate. Free markets, free trade – letting the metaphorical drawbridge down — is a mantra for the Liberal. But for many of the poorer countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the nagging, uncomfortable question remains: how free is free when food tariffs and agricultural subsidies in developed countries continue to disadvantage, if not further impoverish, sectors of farmers and consumers everywhere? Trade talks in Doha, Cancun, or Hong Kong over the last few years faced rough sailing over ideological divides just as much as they did over the more basic affective, emotional issues of fairness and justice. In the same vein it is asked: in a world so globalized in the “drawbridgedown” movement of goods and services, why is the movement of people across boundaries actually becoming, for all intents and purposes, more restrictive? In a time defined by the threats of terrorism and increasing conflict in many of the hotspots of the world, do we see people on the move as real, living individuals with their birthright to freedom, dignity, opportunity and hope, beyond their utility as migrant workers taking jobs in sectors that their hosts countries’ could not fill? I beg your indulgence if I must read, as I think it fitting, George Orwell who poignantly, if disturbingly, offered, when writing about Marrakech in 1939 that “all people who work with their hands are partly invisible, and the more important work that they do, the less visible they are. Still a white skin is always fairly conspicuous. In northern Europe, when you see a labourer ploughing the field, you probably give him a second glance. In a hot country, anywhere south of Gibraltar or east of Suez, the chances are that you don’t even see him. I have noticed this time and again. In a tropical landscape one’s eyes takes in everything except the human beings. It takes in the dried-up soil, the prickly pear, the palm-tree and the distant mountain, but it always misses the peasant at his hoe patch. He is the same colour as the earth, and a great deal less to look at.”


Parenthetically, as Tetsundo Iwakuni rightly reminds us, Liberals enshrine the inherent dignity and value of the human person, and that in education particularly, we must move away from viewing people as “human capital” or commodities for labor markets and instead uphold goals of teaching wisdom and instilling human values. Against a backdrop of rapid inter-migrations and beyond our lofty affirmations of intercultural and interfaith understanding and dialogue, how far, indeed – notwithstanding the metaphorical “permanent conference table” — are we prepared to embrace diversity in its all its complexities? The public debate yet again spawned over the use of the hijab or the veil in multicultural societies like London or Paris (drawing no less than British Foreign Minister Jack Straw in the fray) challenges us Liberals to question where we stand on these unsettling, nettlesome issues and what policies we ought to craft or pursue in this respect. Whose definitions of diversity and inter-cultural understanding prevail, or do we use, in these discourses? It is in this nexus of challenges that we need to configure our networking and programs of action as Liberals – in CALD, RELIAL, ALDE, ALN, ALMENA, INLW, IFLRY, the larger LI family. Because our best strength as Liberals is found and reinforced not so much in our successes but in our inherent capacity to question ourselves truthfully — so as to anchor our ideals, as what another LI Freedom Prize recipient Vaclav Havel says, in the moral ascendancy of our argument and the moral force of our actions. Perhaps only then can we say that as Liberals against the so-called “confusion of the Left and the rigidity of the Right” – given the contesting forces of fundamentalism, extremism, anarchism, virulent nationalism, reactive socialism borne out the deficits in democracy, development and dignity Sundeep Waslekar underscored today – we proudly rise or have risen to the occasion of providing honest alternatives to remake and reshape a truly more democratic and unabashedly enlightened, responsible Liberal world order. Only then can we be truly the “only show in town” (again, Graham Watson’s words) and embrace and live the fullest meaning of the conference tables of dialogue, the drawbridges of hope, the fans of freedom – in Asia as with the rest of the our world. VIVE LA FAMILLE LIBERALE! Merci Beaucoup. Shukran. Assalumu Alaikum. And as we say in the Philippines, MABUHAY ANG DEMOKRASYA AT KALAYAANG LIBERAL. Long live LIBERAL DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM!


Projects Projects April

CALD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 2006 Siem Reap, Cambodia / 26-29 April CALD parliamentarians and party leaders and participants from government, donor agencies, media, academia and civil society identify and assess the best practices and approaches to accountability of official development assistance (ODA) in a conference hosted by the Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia.


ALDE-CALD-LI MEETING Manila-Cavite Province-Tagaytay City, Philippines / 21-24 June

200 CALD, the Alliance of Liberals & Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and Liberal International (LI) gathered more than a hundred eminent liberal leaders worldwide to tackle the issues of population, immigration and the globalization of labor in a meeting hosted by the Liberal Party of the Philippines. LI and CALD also had their parallel Executive Committee meetings. The event also included an academic conference on “Liberal Perspectives on Terrorism and Civil Liberties�.


4th CALD COMMUNICATIONS WORKSHOP Taipei, Taiwan / 5-9 September


Communications and media specialists from CALD member and observer parties participated in a hands-on workshop on modern political tools with the theme “Political Communication in the Digital Age” in workshop hosted and co-sponsored by the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan.



006 Marrakech, Morocco / 8-11 November

CALD sent a strong delegation to the 54th Liberal International Congress that focused on the theme “Development and Democracy” and held its first Executive Committee meeting outside Asia. CALD also participated in the “Networking for Freedom” roundtable sponsored by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.


CALD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 2006 Siem Reap, Cambodia / 26-29 April


Four days may seem too short for any discussion on official development assistance (ODA), but the participants in CALD’s 2006 conference with the theme “Public Accountability in ODA” nevertheless came away with fresh ideas and tactics on how to ensure accountability so that aid ends up with the right beneficiaries. Accountability usually refers to an institution’s responsibility to its clients as well as to its governing body. When it comes to ODA, which involves a publicly funded donor agency and a recipient government, accountability is complex and problematic. The donor agency must be responsible to a donor government or governments, and these in turn must be responsible to parliament and ultimately to their electors. The recipient government must be seen as responsible to donors, to the recipient community, the parliament, and the public at large. Thus, among the questions tackled by the participants at the conference, which was hosted by the Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia and supported by Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, were: How do these multiple elements of accountability mesh together? Must a donor government or agency be held accountable if a recipient government or agency misuses aid? How can accountability be strengthened? The conference also tackled best practices with regard to public accountability associated with ODA; approaches to accountability adopted by major donor institutions; enabling participants to develop a mature view of the problems of accountability; innovative trends and tools in combating the misuse of aid, including the role for parliaments, political parties, media and civil society; and, appropriate tools for monitoring ODA, ensuring transparency and involving public participation. Providing useful insights that later stimulated discussions were the likes of Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy; Geert van der Linden, vice president of the Asian Development Bank; Democratic Party of Hong Kong’s founding chairman, Martin Lee; Liberal International President and former speaker of Northern Ireland, the Lord Alderdice; Thai journalist Kavi Chongittavorn of The Nation; and Andreas Proksch, director at the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ).


Participants included parliamentarians and political party officials from Burma, Cambodia, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Members of civil society, academia, and media were also present. Many of the participants acknowledged that a significant percentage of ODAs do not reach the intended beneficiaries because of corruption, and increasing transparency as well as the capabilities of watchdogs such as the media to monitor were seen as deterrents to ODA being misused or “waylaid.� The participants also agreed on the need to exercise increased oversight, and greater participation in decision-making regarding ODAs. In particular, the right to information was cited as an absolute necessity in ensuring transparency and greater accountability. It was stressed that it was duty of governments to provide access to information to its citizenry. The strengthening of media, civil society, and political parties as strong democratic institutions was also recommended.

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GZT’s Andreas Proksch took that thought farther. “I’m convinced that without democracy accountability cannot exist,” he said in his talk. “A democratic system in donor countries and in partner countries is a precondition for accountability to blossom. A second precondition is a broad involvement of non-state actors in both donor and partner countries in all issues of development cooperation. This involvement means the participation of civil society — participation not only in development projects, but in the political decision making process, something we call institutionalized participation. A third precondition is a free press. Only if the press can report about good and bad examples of development cooperation can you have public accountability.” CALD Secretary General Dr. Nereus Acosta, MP, meanwhile, helped close the proceedings by observing in part: “As MPs, members of media, civilsociety, and IFIs, we must be guided and animated by the reminder of Gandhi, or in more straightforward and prosaic terms what the 2005 Report says: Increased aid is not a panacea for a low growth or poverty. Not all aid works – and some aid are wasted. But under the right conditions (an important caveat) aid can advance human development through various channels. These range from macro-economic effects – including increased growth and productivity – to the provision of goods and services for building the capabilities of the poor.”


ALDE-CALD-LI MEETING Manila-Cavite Province-Tagaytay City, Philippines / 21-24 June

They are hailed as heroes in their native lands but seen far too often as sources of problems in the countries where they work. In June, migrant workers were the topic of discussions once more when they became part of the focus of a series of meetings in the Philippines that attracted more than 100 liberals from at least 30 countries in Asia, Europe and elsewhere. Organized by CALD and the Liberal Party of the Philippines and supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in cooperation with the Liberal International, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, and the National Institute for Policy Studies, the meetings yielded intensive discussions and afforded participants different ways of looking at the boon and bane that is migration, which is now being seen as one of the sources of the rise in cultural tensions in several countries. The main event took place at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila. FNF head Dr. Wolfgang Gerhardt, MP, helped set the tone of the conference when he pointed out in his welcoming remarks on 22 June, “Liberals spread the value of freedom of the individual and this makes us a natural internationalists. Freedom includes the freedom of individuals



to interact with each other across boundaries. This interaction can be economical which is why we support free trade. But it can and it should be cultural and political. The organization’s meetings here, the liberals, are embodying this value of political interaction across borders and continents based on shared values.” He added that the “the freedom of people to move across borders…is surely the most complex issue of international interaction, the one that causes often emotions and all too often irrational responses. It is an issue on almost all of our countries and we tend to over emphasize the problems and forget about the positive sides of it.” Former Philippine President Philippine President Corazon C. Aquino, who served as keynote speaker, also noted the benefits and drawbacks of migration. She observed, “There is so much potential for migrant workers to contribute to nation-building. For instance, exposure to democratic ideas and system, foreign political culture and governance will inspire initiatives that will improve the political framework and governance back home.” “However, the saga of migrant workers has two sides,” she said. “One side shows economic opportunity and a brighter future for their families. The other side tells of the sad and gripping stories of harassment, racial discrimination, xenophobia, cruelty, and even death in the hands of foreign employers. In some societies where there are cultural and religious tensions migrant workers risk life and limb just to earn the precious dollars, euros, and pounds to send home.” (See full text of her speech) The meeting was actually part of a continuing effort to share ideas on liberal responses on global challenges. This conference’s objective was to seek a liberal response to poverty and human security — problems that have driven people worldwide to migrate. Three sections made up the meeting. The first discussed liberal migration and population policy responses to demographic trends. The second tackled migrant workers, while the third focused on the role of religion and state in managing cultural tensions. The conference agenda on liberal migration and population response and that of migrant workers posed questions on how the demographic trends — age distribution, population growth, wealth distribution, migration, gender balance, presented threats and opportunities, and whether the policies meet the criteria of liberalism. On migrant workers, the concerns raised were on how to encourage remittances not only for consumption


but also investment, the political rights of workers especially the indigenous peoples, and whether the political structures allow for genuine representation of migrant communities. In addition, several parliamentarian shared experiences on how migration and “brain drain” had affected both source and receiver countries. A lively exchange also took place during the third session, which concentrated on religion and the state. Hon. Jules Maaten, MEP, had this to say during the session: “Liberalism was once a subversive ideology. Liberalism should not merely defend a status quo. We should go on the offensive to promote democratic values. That should be the liberal agenda for coming years. Treating religions with respect, but separating church and state, is an integral part of that agenda.” Among the prominent Liberal leaders present at the meeting were Liberal International President and former speaker of Northern Ireland The Lord Alderdice; ALDE leader and Member of the European Parliament Graham Watson; former International Labor Organization (ILO) Chairman Chung Eui-yong; Dr. Yoo Jay Kun, MP of the ruling Uri Party of Korea; Malaysian Senator Dr. S. Vijayaratnam; Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan’s BiKhim Hsiao, MP; Italian Member of the European Parliament Lappo Pistelli; Cambodian opposition leader and MP Sam Rainsy; and Hong Kong Democratic Party founder Dr. Martin Lee. CALD chairman and Liberal Party President Franklin Drilon, MP, was among those who gave welcoming remarks. On 23 June, an international academic conference on Liberal Perspectives on Terrorism and Civil Liberties was also held at Yuchengco Center of the De La Salle University in Manila. This event was organized by the Philippine liberal think tank, the National Institute for Policy Studies and the La Salle Institute for Governance (LSIG). CALD and LI had their respective Executive Committee meetings on 24 June at the Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City.

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SAGA OF MIGRANT WORKERS HAS TWO SIDES Keynote Address delivered during the CALDALDE-LI Meeting by Former Philippine President Corazaon C. Aquino SENATE President Franklin Drilon, Honorable Graham Watson, Lord Alderdice, Officers and members of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), friends, ladies and gentlemen, good morning to all of you. Let me thank the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats for this pleasant task to speak before you this morning. It is gratifying to note that leaders from Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America are gathered in this room bound by a common passion – the promotion of democracy and freedom – and political beliefs rooted in the liberal values and tradition of liberalism. My late husband, Ninoy Aquino was a dyed in the wool liberal. More importantly, he suffered imprisonment under the Marcos dictatorship and offered his very life for the restoration of democracy. Our only son, Noynoy Aquino follows the family’s political footsteps. He also hews steadfastly to the vision of the Liberal Party of the Philippines as an active Party member. Our involvement and ties with the Liberal


Party are a source of pride for our family. The forebears of the Liberal Party of the Philippines left us with a legacy of principled politics, uncommon valor and fierce loyalty to our country. These are Liberal values that have been constantly tested by the numerous political storms that have wreaked havoc upon our country’s democratic institutions and just as constantly have prevailed. Ladies and gentlemen, the constant changes in the world today driven by the awesome technological achievements never fail to amaze me. However, I am also concerned about the economic and security challenges we are facing in the 21st century. Despite the end of the Cold War, the world remains divided, this time between those who are economically prosperous and those who are not, between those who have access to technology, and those who have no such access, between those who are free to chart their lives because they live in a democratic society documents just to be able to gain entry and employment in high income countries. Some of them even end up woefully with smugglers or big crime syndicates. Both the country of origin and the country of destination feel the impact of this worldwide phenomenon. There is always the argument that migrant workers steal employment from the native workers and drive down wages. However, the UN report asserts that

migrants complement native workers and contribute substantially to the economy of the destination country. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said and I quote: “The report makes a strong case that international migration supported by the right policies can be highly beneficial for the development both of the countries they come from and of those where they arrive.” On the other hand, countries which are big sources of migrant workers are grappling with brain drain. For instance, in the Philippines we pride ourselves in being a world supplier of medical and health care professionals. However, years down the road, this will pose a big problem in our health sector. The dearth of medical and other professionals will certainly impact negatively on a country’s economic health like other social costs such as broken families brought about by distance and the long years of separation and children raised by extended families. Recognizing the great sacrifices and the risks that Overseas Filipino Workers take, our government offers a comprehensive package of incentives such as training on the social and working conditions in foreign lands, special life insurance and pension plans, medical insurance and tuition assistance, eligibility for predeparture and emergency loans. Moreover, we encourage our workers to

return through a comprehensive Balikbayan program which exempts them from a wide range of taxes. Our Congress enacted two laws – the Absentee Voting Law and the Dual Citizenship Act – to encourage Filipinos abroad to actively participate in our country’s economic and political life. I am certain that you who come from countries with extensive shares of migrant workers also believe that social safety net programs must be accessible and available to migrants in both their country of origin and destination. We must not forget that countries of origin also carry half of the burden of responsibility in terms of the welfare of migrant workers. First that guarantees their freedom, and those who constantly live in fear and trepidation because their basic rights are curtailed if not trampled upon. Poverty and the fear for one’s safety drive people worldwide to leave the land of their birth and seek economic relief, comfort and security in another country. A recent United Nations report revealed that 191 million people are living outside their country of birth. Migration affects almost all countries in the world. And quite often, people from the developing world move to developed countries in search of better economic opportunities through legal or even illegal means. Advancement in technology and open borders make it easier for potential migrants to learn and avail of opportunities abroad. With electronic transfers, it has become very easy for them to send money to their families. Even getting in touch and reuniting with their families thousands of miles away have become easier and less costly because of the Internet, cheaper

telephone rates and lower airfares. It is no secret that migrant workers substantially contribute to their country’s economy through the remittances that they regularly send. The UN report further revealed that of the 10 billion that migrants sent home to their families in 2005, 7 billion went to developing countries. The amount is more than all international aid combined that could be extended to these developing countries. In the Philippines, our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are the new heroes because their remittances have kept the economy afloat amidst economic difficulties and uncertainties. Thousands of families in dire poverty have a chance to improve their lives through remittance money. Countries can also reap non-monetary benefits from international migration. There is transfer of knowledge when migrant workers return to the country and apply the knowledge and ideas they have acquired abroad. There is so much potential for migrant workers to contribute to nation-building. For instance, exposure to democratic ideas and system, foreign political culture and governance will inspire initiatives that will improve the political framework and governance back home. However, the saga of migrant workers has two sides. One side shows economic opportunity and a brighter future for their families. The other side tells of the sad and gripping stories of harassment, racial discrimination, xenophobia, cruelty and even death in the hands of foreign employers. In some societies where there are cultural and religious tensions migrant workers risk life and limb just to earn the precious dollars, euros and pounds to send home. Some migrant workers from

low and middle income countries take huge risks. Governments must look into the recruitment and deployment process to avoid driving migrant workers into the hands of crime syndicates and cruel employers. In my countr y, we have an antitrafficking law, we mete stiff penalties on illegal recruiters and we provide free legal assistance and witness protection to victims of illegal recruitment. As countries seek closer economic integration, and as bilateral and regional agreements are being forged, migration barriers are also falling down fast. It is in the economic interest of destination countries if they open their doors to migrant labor and accord fair and good treatment to migrant workers. In a world that is globalizing fast, nations need to recognize that labor migration can be a force for convergence and stability. Ladies and gentlemen, this conference is an auspicious occasion to discuss among you who are the movers and shakers in your respective countries. How do we address the problems associated with labor migration, how do we prevent the grim economic and social consequences of deploying our professionals abroad, and how can we maximize the contribution of migrant workers to the global economy. I trust that the liberal values of fairness, respect for basic rights, freedom and equality will serve as your compass in crafting policies on labor migration in your own countries. Ladies and gentlemen, it was really a pleasure to meet you and to share my thoughts with you. I wish you all a wonderful stay in my country. Mabuhay!




4th CALD COMMUNICATIONS WORKSHOP Taipei, Taiwan / 5-9 September


With more and more people caught in the wonders of the Web, the savvy political communications specialist knows that keeping in step with the times and getting his message across means constantly updating his digital communication skills. During the 4th CALD communications workshop held in Taipei, some 20 participants from CALD member and observer parties and FNF were able to do that. The five-day workshop emphasized hands-on training on creating and maintaining websites and weblogs (more popularly known as blogs), as well as on producing podcasts. A special working group was also formed outside of the original program, focusing on mobile phone text messaging and how it can be used a political tool in Asia. In addition, visits were arranged to Radio Taiwan Inc. and the headquarters of the workshop host and CALD member, the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan. Filipino blog expert Abraham Olandres served as main resource person for the duration of workshop. The participants chronicled the goings-on on the official CALD blog, CALDCloggers (, an exercise that proved to be useful in honing their blogging skills. A few days after attending the workshop, participant Hendra Kusumah of the Indonesian Party of Struggle (PDIP) reported in a post at caldcloggers that his presentation on what he had learned at the workshop had inspired his party to encourage its members to start blogging. He also said he was now managing a blog called “Suara Oposisi (Voice of the Opposition)” and was planning to interview a member of parliament for a podacast on rice imports. Aside from Kusumah, the workshop participants included Soe Aung and Naing Ko Ko of the National Council of the Union of Burma; Keo Phirum and Srey Kimheng of SRP- Cambodia; Sabilillah Ardie of the Nation Awakening Party; Choi Mi-Young of the Uri Party; Gideon Chiong and Teng Yoon Soon of the Malaysian People’s Movement Party (Gerakan); Mahmood Ahmed Khan of the Liberal Forum Pakistan; Adela Cruz Espina and Pia Artadi-Facultad of the Liberal Party of the Philippines; Kao Wen



Sheng of the Singapore Democratic Party; Kamal Nissanka of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka; and Bruce Wei and Sakai Toru of DPP. FNF also sent select staffmembers for training: Girawadee Khao-orn (FNF Bangkok), Dr. Busarin Dusadeeisariyawong (Malaysia Project), Vera Putri (FNF Jakarta), and Gulmina Bilal (FNF Islamabad). The facilitators were FNF Manila Resident Representative, Dr. Ronald Meinardus, and CALD Executive Director John Joseph S. Coronel.


CALD in the 54TH LIBERAL INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS Marrakech, Morocco / 8-11 November


Ties between CALD and liberals from other parts of the world were strengthened anew with CALD’s active participation in the 54th Congress of Liberal International that was held 8-11 November in Marrakech, Morocco. The theme of the Congress was “Democracy and Development: A Liberal View.” One of the keynote speakers was even Taiwanese President and former CALD Chairman Chen Shui-bian who gave his speech via a video all the way from Taipei. Chen narrated his own country’s dramatic transformation from a dictatorship to a democracy while accomplishing significant leaps in terms of economic development. Dr. Martin Lee, CALD individual member and founder of Hong Kong’s Democrat Party, was also among the speakers during the opening ceremonies. He debunked the myth of Asian values as propagated by Dr. Lee Kuan Yew, former prime minister of Singapore. Martin Lee stressed that freedom and human rights are universal values that people all over the world, regardless of ethnicity and culture, yearn for. Chen and Lee have been recipients of the LI Prize for Freedom. Cambodian opposition leader and former CALD Chairman Sam Rainsy, MP, who was also among the speakers at the congress was awarded the prize for 2006. Other speakers from CALD at the LI congress were CALD Secretary General Nereus Acosta, MP; Burmese Prime Minister in Exile Dr. Sein Win; CALD Women’s Caucus Chair Henedina Abad, MP; Liberal Party (Phils) parliamentarian Lorenzo Tañada III; Hon. Tesundo Iwakuni of the Democratic Party of Japan; and Dr. Cecep Syarifudin of the Nation Awakening Party (PKB) of Indonesia. Session chairs from CALD were Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha, president of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka, and Liu Shyh-fang, deputy secretary general of the Office of the President of Taiwan. Acosta, who spoke during the closing ceremonies, noted that though liberals worldwide have much to celebrate, there remains much work to be done. Democratic challenges are apparent not only in military-ruled Burma, he said, but also in countries like Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines. He said the rise of the then heads of state in these countries indicated weak institutions and the need for democracy to take root. Taking advantage of lulls and breaks in the congress proceedings, CALD held an Executive Committee meeting on 9 November – the first such


execom the organization has held outside Asia. And with so many liberals in one place, CALD also managed to touch base with old friends, as well as make new ones. On 11 November, for instance, CALD hosted a luncheon meeting with the Liberal Network for Latin American or RELIAL at the Ryad Mogador Hotel. The meeting was a follow-up of the previous workshop between CALD and RELIAL held during the Liberal International 53rd Congress in Sofia, Bulgaria in May 2005. Acosta, Sam Rainsy, Lee, Taiwanese MP and former CALD Secretary General Bi-Khim Hsiao, Malaysian Senator S. Vijayaratnam, and other members of the CALD Executive Committee represented CALD. RELIAL, for its part, had its president, Otto Guevarra Guth who heads Costa Rica’s Movimiento Libertario; Jorge Briz, former foreign minister of Guatemala; Argentina’s Ricardo Lopez Murphy, president of Recrear Party; Brasil’s Oscar Lehenbauer, chief of cabinet of Liberal Front Party (PFL); and Costa Rica’s Evita Arguedas, MP, Movimiento Libertario and vice president of the Parliament.

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Projects Projects

On 9 and 10 November, CALD took part as well in “Networking for Freedom,” a workshop being conducted in the same picturesque Moroccan city. Focusing on the challenges and chances of regional party alliances, it was sponsored by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Aside from those from CALD, workshop participants included representatives from RELIAL, the African Liberal Network (ALN), the Alliance of Liberals in the Middle East and North Africa (ALMENA), and the Eastern European group. CALD Secretary General Acosta was again a speaker at the workshop, which also had talks given by Saumura Tioulong, MP, of the Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia; Chee Siok Chin of the Singapore Democratic Party; and, Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha. Other participants from CALD included Malaysia’s Dr. Vijayaratnam; Thailand’s Dr. Buranaj Smuthraks, a former parliamentarian from the Democrat Party; Soe Aung of the National Council of the Union of Burma; Pingya-Hsu of DPP-Taiwan, CALD Executive Director John Coronel and CALD Program Officers Brian Gonzales and Paolo Zamora. Prior to the workshop, a luncheon reception was hosted by FNF Chairman Dr. Wolfgang Gerhardt, MP. Liberal International President John Lord Alderice gave the closing remarks.


OUR PARTY IS THE ONLY SERIOUS CHALLENGER TO THE CURRENT REGIME Acceptance Speech delivered during the LI Prize for Freedom awarding by Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP, Leader of the Cambodian opposition. Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Liberal Friends, I am most grateful for your decision to present me this evening with the Liberal International Prize for Freedom. It is a genuine honor to be associated with great names such as Corazon Aquino, Vaclav Havel, Martin Lee and Aung San

Suu Kyi, all past recipients of LI’s Prize for Freedom. This award has been handed to me, and it is my name that will be printed in future Liberal International and other magazines next to the number 2006. But it should go without saying that I accept the award only on behalf of my colleagues who struggle every day – and who sometimes are brutally killed – in their pursuit for human dignity and a more decent life. Our political party was founded in 1995.

Over the last eleven years, about seventy of my colleagues have been assassinated for their political commitment. I have attended too many funerals in my political life. In the meantime I have received a few prizes and awards such as the Heritage Foundation Prize in the US, the Passport for Freedom from the European Parliament, and now the LI’s Prize for Freedom. I would have preferred not to receive any prize at all if there had been no unnecessary funerals to attend. My standing before you this evening, in this beautiful city of


Marrakesh, is the result of the sacrifice and suffering of thousands of unknown people who risk their lives every day seeking the very ideal that serves as the raison d’être of Liberal International. Cambodia is not a democracy. It is a false democracy. False democracy is more difficult to deal with than outright dictatorship. We have the façade of democracy but no democratic substance in our institutions. We have a parliament but it is a rubber-stamp parliament. We have a judiciary but it takes orders from the ruling party, which uses it as a political tool to crack down on opponents. We have elections but they are manipulated elections whose results are decided before Voting Day. We have officially abolished capital punishment but extra-judicial executions take place every day in the street. Cambodia is one of the world’s most corrupt countries according to Transparency International and, as a result, one the world’s poorest countries according to the World Bank. Independent observers rightly depict Cambodia as a mafia state and a banana kingdom. Many things must therefore be addressed and redressed. My party is the first opposition party in post-communist Cambodia. It is the only opposition party represented in a parliament dominated by former communists. Our party launched the first opposition newspaper, led the first public demonstrations against corruption and human rights abuses, organized the first industrial strike, and helped to form the first free trade union of workers. Through heavy sacrifices in terms of human lives, we have become the country’s second largest political party, supported mainly by factory workers, landless farmers, victims of all sorts of injustices, the unemployed and disgruntled youth, and the new generations


who aspire for freedom, social justice and a decent future. Our party is the only serious challenger to the current regime led by Mr. Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge officer and the world’s longest serving prime minister. The Liberal International Prize for Freedom is a great encouragement to my colleagues, and it can offer substantive support as we continue to intensify our uphill battle. With determination on our part and with the support of all our Liberal friends around the world, I have no doubt that we will achieve victory in the near future. Before and after victory, we are most eager to lend our unwavering support and to show our active solidarity to all those who fight for the same liberal and progressive ideals in Asia and other parts of the world. In Singapore for instance, courageous freedom fighters are facing unjustifiable political repression. Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Secretary-General of the Singapore Democratic Party, which

is a member of LI sister organization CALD, was recently taken to trial for holding a public political speech without a permit. A verdict will be delivered later this month, and he is expecting to face a heavy fine. He has refused to pay as a matter of principle, and will thus be sent to jail. This will be the fifth time he has been imprisoned, simply for his unwavering commitment to the defense of fundamentals freedoms in his country. The case in Singapore parallels the case in Cambodia and many other nations around the world. Let us all remember that the legitimacy of rulers is granted not only by the peoples within a nation, but also by the international community. This is why I appeal to our friends in true democracies to look beyond the façade of democracy, and not to remain lenient or complacent with dictators wearing democratic clothes. Thank you again for your encouragement and your solidarity. Long live the Liberal Family!

Resolutions CALD’s concern on the conviction of Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy CALD’s support for the embattled Dr. Chee Soon Juan CALD’s appeal to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to resume negotiations with the Sri Lankan government CALD member parties’ confidence in the current leadership of CALD CALD’s concern on Singaporean government’s practice of disadvantaging the opposition in national elections CALD’s disappointment on the slow pace of Burma’s democratic transition CALD’s regret on Singaporean government’s decision to bar civil society representatives from attending the World Bank-IMF Summit


Resolutions CALD RESOLUTIONS IN 2006


Resolution No. 1 S. 2006 Expresses concern over the conviction of Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy; calls upon the government of Cambodia to abide by democratic rights and principles embodied in its constitution and in various international conventions; reiterates CALD’s plea for the restoration of the parliamentary immunity of Cambodian oppositionists; and echoes the calls for political tolerance and dialogue. Issued 5 January 2006 Resolution No. 2 S. 2006 Expresses concern over the conviction and incarceration of Dr. Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and relays CALD’s support to Dr. Chee and the SDP. Issued 23 March 2006 Resolution No. 3 S. 2006 Requests the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to resume negotiations with the Sri Lankan government as a matter of urgency; condemns the recent acts of terrorism, including attacks on service personnel at a period in which a ceasefire is in operation; and urges the international community, while making clear its condemnation of such terrorism, to ensure that the LTTE returns to negotiations and works together with the Sri Lankan government within the parameters of the ceasefire signed in 2002 to promote a solution that ensures pluralism and democratic practice. Issued 26 April 2006


Resolution No. 4 S. 2006 Notes the controversy within the Liberal Party of the Philippines and asserts fullest confidence in the current leadership of CALD, believing that this leadership best serves the interests of liberalism in Asia at the current junction. Issued 26 April 2006 Resolution No. 5 S. 2006 Regrets the practice of banning Singaporean oppositionists from standing in elections through politically motivated bankruptcy; notes the tendency of the PAP-dominated government to use selectively laws that are detrimental to non-controlling party members; and urges the Singapore government to manage its elections independently of bias toward any party. Issued 22 May 2006 Resolution No. 6 S. 2006 Expresses disappointment over the painfully slow pace of Burma’s democratic transition and calls on the United Nations Security Council to act on the human rights violations and acts of aggression committed by the military junta against ethnic minorities and Burmese members of the opposition. Issued 22 May 2006 Resolution No. 7 S. 2006 Regrets the Singaporean government’s decision to bar civil society representatives from attending the World Bank-IMF Summit; appeals to the Singaporean government for greater tolerance and transparency; and reaffirms its belief in the democratic principles of transparency, accountability, right to information, and freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Issued 15 September 2006




In behalf of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), we extend our profound gratitude to His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni for granting the royal pardon to Honorable Sam Rainsy, leader of the opposition of Cambodia and former CALD Chairman. This move facilitated by Prime Minister Hun Sen is viewed as a positive step towards the easing of political tensions between the ruling coalition and opposition and towards meaningful reconciliation. We are also delighted over the release of parliamentarian Cheam Channy after a year of incarceration in a Phnom Penh jail. We are likewise relieved that various human rights activists and other civil leaders have also been released after a series of arrests early this year. We are confident that this development will ensure the safe return of Sam Rainy after his year long exile in Paris. We are hopeful that the easing of political tension will result in the immediate and unconditional restoration of the parliamentary immunity of Messrs. Sam Rainsy, Cheam Channy and Chea Poch who were stripped of their immunity last February 3, 2005 by the Cambodian National Assembly. We appeal to both the Cambodian government and the opposition to pave the way for meaningful engagement and dialogue. CALD will be holding a major international conference in Siem Reap, Cambodia this April focusing on the theme “Public Accountability in Overseas Development Assistance�. We hope that this conference can serve as a venue where both the ruling government and the opposition can seat together to discuss important issues and concerns affecting the welfare and future of Cambodia. Issued 9 February



On the occasion of the 18th Anniversary of the National League of Democracy (NLD) on September 27, 2006, the Council of Asian Liberals & Democrats (CALD) would like to extend its solidarity with Nobel Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the elected members of parliament from the NLD and the people of Burma. NLD is the true voice of the people of Burma winning a landslide majority during the 1990 elections, Burma’s last free and fair elections. Despite the overwhelming mandate, NLD was never allowed to govern. Instead its leaders were persecuted, detained and sent into exile. NLD and Burma’s leading figure of democratic struggle, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, continues to be under house arrest for 11 years during the past 18 years. The Burmese military junta, under the leadership of Senior General Than Shwe and Prime Minister Soe Win, continues to rule with an iron fist and shows no sign of sincerity and political will towards the restoration of Burma’s democracy, rebuilding the economy and genuine national reconciliation.



Together with governments, parliaments, civil society movements and citizens of the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the United States, Japan, Australia, and many other countries, we in CALD have expressed our support for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and solidarity with the people of Burma in their quest for justice, freedom and democracy. We have also expressed our frustration over the painfully slow pace of reform. We recognize that ultimately, the ordinary people of Burma are the ones who suffer most from continued oppression and poverty. The situation in Burma is deteriorating and human rights abuses including torture and killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and forceful dislocation of villages and communities continue unabated. With the military junta’s determination to remain in power at whatever cost and to destroy all forms of resistance, we are aware of the dangers faced by NLD and its leaders and members. For this, NLD has earned our highest respect and esteem. As an umbrella of liberal and democratic political parties in Asia, we in CALD would like to assure NLD of our continued and unwavering support. Issued 26 September



Dear Dr. Chee, We would like to express our concern about your situation. We are disheartened by the way the Singaporean authorities have tried to subdue dissent through the legal system as a way of silencing legitimate grievances. In our previous resolution, we expressed our regrets regarding the practice of the Singapore government to disadvantage the opposition candidates in national elections through politicallymotivated bankruptcy and the tendency of the PAP-dominated government to use laws selectively that are detrimental to noncontrolling party members. We fervently pray for your wellbeing especially now in this time of need that you are in prison and in frail health. Please remain assured of our solidarity in the cause of freedom and democracy. Sincerely yours, J.R. NEREUS ACOSTA, MP Secretary General Liberal Party of the Philippines With the support of: Hon. Saumura Tioulong, MP Liberal Party of Sri Lanka Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha Sam Rainsy Party Hon. Martin C.M. Lee, QC., SC. Hon. Sin Chung Kai Democratic Party of Hong Kong Issued 15 December

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Bulletin Hon. Sin Chung Kai as CALD’s second individual member Farewell to CALD Program Officer Brian Gonzales CALD welcomes new Program Officer Dr. Chee Soon Juan’s continuing saga Senate President Drilon’s election as Chairman of the IPU Human Rights Committee Election of parliamentarians Bi-Khim Hsiao and Dina Abad as Vice Presidents of LI and INLW Official missions of the CALD Executive Director Official CALD visitors CALD Program Officers in international events The return of CALD’s Yale University Intern 35


THE founding chairman of Hong Kong’s Democrat Party, Martin Lee, used to be CALD ‘s lone individual member. But now he finally has company: his own party mate Sin Chung Kai, who was unanimously accepted as CALD’s second individual member during the organization’s executive committee meeting at Siem Reap in April.


It was Lee who had endorsed Sin’s membership application. But Sin was also backed by a formidable public-service record. A veteran democrat, Sin has been elected representative at all three tiers of the Hong Kong government: the Legislative Council (Legco), Regional Council (abolished by the Hong Kong SAR government in 1999), and District Council. He is still a member of Legco, where he has had a seat since 1995. He is wellknown as a strong advocate for transforming Hong Kong into a leading digital city that enjoys human rights, rule of law, fair competition, free flow of information, democracy, and economic prosperity. In 1998, Sin became Hong Kong’s first legislator to represent the Information Technology Functional Constituency (ITFC) when he won 63 percent of the vote in a field of three in the Legco election. Using Digital


Hong Kong as the blueprint, he pushed for the complete liberalization of the telecommunications market, promoted an advanced framework, and proposed a series of initiatives to develop Hong Kong’s IT and telecommunications industry. Reelected in 2000, Sin next introduced a Private Member Bill on Fair Competition to create a fairer business environment for the IT industry. In addition, he worked to raise the professional status of the IT profession, fight cybercrime, promote IT in education and e-government, as well as pressed the government to conduct a review on the Information Technology Professional Arrangement (ITPSA) program. Not surprisingly, he fought to block the National Security (Legislative Provisions) Bill when it was introduced in 2003, believing it would be detrimental to the freedom of speech. His “Ubiquitous Information Society” proposal to explore how new technologies can be developed further to maintain the growth of the IT industry helped clinch a third term for him at the Legco in 2004. A happily married father of two, Sin Chung-kai is also a council member of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and member of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Advisory Committee, the Housing Authority, and the HKSAR Government’s Digital 21 Strategy Advisory Committee. He serves as well on various advisory boards in both the public and private sectors.



CALD hosted a dinner reception on 20 December at the FNF-CALD office in Manila to give thanks for a successful 2006, and also to bid farewell to CALD Program Officer Brian Gonzales, who was soon to embark on a new adventure. Gonzales, who had been with CALD since 2004, was to assume in January a post at the IUCN-The World Conservation Union regional office based in Bangkok.


CALD and Liberal Party Secretary General Dr. Nereus Acosta, MP, presented Gonzales a plaque of recognition that cited the outgoing CALD program officer’s invaluable contributions to the organization and his commitment to its ideals and principles. Siegfried Herzog, Resident Representative of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), presented a gift to Gonzales as well. CALD Executive Director John Joseph S. Coronel also expressed his congratulations and thanks to Gonzales. At the same time, Coronel paid tribute to CALD Program Officer Paolo Zamora who was about to enter his fifth year in the organization, and welcomed the incoming program officer, Carlo Religioso. Those who attended the small gathering included liberal parliamentarians Henedina Abad (chairperson of the CALD Women’s Caucus) and Lorenzo Tañada III, as well as Ambassador Wilfrido Villacorta, PhD and former Deputy Secretary General of the ASEAN Secretariat, and former Education Undersecretary (Deputy Minister) and MP Jose Luis Martin Gascon. In an earlier message, Acosta had said that Gonzales would be missed. But he added, “We know our loss will be regional environmental conservation’s gain. Brian’s work with CALD was most valuable; as part of the secretariat he helped steer CALD’s work and responsibilities towards the kind of liberal networking and solidarity that we have and embrace today. To Brian we express our gratitude and congratulations for a job splendidly done. Mabuhay (Long live)!”



CALD was poised to be infused with new blood in January 2007, when Carlo Religioso, who replaces Brian Gonzales, formally begins his stint at the organization as program officer. Religioso is armed with significant experience, having been with Philippine Office of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as project consultant in 2003, and as a member of its National Staff in 2004. He also worked briefly with the Singaporean and Canadian Embassies in Manila, and has participated in trainings and conferences in Japan, Cyprus, France, Thailand, Lithuania, Czech Republic and the Philippines. In addition, he has chaired the organization Youth Without Borders and was vice president of the UNESCO Club of Metro Manila that he cofounded. Religioso finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs at the De La Salle University-College of St. Benilde in Manila.



2006 proved yet to be another eventful year for Dr. Chee Soon Juan, head of Singapore’s opposition Singapore Democratic Party, which is a CALD member organization. In late March, Chee, an outspoken critic of the Singaporean government, was sentenced to a day in jail for contempt of court; seven more days were added to his term, however, because he did not pay the fine of S$6,000.


Days after he completed his sentence, his passport was confiscated after he allegedly tried to leave the country without “official permission.” Chee was declared bankrupt in February after failing to pay former premiers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong some S$500,000 in libel damages for comments he made during the 2001 elections. Under Singaporean laws, a bankrupt person cannot travel overseas without permission from Insolvency and Public Trustee’s Office; he or she is barred from standing in elections as well. Chee, however, was soon “engaging” authorities once more, with the police surrounding him and his sister in a city park in April to stop them from joining a protest against the city state’s restrictions on free speech. By December, Chee was again in jail to serve a five-week sentence for speaking publicly in April without permit. But he took ill in prison, and was reported to have gone without treatment for more than a week before doctors looked into his complaints of nausea and dizziness. CALD has repeatedly noted that Singapore’s interests are best served by its government’s adherence to the country’s constitution, which provides for freedom of speech and assembly, and to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In a resolution it issued in March expressing concern over the conviction and incarceration of Dr. Chee at the time, CALD commented that the Singaporean government was using civil suits against the opposition. It echoed the observation of the International Commission of Jurists that defamation suits “have done little to overcome the courts’ reputation as improperly compliant to the interests of the country’s ruling People’s Action Party.” In December, various CALD member organizations – the Liberal Party of the Philippines, the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan, the Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia, the Democratic Party of Hong Kong, and the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka – issued a joint statement again expressing concern for Chee, who by then had already spent a few weeks in jail. They also sent a


letter to the Singaporean oppositionist, in which they said they were “disheartened by the way the Singaporean authorities have tried to subdue dissent through the legal system as a way of silencing legitimate grievances.” The organizations also said that in a previous resolution, CALD had expressed regrets “regarding the practice of the Singaporean government to disadvantage the opposition candidates in national elections through politically motivated bankruptcy and the tendency of the PAP-dominated government to use laws selectively.” They assured Chee of their “solidarity in the cause of freedom and democracy.” When Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy received the Liberal International’s Prize for Freedom in September in Marrakech, he had also made it a point to hail Singapore’s “freedom fighters (who) are facing unjustifiable political repression.”



CALD Chairman and President of the Philippine Senate Franklin Drilon made history on 10 July when he was elected as chairman of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). He is the first Filipino legislator to be elected to the position since the prestigious international body was established in 1889. IPU, the oldest multilateral political organization in the world, brings together 148 affiliated Parliaments and seven associated regional assemblies. It maintains its headquarters in Geneva, but has an office in New York. It serves as a permanent observer at the United Nations. The committee that Drilon now chairs, meanwhile, investigates violations of human rights of lawmakers around the world.


Drilon’s election came during the 114th session of the IPU Human Rights Committee in Geneva. The Philippine senator said his election as its chairman was “a privilege.” “I intend to give my best efforts to the worldwide campaign for the protection of members of the legislature,” he added. “The respect for human rights, not only of Members of Parliament, but also of the ordinary citizen, is a basic pillar of democracy. We must all do our share to uphold civil and human rights.” Other members of the IPU Human Rights Committee are MPs Zahia Banarous of Algeria, Fernando Margain Berlangga of Mexico, Sharon Carstairs of Canada, Maria Jose Laloy of Belgium, Kasam Jaiali of Iran, and Baldo Prokurica of Chile. Established in 1976, the committee holds regular meetings four times a year. The IPU Committee has contributed to resolving over 500 cases involving parliamentarians in 104 countries. The committee has also taken a direct hand in the investigation of controversial cases such as that of Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and former presidential candidate of Guinea Alpha Conde. At the time of Drilon’s election as its chair, it had pending before it the case of a Philippine legislator who had been arrested by the police several months before. It had also just received a complaint by a group of five Philippine lawmakers who were also being threatened with arrest and detention by the Philippine National Police under the Arroyo administration. According to the legislators, their rights were being violated by the police because they were opposed to some policies of the Arroyo government.



CALD’s women power was in full throttle at the Liberal International Congress in Marrakech, Morocco in November, with the re-election of former CALD Secretary General Bi-Khim Hsiao of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party as one of the six vice presidents of LI, as well as the election of Henedina Abad of the Liberal Party of the Philippines as vice president of the International Network of Liberal Women. Hsiao topped the race for LI vice presidents. Hsiao and Abad are both MPs. Hsiao represents a Taipei district at the legislative Yuan while Abad is the representative of the lone district of Batanes province in the Philippines. Hsiao became the first Asian member of the LI bureau when she was elected its treasurer during the 52nd Congress of the organization in Dakar, Senegal in October 2003. She was first elected as one of LI’s vice presidents during the 53rd LI Congress in Sofia, Bulgaria in May 2005.


Hsiao is a senior member of Taiwan’s Foreign Relations Committee. She has also been the director of the Department of International Affairs at the DPP. Previously, she was an advisor to President Chen Shui-Bian, and acted as a spokesperson for Chen’s successful election and reelection campaigns of 2000 and 2004. She has been a consultant as well to the Mainland Affairs Council, engaging in cross-straits peace and development work. She has a BA in East Asian Studies from Oberlin College and an MA in Political Science from Columbia University in the United States. Abad, meanwhile, heads CALD’s women’s caucus. At the Philippine House of Representatives, she is the vice chairperson of the Committee on Good Government Reorganization. Abad has an economics degree from the Ateneo de Manila University and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Prior to joining politics, she was a professor and dean of the School of Government of the Ateneo de Manila University. She has also served many nongovernmental organizations in various capacities, including chairperson of the Transparency and Accountability Network, executive director of the Philippines-Canada Human Resource Development Committee, Inc., and coordinator of the Congress for a People’s Agrarian Reform.



CALD’s peripatetic executive director, John Joseph S. Coronel, always has his calendar full of trips, and 2006 was no different. Asian countries are obviously among his regular destinations. In late February, for example, Coronel was in Cambodia, where he met with opposition leader Sam Rainsy at the Sam Rainsy Party headquarters in Phnom Penh. Paying the party a visit as well was Hubertus von Welck, Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF).


Sam Rainsy at the time had just returned to his homeland from his selfimposed exile in Paris after being stripped of his parliamentary immunity on 3 February 2005. He was convicted of defamation in his absence on 22 December 2005. In November 2005, CALD had hosted the Sam Rainsy Party in Manila — the first meeting of Cambodia’s leading opposition party since its head went into exile. Sam Rainsy, however, was granted a royal pardon on 6 February 2006, opening the way for him to fly home. Sam Rainsy discussed with Coronel and von Welck the problems and challenges of Cambodian democracy. He underscored the importance of international pressure in advocating change and reform in Cambodia. He acknowledged in particular the help of Philippine Senate President and CALD Chairman Franklin Drilon. Also taken up during the meeting were matters pertaining to the then forthcoming CALD international conference on “Public Accountability in Overseas Development Assistance” to be held in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Sam and his wife, fellow parliamentarian Saumura Tioloung, later hosted lunch in honor of Coronel and von Welck at the Cambodiana Hotel in Phnom Penh. Earlier, Coronel had been received by Dinno Oblena, charge d’affaires of the Philippine Embassy. Coronel informed the diplomat that Drilon and other officials of the Liberal Party had confirmed their attendance to the Siem Reap conference. After ticking off everything in his agenda in Phnom Penh, Coronel next went to Bangkok on an official two-day visit. There he met with leaders of the two CALD member parties based in the Thai capital: the main opposition Democrat Party of Thailand (DP) and the exiled National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB).


The CALD executive director was received by DP Director of International Affairs Isra Sunthornvut, a former parliamentarian who had just been appointed as spokesperson of the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority and Chatchai Bhatiasevi, a member of DP. Isra briefed Coronel on the political crisis in Thailand, and explained that his party was going to boycott the April elections because these simply did not address the corruption changes being leveled at then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Coronel also met briefly with two senior DP party officials, Deputy Leader Alongkorn Ponlaboot, MP, and spokesman Ong Ard Klampaiboon, MP. (Alongkorn and Ong Ard have served as CALD secretaries general.) Coronel had a chance to talk as well with Joy Senakant, member of the DP Bangkok Committee, during a lunch hosted by FNF Regional Director von Welck. While in Bangkok, Coronel also visited the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) and met with NCUB Secretary General Maung Maung and Soe Aung, member of the NCUB Foreign Affairs Committee. During the meeting, NCUB announced that it would be sending a Burmese intern to the CALD secretariat by 2007 for a period of one year. The continuing Burma campaign, one of the main concerns of CALD, was also tackled. Coronel’s Bangkok schedule included audiences with the Bangkok-based speakers of CALD’s international conference on public accountability in official development assistance to be held in Cambodia. These were renowned Thai journalist Kavi Chongkittavorn, associate group editor and columnist of the respected The Nation, and Niza Concepcion, representing Forum Asia Executive Director Anselmo Lee, who was in Soeul at that time. By November, Coronel was in Jakarta, where Taslim Hermawi, chairperson of the Nation Awakening Party (PKB) hosted a dinner for him and the staff of FNF-Jakarta headed by Dr. Rainer Adam. Among the other PKB officials present at the dinner were Eko Derwanto, member of the party’s executive committee, and Camilla Puji Astuti of the PKB youth wing. Coronel also met with Indonesian Party of Struggle (PDIP) officials Hon. Hasto Kristiyanto, MP, Hanjaya Setiawan, Indah Pertiwi Natadiningrat, and Beny Viarora Sinaga. Coronel discussed with the two parties the Political Party Management and Development Workshop in Jakarta. After the workshop, scheduled for February 2007, the CALD executive committee was also to have a meeting in the Indonesian capital, as well as visit the headquarters of PKB and PDIP. 45


ASIANS are known for their hospitality and so it’s no longer surprising that CALD was playing host down pat. But that quality proved especially handy during the early part of 2006, when several friends visited Manila and CALD.


In late January, for example, Ivan Doherty, senior associate and political party programs director of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) flew in for a brief visit. A CALD partnerorganization, the Washington, D.C.-based NDI promotes democracy worldwide. While in Manila, Doherty was feted by CALD at a café in the historic walled city of Intramuros that lies within the Philippine capital. At the meeting were CALD Executive Director John Joseph S. Coronel, former Philippine education undersecretary Jose Luis Gascon of the Liberal Party of the Philippines, and Telbert Laoc, incoming country representative of NDI in Dili, East Timor and former executive director of the Philippine elections watchdog Namfrel. CALD and NDI have had several major joint projects, including the political party reform workshops in 2002 and 2003 in Bangkok and electoral missions in Taipei, Seoul, Manila and Jakarta in 2004. Two months later, more visitors from NDI were gracing CALD offices. Headed by Laura Thornton-Olivry, NDI’s former resident director and currently one of its consultants, the visitors were actually on a Philippine assessment mission and included Nelia Agbon, NDI-ARMM resident senior program manager and Myrna Cestina, NDI-ARMM finance/operations assistant. The NDI team met senior representatives of the national government, election monitoring groups, political parties, civil-society organizations, and members of academia and the media. Thornton-Olivry also had a meeting with CALD representatives and Democrats (CALD) and the Liberal Party of the Philippines.


Among those present during that meeting were former CALD Chairman and Education Secretary Florencio Abad, Liberal Party Chairman and Senate Majority Floorleader Senator Francis Pangilinan, former Education Undersecretary Jose Luis Martin Gascon, CALD Executive Director Coronel, LP Director General Concepcion Asis, National Institute for Policy Studies Executive Director Lambert Ramirez, and CALD Program Officer Paolo Zamora. Gascon, Asis, and Ramirez were also among those who attended a lunch in honor of another visitor in early March: Mr. Jörg Dehnert, Director of the International Academy for Leadership (IAF) in Gummersbach, Germany. IAF is the international training institute of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Dehnert, who was in Manila for a two-day visit, also spoke before the FNF Alumni Group the previous night. Coronel and CALD Program Officer Zamora, as well as former CALD Program Officer Brian Gonzales are all alumni of the IAF. By April, it was the younger set’s turn to be CALD guests, with the executive committee of the Young Liberals & Democrats for Asia (YLDA) visiting the CALD secretariat for a meeting with Coronel and his staff. The YLDA delegation was led by YLDA President Jonathan Malaya of the Young Liberals of the Philippines (KALIPI) and YLDA Secretary General Rajendra Mulmi of the Youth Initiative of Nepal. The other members of the delegation were Eko Darwanto of Indonesia’s Nation Awakening Party (PKB), Sandun Gamage of IDL-Sri Lanka, Koy Koung of Khmer Youth Cambodia, Jan-Argy Tolentino of KALIPI and Program Officer Anne Elicaño.



THE beach beckoned in early February in Pattaya, Thailand, but the sizzle came from the sessions attended by CALD Program Officer Brian V. Gonzales on Communications and Facilitation for Regional Staff members of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and their regional partner organizations. For a week beginning 3 February, Gonzales – one of 14 participants from seven countries — attended the workshop that aimed to motivate and inspire staff members, to design and facilitate training and dialogue events on liberal subjects and issues, and to be acquainted in two important fields: basics of liberalism and local government. Facilitators were Dr. Stefan Melnik, FNF consultant, and Alexandra Cuyegkeng, Communications Officer of the FNF Philippine Office.


The program included interactive group sessions, exercises, simulations, and field trips to local government units in Pattaya and the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority. It also gave participants a chance to meet FNF directors and program managers, and to learn more about the organization’s work in the region. CALD Program Officer Paolo A. Zamora wound up in colder climes months later, but he quickly warmed up to the discussions at the 59th Annual Department of Information/Non-Government Organization (DPI/NGO) Conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Held from 6-8 September with the theme “Unfinished Business: Effective Partnership for the Human Security and Sustainable Development,” the conference was attended by some 2,500 representatives of NGOs from more than 90 countries. Zamora represented PHILCOPRS Organization for the Indigent, a non-profit organization that advocates development programs to promote youth empowerment in the Philippines. The conference aimed to foster partnerships for security and sustainable development and discuss ways and means for strengthening collaboration between local communities and global institutions. Plenary themes included: finance; transparency and accountability; science and education; technologies; information and communication; values and religious and multicultural dialogues; and health, hunger and HIVAIDS. H.E. Jan Eliasson, President of the 60th Session of the General Assembly, opened the conference while H.E. Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General, delivered the closing remarks.



HE was supposed to stay for just a few months, but Yale honors graduate Matt Sherwin lasted a whole nine months as an intern at CALD, during which he worked in several major workshops and activities spearheaded by the organization. At the same time, he served as special consultant to Dr. Neric Acosta, MP and the secretary general of both CALD and the Liberal Party of the Philippines. Sherwin arrived in Manila as a 22-year-old in October 2005 after earning a bachelor of science degree, with majors in ethics, politics, economics, and biophysics. His multiple talents and skills were soon put to use, starting with being part of the documentation team at the Liberal International Women’s Workshop and CALD General Assembly in Taipei (October 2005). He was also involved in the CALD International Conference in Public Accountability in Official Development (Siem Reap, Cambodia, April 2006). Before leaving in June, he still found time to help out in the joint meeting of CALD, Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe, and Liberal International in Manila and Tagaytay City, Philippines (June 2006).


Almost every minute Sherwin was at CALD was well spent. Said CALD Executive Director John Coronel when the time came for him to leave: “Matt’s participation has been most invaluable. He is an observant and intelligent young man and despite his age, he has a very mature grasp of Asian social and political life.”



Internship Naw K’nyaw Paw 10 January 2006 – 27 January 2006 National Council of the Union of Burma Naing Ko Ko 29 May 2006 – 25 June 2006 National Council of the Union of Burma Tee Yen Yen 2 October 2006 – 29 October 2006 Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Argee S. Gallardo 7 November 2006 – 7 December 2006 Liberal Party of the Philippines



WHEN the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB)’s Naw K’nyaw Paw went as an intern to the European Parliament in January, it marked a milestone in CALD’s eight-year-old internship program. Finally, all CALD member parties had sent one intern to Brussels and Strasbourg. The NCUB, however, would send another intern to Europe just a few months later: Naing Ko Ko. In October came the turn of the Malaysian People’s Movement Party (Gerakan) to see off Tee Yen Yen on her own internship. Before the year ended, Argee S. Gallardo of the Liberal Party of the Philippines had also learned new things from her brief stint in the European Parliament.


Gallardo (7 November-7 December), who spent a month working with the International Trade Committee of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), wrote in her report, “My background in business together with my keen interest in international trade made learning about global markets easy and enjoyable. I was able to study different globalization patterns, which, with the recent joining of China and Russia, became much more fascinating.” Tee Yen Yen (2-29 October) also spent a month with ALDE’s International Trade Committee. She said her internship exposed her to the works of parliament and enabled her to study the European Parliament’s law-making process. Naw K’nyaw Paw (10-27 January) had a comparatively shorter stint than the rest, but she nevertheless took away a lot from her internship. Assigned to ALDE’s Foreign Affairs Committee, she expressed particular interest in following discussions on Cambodia, “the closes country to Burma in the region.” She later said in her report, “I was satisfied with the action that the EP took regarding the human rights situation in Cambodia, passing strong resolutions and trying to influence the Cambodian government.”


She also said, “(My) internship…gave me a great experience on how democratic countries function, and the work of the parliament inspired me. I also understand how human rights issues are brought up and handled within EP and this (will) help me bring up human rights situations in Burma in the future.” Naing Ko Ko (29 May-25 June), meanwhile, opted to be with ALDE’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. But he echoed Naw in marveling over the democratic processes that he witnessed, saying that his internship contributed to his “understanding of the role of liberty, democracy, individuality, and responsibility in the global arena.” Although young in years, all interns were already steeped in experience when they arrived at the European Parliament. Naw K’nyaw Paw, for example, is a ranking member of the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) that is based in Thailand. Among her current posts are KWO’s coordinator of its human rights and democracy education project and Karen State representative to the Ethnic Nationality Council. Before participating in the CALD internship program, she had also done internship work with the Earth Rights International and Bank Information Center in Washington, D.C., as well as at the Alternative ASEAN in Bangkok. Naing Ko Ko is the international campaign secretary of the Federation of Trade Union-Burma (FTUB). Born in Burma’s Mon state, Naing was a leading member of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions and a youth organizer of the FTUB inside Burma. His activities landed him in several Burmese jails, where he spent a total of five years and eight months as prisoner of the Burmese military junta. He was released in 1998, and has since joined the democratic movements outside his homeland.


Tee Yen Yen, for her part, is the executive secretary of the tertiary education loan scheme and political training bureau of Gerakan. She organizes and provides training for party leaders, members, and potential members. She also evaluates loan applications and is responsible for the collection on loans repayment for the party. Earlier in the year, she had attended the CALD conference on public accountability in official development assistance in Siem Reap, Cambodia.


Argee Gallardo is the deputy director general for management services of the Liberal Party of the Philippines. Prior to taking that post, she had been in the manufacturing and tourism industries. She was a member of the secretariat of the CALD-ALDE-Liberal International meeting held in Manila, Cavite, and Tagaytay City, Philippines in June. The internship program for CALD member parties is organized yearly by ALDE and the International Political Dialogue of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. It involves parliamentary work in the EP in Brussels, Belgium, and Strasbourg, France and research and advocacy initiatives in select European nongovernmental organizations.


CALD in the 60th Anniversary of the Liberal Party of the Philippines CALD in the 4th General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties Liberal Party of the Philippines in Taiwan’s elections CALD’s message of solidarity with the National League of Democracy CALD and the ASEAN Inter-parliamentary Caucus on Myanmar CALD’s congratulatory messages Malaysia’s Barisan National Youth meeting with Philippine youth leaders

International Activities



WHEN the Liberal Party of the Philippines celebrated its 60th foundation anniversary in late January, CALD was among those joining in the festivities. The LP, after all, is a founding member and current chair party of CALD. Thus, among the speakers at the regional conference that was made part of the three-day celebration (19 to 21 January) were CALD individual member Dr. Martin Lee, MP and founding chairperson of the Democrat Party of Hong Kong and Dr. Bunarai Smuthraks of Thailand’s Democrat Party, which like the LP is a CALD founding member organization. Lee tackled the topic, “Sustaining Democratic Gains in Asia: The Role of CALD and Its Member Parties,” while Buranai spoke on “The Birth of Liberal Democracy in Asia and the Role of Political Parties.”

International Activities

The keynote address was delivered by Philippine Senate President and CALD Chairman Franklin Drilon. Senator Drilon is also LP president. LP Executive Vice President and CALD Secretary General Dr. Nereus Acosta also took to the podium, speaking on “Drawing the Asian Youth to the Liberal Democratic Asian Liberal Youth Movement.” In congratulating the LP on reaching yet another milestone, CALD Executive Director John Joseph Coronel noted the party’s “commitment to the ideals of freedom, human rights, justice, progress and social equality is recognized in Asia and across the world.” He also said that the LP had made invaluable contributions to CALD that had made the organization, “in the words of Nobel Laureate, former Korean President and CALD Co-founder Kim Dae Jung, ‘one of the epicenters of democracy in Asia.’” CALD member organizations and friends sent their own congratulations as well. Among them was Taiwanese Vice President and acting Democratic Progressive Party chair Annette Lu, who said in part, “The Liberal Party has stood for the basic principles of freedom, democracy and liberty in the Philippines. These are the same values that the DPP has always persisted in Taiwan. Both our countries have suffered political oppression and martial laws in the past, yet we are now examples of nations that have successfully made the transition to democracy in Asia. Through our struggles to build democracy, we have been able to share mutual understanding and a strong friendship.”


“Through exchanges and cooperation in the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats, we have worked closely to develop a strong network that promotes good governance and liberal democracy in Asia,” she added. “Our solid ties bind us to continue advocating for peace and prosperity in the region, and I hope that our two parties continue to strengthen our relationship.”



CALD made its presence felt at the Fourth General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) held 6-10 September in Seoul, Korea, not only by sending a formidable delegation, but also with CALD Secretary General Dr. Nereus Acosta, MP, delivering a presentation. More than 40 political parties from various Asian countries make up ICAPP, which was founded in 2000. ICAPP aims to promote exchanges and cooperation between political parties from different Asian countries and with various ideologies; to enhance mutual understanding and trust among Asian countries; and to promote Asia’s regional cooperation through the unique role and channel of political parties. Acosta, who is also the secretary general of the Liberal Party of the Philippines, was with Hon. Dr. Buranaj Smuthraks, Hon. Kiat Sittheeamorn and Hon. Kasit Piromya of the Democrat Party of Thailand; Hon. Son Chhay, MP of Sam Rainsy Party; Sdr Dr. Kin Woon Toh, Sdr A. Kohilan Pillay and Sdr Loong Thye Chia of the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia; and, Representatives Henedina Abad and Dr. Manuel Mamba of the Liberal Party of the Philippines. Like the Philippines’ Liberal Party, Thailand’s Democrat Party and Malaysia’s Gerakan are CALD founding members.

International Activities

Acosta noted in his presentation that CALD is the first regional grouping of political parties in Asia, having been founded in 1993. He also said that in the face of the growing political and economic challenges in the region, political parties have become all the more crucial in consolidating “gains in the expansion of democratic spaces to secure basic freedoms, the rule of law, a clear respect for human rights, and social justice,” as well as in “addressing pressing needs for freer but fairer trade, responsible investments that adhere to the requirements of sustainable, environmentally-sound policies on resource-use and management, and the need to bridge the technology and information divides among and within our societies.” In addition, said Acosta, political parties have a role in building “stronger social cohesion in the region, which is made more pressing because of common threats that affect us all and require coordinated action: terrorism, climate change and environmental degradation, SARS/HIVAIDS, human trafficking, endemic corruption, widespread poverty.” Dr. Yoo Jay Gun, MP, of the ruling Uri Party of Korea, met with the CALD delegation to discuss how to deepen exchanges of ideas and policy between and among CALD members and observers. The Uri Party is a CALD observer party.



Sharing ideas and strategies have become a habit among CALD member organizations, and so in December a delegation from the Liberal Party of the Philippines visited Taiwan, on the invitation of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, to be part of an international mission to observe the Taipei and Kaohsiung city elections. The LP and DPP are CALD founding members. The city elections for mayors and councilors were to be held on 9 December. In a letter inviting an LP delegation to visit Taiwan, DPP Director of International Affairs Dr. Winston Dang, MP, told Philippine Senator, CALD Chairman, and LP President Franklin Drilon, “Since in May of next year, the Philippines will be holding general elections, we believe that young members of your party will greatly benefit from observing our city elections. We hope to exchange political campaign strategies and to offer an opportunity to observe our election activities in Taiwan.” The five-day visit’s itinerary included watching rallies and observing other campaign activities, as well as visiting the campaign offices of candidates. Among the delegation’s members were Catherin Caronilla de Mata, political officer of Hon. Dina Abad, MP, LP vice president for sectors and head of the CALD Women’s Caucus; Joel Nagtalon, political officer of Hon. Nereus Acosta, MP, LP and CALD secretary general; Bukidnon councilor Evelio Julian Cordovez; Marcelo Decepida, political officer of Hon. Lorenzo Tañada III, MP; Amador Anrico Arao, political officer of Hon. Manuel Mamba, MP; Vicente Lucas, director of the local headquarters of Isabela Governor Grace Padaca; and, Rolando A. de Guzman, political officer of Senator Rodolfo Biazon. Other observers were from the Young Liberals of Austria, the Young Liberals of Canada, Bundesverband Liberaler Hochschulgruppen of Germany, and the Young Democrats of America.



CALD helped mark the 18th anniversary of Burmese opposition party National League of Democracy on 27 September by extending its solidarity with Nobel Laureate and NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the elected members of parliament from the NLD, and the people of Burma. NLD is part of the National Council of the Union of Burma, a CALD member organization. In its statement, CALD noted that the NLD is the “true voice” of the people of Burma, having posted a landslide victory at the 1990 elections – Burma’s last free and fair polls. But instead of recognizing the results, the country’s ruling junta clamped down on the opposition and its supporters, as well as singled out NLD leaders and followers for harassment and worse. Since then NLD officials have been persecuted, detained, or sent into exile. Daw Suu Kyi herself has been placed under house arrest for 11 of the past 18 years; she has been kept out of the public eye for the last few years as well.

International Activities

CALD noted that Burma’ ruling junta, under the leadership of Senior General Than Shwe and Prime Minister Soe Win, “continues to rule with an iron fist and shows no sign of sincerity and political will toward the restoration of Burma’s democracy, rebuilding the economy and genuine national reconciliation.” The statement also said, “Together with governments, parliaments, civil society movements and citizens of the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the United States, Japan, Australia, and many other countries, we in CALD have expressed its support for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and solidarity with the people of Burma in their quest for justice, freedom and democracy.” It observed that the situation Burma continued to deteriorate, with human-rights abuses that include arbitrary arrests, detentions, and killings, as well as forceful dislocation of communities still going on without restraint. “With the military junta’s determination to remain in power at whatever cost and to destroy all forms of resistance,” said CALD, “we are aware of the dangers faced by NLD and its leaders and members.” For this, NLD has earned CALD’s highest respect and esteem and the umbrella of liberal and democratic political parties in Asia assured NLD of its continued and unwavering support.


The message was signed by CALD Chairman, Liberal Party President and Philippine Senator Franklin Drilon; CALD and Liberal Party Secretary General and Philippine MP, Dr. Neric Acosta; former CALD Chairman and leader of the Cambodian national opposition, Sam Rainsy, MP; former CALD Secretary General and Taiwanese parliamentarian Bi-Khim Hsiao of the Democratic Progressive Party; Liberal Party Sri Lanka President Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha; and CALD Executive Director John Joseph S. Coronel.

ASEAN CALLS ON MYANMAR TO SPEED UP DEMOCRATIZATION Despite the lobbying of the Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus, a group of lawmakers within ASEAN countries, to expel Myanmar from the association government, ASEAN leaders have disregarded the appeal. However, international focus on human rights concerns finally gave them cause to push the Myanmar government. ASEAN leaders at the 11th Summit urged Myanmar to expedite its implementation of its political program, Roadmap to Democracy. Myanmar former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt released this program in August 2003. It is a systematic plan that outlines the steps necessary to building a nation. It includes provisions for reconvening a National Convention, for drafting a new constitution and its adoption through a national referendum and for holding elections for legislative bodies. Ignoring ASEAN’s policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of its member states, the 11th ASEAN Summit Chairman and Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also issued a statement calling on Myammar to release its political detainees. While the statement did not specify particular names, Aung San Suu Kyi tops the list of political prisoners under house arrest. This statement was in line with the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the ASEAN Charter of the summit, which stated the “promotion of democracy, human rights and obligations, transparency and good governance and strengthening democratic institutions” is of utmost importance. In response, Myanmar has invited current chair of ASEAN, Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to visit Myanmar and assess the situation there for himself. Several parliamentarians from CALD member parties are part of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus. 61


With friends and partners across the globe experiencing personal and organizational triumphs, CALD was kept busy writing and sending notes of appreciation and congratulations. June in particular had CALD putting pen to paper for missives to the likes of Hon. Wolfgang Gerhardt, MP, who became the new chairman of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation that month. Gerhardt was the former leader of the German Free Democrat Party (FDP), as well as of FDP Parliamentary Group in the Bundestag. He had been vice president of Liberal International since 2002. In a letter extending CALD’s congratulations to Gerhardt for his new challenge as FNF chairman, Philippine Senate President and CALD Chairman Franklin Drilon observed, “Ever since CALD’s inception in 1993, FNF has stood side by side with CALD in its quest to promote liberal democracy in Asia. Such a partnership has made CALD what it is today. To this day, FNF remains as our most important partner. It is a partnership that is characterized by parity, mutual respect and accountability, and synergy.” CALD expressed its confidence that with Gerhardt’s vision and leadership, the alliance between FNF and CALD would continue and even flourish.

International Activities

CALD also sent a letter of appreciation to Gerhardt’s predecessor, former FNF Chairman Count Otto Lambdorff, who Drilon said had “personally witnessed CALD’s challenging early stages when it was trying to create a name and a niche for itself.” The Count and Countess Alexandra even made sure they were at CALD’s 10th anniversary celebration in Bangkok in December 2003. It was also in June that CALD sent letters of congratulations to new Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, Deputy Prime Minister Francesco Rutelli, and Senator and Vice Foreign Minister Gianni Vernetti. Rutelli is the president of La Margherita Party while Vernetti is in charge of its foreign relations. In December 2005, high-level parliamentarians from CALD member and observer parties including the Liberal Party of the Philippines, the Democrat Party of Thailand, the Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia, the Democratic Party of Japan, and the Democratic Party of Hong Kong together with the CALD secretary general and the CALD executive director attended a meeting sponsored by the La Margherita and the European Democratic Party on “Asia-Europe Strategic Partnership: The


Future is Now” in Rome, Italy. Prior to the Rome meeting, Vernetti had visited Bangkok and Manila where he met officials of Democrat Party of Thailand, Liberal Party of the Philippines and CALD. In CALD’s congratulatory letter to the new Italian premier, CALD chairman Drilon underscored the “strengthening of alliances between European and Asian Liberals. The continuing political dialogue between the two regions as well as the establishment of a network of European and Asian democrats were two of the agreements made during the meeting in Rome… (CALD expresses its) confidence and optimism in a new era of political reform and economic progress for Italy as well as a new impetus for greater integration in the European Union.” In September, CALD congratulated Japanese MP Ichiro Ozawa for his re-election as president of the Democratic Party of Japan, which is a CALD observer party. CALD noted in its letter to Ozawa that the DPJ’s participation in many CALD activities and conferences has been “invaluable in the growth” of the organization “as a major force in the field of democratic advocacy in Asia.” “It is our desire that CALD and DPJ will even have stronger engagements in the future,” CALD also said, adding that under Ozawa’s leadership, “Japanese democratic opposition will be stronger and more dynamic.” December saw CALD sending another letter of congratulations, this time to Hon. Graham Watson, MEP, for his reelection as leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. In the letter signed by its chairman, CALD said that Watson’s “leadership and vision have certainly made ALDE a significant force in the European Union.” It wished Watson success in his vision of making ALDE an even stronger and relevant Third Force in the EP, especially with the historic enlargement of the European Union. It has also been under Watson’s watch that effective networks and strong bonds of friendship were established between ALDE and liberal organizations, including Liberal International and CALD. ALDE and CALD even had two joint meetings, the first being in Brussels in 2004, the second in Manila in 2006.



YOUTHS often think they are the center of the universe, but in the world of CALD youths are interested in global and regional affairs. On August 9, CALD hosted a half-day meeting between the Barisan Nasional Youth of Malaysia and various Philippine youth groups in which a major goal was to discuss the political crisis in the Middle East, as well as to see how young leaders from Southeast Asia could address the problem. The Barisan Nasional Youth is the youth-arm of the Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), which consists of 15 parties, including Parti Gerakan Rakyat, a founding member-party of CALD. The meeting, chaired by CALD Executive Director John Coronel, was held at the joint offices of CALD and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Manila. Hon. Dato’ Mah Siew Keong, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Parti Gerakan Rakyat Youth National Chairman, who headed the eight-member Malaysian youth delegation, expressed his deep concern over the massive loss of lives and property in Lebanon, which was under siege by Israel at the time. This stimulated a discussion that was facilitated by Jose Luis Martin Gascon, former Philippine education undersecretary and member of the Liberal Party of the Philippines, another CALD founding member.

International Activities

Earlier, Coronel and Anne Elicano, program officer of the Young Liberals and Democrats of Asia (YLDA), also presented their views on the Middle East crisis. As the meeting wound up, it was agreed that the participants would communicate regularly to continue with the dialogue online and that the Philippine group would have follow-up meetings. The possibility of creating a Philippine youth forum on the Middle East crisis was also considered. Dato’ Mah was assisted by Hon. Japlin Akim, State Assistant Minister and Sabah UMNO Youth Chairman. UMNO stands for United Malays National Organization, the dominant party in BN. Other Malaysian parties represented were the Partu Bersatu Rakyat Sabah, United Pasokmomogun Kazandusun, Sabah Progressive Party, and the Liberal Democratic Party.


The Philippine youth contingent was headed Princess Abante of the National Youth Commission, the government agency tasked with all youth related concerns. The youth arms of several Philippine political parties — among them the ruling LAKAS Christian Muslim Democrats, the Liberal Party, Aksyon Democratiko (Democratic Action Party), Bayan Muna (People First Party), and SANLAKAS – sent their officials. So did the biggest university and college council organization, the National Union of Students of the Philippines, as well as the Young Christian Socialists of the Philippines, the Union of Catholic Student Councils, the Philippine Islamic Council, Youth Empowerment and Solidarity Towards Social Change (YES to Change), Philippine People’s ParliamentYouth, Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (Democratic Youth Movement), De La Salle University Political Science Society, and Youth for Sustainable Development Dr. Ronald Meinardus, Resident Representative of FNF Manila and Gascon gave the welcome remarks.



Burma Cambodia Hong Kong India Indonesia Japan Malaysia Philippines Singapore South Korea Sri Lanka Taiwan Thailand Australia Finland Germany Hungary Netherlands Spain United Kingdom



Positions of speakers and resource persons indicated reflect designation during the actual event.




Dr. Sundeep Waslekar Strategic Foresight Group

Dr. Sein Win Prime Minister National Coalition of the Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) Mr. Nyo Ohn Myint International Coordinator, Global Burma Campaign, National League for Democracy (Liberated Area) - National Council of the Union of Burma (NLD-NCUB)

CAMBODIA Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP President, Sam Rainsy Party Leader of the National Opposition of Cambodia Hon. Son Chhay, MP Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations, International Cooperation, Propaganda and Information of the Cambodian National Assembly Member, Sam Rainsy Party

INDONESIA Mr. Luky Djunjardi Djani Vice Coordinator, Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) Working Committee Mrs. Badriyah Fayumi, MP The Nation Awakening Party (PKB) Dr. Arianto Patunru Deputy Director and Assistant Professor, Institute for Economic and Social Research, Department of Economics, University of Indonesia Hon. Eva Kusuma Sundari, MP Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) Prof. Cecep Syarifudin, MP Nation Awakening Party (PKB)



Hon. Saumura Tioulong, MP Member, Sam Rainsy Party

HONG KONG Hon. Martin Chu-Ming Lee, Q.C., S.C., Legislative Councilor Founding Chairman, Democratic Party in Hong Kong


Professor Ryokichi Hirono Professor, Graduate School of International Studies, Teikyo University Hon. Tetsundo Iwakuni, MP Director for International Affairs, Democratic Party

Hon. Shuji Kira, MP Vice Director General, International Department and Executive Office, Democratic Party Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs and Committee on Economy, Trade and Industry of the House of Representatives

MALAYSIA Hon. Senator Dato’ Dr. Seevaratnam Vijayaratnam Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Vice President, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (PGRM) Hon. Yong Dai Ying Member, State Legislative Council of Malaysia Member, Central Committee, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (PGRM)

PHILIPPINES H.E. Corazon “Cory” C. Aquino Former President of the Republic of the Philippines Hon. Franklin M. Drilon President, Philippine Senate President, Liberal Party Chairman, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) Chairman, 112th General Assembly of the InterParliamentary Union (IPU)

Senator Francis “Kiko” P.N. Pangilinan Majority Leader, Philippine Senate Chairman, Liberal Party Hon. Henedina Abad, MP Vice Chairperson, Committee on Good Government Reorganization Chair, CALD Women’s Caucus Vice President, International Network of Liberal Women (INLW) Hon. Joseph Emilio A. Abaya, MP Member, Liberal Party National Executive Council Hon. Dr. J.R. Nereus Acosta, MP Secretary General, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Secretary General, Liberal Party of the Philippines Mr. John Joseph S. Coronel Executive Director, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) Atty. Jose Luis Gascon Member, Liberal Party National Executive Council Mr. Brian V. Gonzales Program Officer, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) Mr. Geert H.P.B. van der Linden Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Dr. Francisco Magno Executive Director, La Salle Institute of Governance Dr. Ronald Meinardus Resident Representative, Friedrich Naumann Foundation – Manila Office Mr. Abe Olandres Blog Consultant Gov. Grace Cielo M. Padaca Governor, Provice of Isabela Member, Liberal Party National Executive Council Hon. Felicito Payumo Chairman, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Hon. Lorenzo Tanada III, MP Member, Liberal Party National Executive Council Dr. Julio Teehankee Chairman, Department of Political Science, De La Salle University Mr. Rolando G. Tungpalan Assistant Director-General for Investment Programming, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)

SINGAPORE Ms. Chee Siok Chin Secretary General, Singapore Democratic Party




Hon. Chung Eui-yong, MP Senior Commissioner, Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security Chairman, Foreign Relations Committee of the Uri Party

Mr. Kavi Chongkittavorn Assistant Group Editor, Multimedia Nation Group

Hon. Dr. Yoo Jay-kun, MP Chairman, National Defense Committee of the National Assembly Senior member, Uri Party

SRI LANKA Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha President, Liberal Party Professor of Languages, University of Sabaragamuwa

Dr. Pia Oberoi Project Coordinator, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUMASIA) Dr. Buranaj Smutharaks, MP Deputy Spokesman, Democrat Party Mr. Hubertus von Welck Director, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Regional office for East and Southeast Asia

AUSTRALIA TAIWAN H.E. Chen Shui Bian President of Taiwan

Ms. Charmaine Rodrigues Project Coordinator, Right to Information Programme International

Hon. Bi-khim Hsiao, MP Member, Foreign Relations Committee of Taiwan Vice President, Liberal International


Speakers Speakers

Ms. Joyce Huang Manager, News Department, Radio Taiwan Mr. Chou Yen-shin Director for Policy and Planning, International Cooperation and Development Fund


Hon. Kyรถsti Virrankoski, MEP Member and Deputy Coordinator, Committee on Budgets Deputy Coordinator, Committee on Agriculture Vice President, Japan Delegation and JPC-EU-Romania Delegation

GERMANY Hon. Dr. Wolfgang Gerhardt Chairman, Friedrich-NaumannFoundation Leader, Free Democratic Party (FDP) Parliamentary Group in the Bundestag

Hon. Jules Maaten, MEP Member, Committee for the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Affairs Member, Foreign Affairs Committee

SPAIN H.E. Dr. Friedrich Hamburger Head of Delegation, European Commission to Thailand, Cambodia, the Lao PDR and the Union of Myanmar Mr. Andreas Proksch Director, Strategic Corporate Development Department of GTZ

Hon. Ignasi Guardans Camb贸, MEP Member, European Parliament for Converg猫ncia i Uni贸 (CiU) Member, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

UNITED KINGDOM Mr. Manfred Richter Treasurer, Board of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation

HUNGARY Hon. Dr. Istv谩n Szenti-Ivanyi, MEP Vice Chairman, Delegation for Relations with the Korean Peninsula Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs Substitute member, Committee on International Trade

The Lord Alderdice President, Liberal International Mr. Jasper Veen Secretary General, Liberal International Hon. Graham Watson, MEP Leader, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Mr. Karl Ziegler Founder and Director, Centre for Accountability and Debt Relief

NETHERLANDS Hon. Hans van Baalen, MP Deputy President, Liberal International President, Supervisory Committee of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (IMD)


CALD CALD MEMBER PARTIES DEMOCRAT PARTY THAILAND 67 Setsiri Road, Samsen, Phyathai, Bangkok, 10400 Thailand Tel: +662 270 0036 Fax: +662 279 6086 Email: Website:

DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE PARTY TAIWAN 10/F No.30, Peiping Road, Taipei, Taiwan Tel: +886 2 23929989 Fax: +886 2 23930342 Email: Website:

LIBERAL PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES 2nd Floor Matrinco Building, 2178 Don Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Tel: +632 8937483, +632 8936304 Fax: +632 8930218 Email: Website:

LIBERAL PARTY SRI LANKA 88/1 Rosmead Place, Colombo 7 Tel: 94 1 2691598 Email: Website:

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF THE UNION OF BURMA PO Box 29, Huamark Post Office Bangkok, 10243 Thailand Telefax: +662 7323360 Email: Website:


PARTI GERAKAN RAKYAT MALAYSIA Level 5, Menara PGRM, No. 8 Jalan Padu, Cheras, 56100, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +60 3 92876868 Fax: +60 3 92878866 Email: Website:

SAM RAINSY PARTY 71 Sothearos Road, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tel: +855 23 217452 Fax: 855 23 211336 Email: Website:

SINGAPORE DEMOCRATIC PARTY 1357-A Serangoon Raod, Singapore 328240 Telefax: +65 3981675 Email: Website:

ASSOCIATE MEMBER LIBERAL FORUM PAKISTAN Post Box No. 1368 Islamabad, Pakistan Tel: 92 300 3013436 Email: Website:

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS HON. MARTIN C.M. LEE, QC, SC Founding Chairman Democratic Party of Hong Kong 704-A Admiralty Centre, Tower I, 18 Harcourt Road, Central Hong Kong Tel: +85 2 25290864 Fax: +85 2 28612829 Email: Website: 73

CALD HON. SIN CHUNG KAI, JP Democratic Party of Hong Kong Room 601, Citibank Tower, 3 Garden Road, Central Hong Kong Tel: +85 2 25093211 Fax: +85 2 25099688 Email: Website:

OBSERVER PARTIES DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF JAPAN 1-11-1 Nagata-cho Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0014 Japan Tel: +81 3 3595 9960; +81 3 3595 7312 Fax: +81 3 3595 7318 Email: Websites:

INDONESIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF STRUGGLE (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan) Jalan Lenteng Agung Raya No. 99 Jakarta 12610, Indonesia Tel: +62 21 7806028; +62 21 7806032 Fax: +62 21 7814472

NATION AWAKENING PARTY (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa) Jalan Kalibata Timur I No. 12 Jakarta 12740, Indonesia Tel: +62 21 7974353 Fax: +62 21 7974269 Eemail: Website:

URI PARTY OF KOREA 133, Youngdeungpo-dong-6ga, Youngdeungpo-Ku, Seoul, 150-036, Republic of Korea Tel: +82 2 784 0114 Email: Website:


PARTNERS LIBERAL INTERNATIONAL 1 Whitehall Place London, SW1A 2HD Tel: +44 20 78395905 Fax: +44 20 79252685 Email: Website:

ALLIANCE OF LIBERALS AND DEMOCRATS FOR EUROPE European Parliament Rue Wiertz B-1047 Brussels Tel: +32 2 2842111 Fax: +32 2 2302485 Email: Website:

FRIEDRICH NAUMANN FOUNDATION 26th Floor, SSP Tower, 555 Soi 63 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110, Thailand Tel: +662 3650570 Fax: +662 7114944 Email: Website:

NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS 2030 M Street, NW, Fifth Floor Washington, DC 20036-3306 Tel: 202 7285500 Fax: 202 7285520 Website:

YOUNG LIBERALS AND DEMOCRATS OF ASIA (YLDA) 7-B Amorsolo Street, San Lorenzo Village Makati City 1223, Philippines Tel: (632) 840-3728/29 Fax No: (632) 810-3189 Email: Website:



NATURE The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) is the oldest umbrella organization of political parties in East, South East and South Asia. OBJECTIVES • To foster the growth of society based on personal liberty, personal responsibility, social justice, the rule of law and free market economy; • To provide the means of cooperation, exchange ideas, interchange of information and network-building among and between liberal parties and organizations with a liberal orientation and vision, and; • To discuss and analyze current as well as future political, social and economic concepts and developments in Asia. PROJECT AND ACTIVITIES • Leadership trainings • Political dialogues through conferences and exchanges • Political education through seminars, workshops, visits and other appropriate channels and; • Exchange of information through publications and research BRIEF HISTORY CALD’s formation was a response to the wave of political change experienced in the region, which necessitated a common understanding of the basic principles of liberal democracy and an Asian agenda, which include appropriate responses to problems and crises of common concern. The organization was founded in an inaugural General Assembly with H.E. Chuan Leekpai, Prime Minister of Thailand, and Dr. Kim Dae Jung of Korea on 10 to 12 December 1993 in Bangkok. Its founding members include the Democrat Party (Taiwan), the Liberal Party (Philippines), the People’s Movement Party (Malaysia), the Democratic Party (Korea) and the Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party (Cambodia). “Compared to a decade ago, democracy has flourished in Asia…The Council of Asian Liberals & Democrats has greatly contributed to pursuing democracy as a common value of Asia beyond the differences in language, religion and culture. As a result, CALD has developed as one of the epicenters in promoting democracy in Asia.” - Kim Dae Jung, Nobel Laureate and former President of Korea on the occasion of CALD’s 10th Anniversary


Hon. Senate President Franklin Drilon Chairman Hon. Dr. J.R. Nereus Acosta, MP Secretary General Mr. John Joseph S. Coronel Executive Director CALD Secretariat 7-B Amorsolo Street Makati City 1223 Philippines Tel +632 8113151; +632 7527557 Fax +632 810 1431 email: website:

CALD 2006 Annual Report COORDINATOR:




John Joseph S. Coronel

CC Balgos

Gerry R. Baclagon

Paolo Antonio A. Zamora Carlo Joseph F. Religioso

www www.cald.or


CALD 2006 Annual Report  

This is a summary of CALD's 2006 conferences, workshops, executive visits, missions and other news and updates on liberal politics in Asia a...

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