Message from the
Chairman Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP. 2010 has been a particularly good year for Liberalism in Asia. The Liberal Party won the Presidency of the Philippines after several decades; and after what seemed almost as long a period, Aung San Suu Kyi, who accepted our offer of honorary individual membership of CALD, was released from house arrest. In Thailand, the Democrat Party withstood a violent effort to disrupt society and overthrow the government that had taken office in 2008. The willingness of the government to compromise made it clear that, even in dealing with undemocratic forces, liberal forces believed in dialogue and civilized discourse, until all efforts at peaceful solution had failed. In Sri Lanka, the government that was supported by the Liberal Party showed similar firmness after protracted efforts at negotiation. There, the successful elimination of terrorism in 2009 was followed by a General Election in which the Party won representation in Parliament after a lapse of over a decade. In Malaysia, the Gerakan Party suffered electoral losses, but it confirmed its position as a seminal force for reform in government. In Taiwan, the Democratic Progressive Party was able to register a dramatic revival in electoral popularity after its defeat at the 2008 polls. Only in Singapore and Cambodia did the situation seem to worsen. Yet despite continuing difficulties in the practice of democracy in Singapore, the Singapore Democrats have renewed their efforts with an energy and dedication that is admirable. And even though the Cambodian government remains intransigent about the removal of the parliamentary immunity of Sam Rainsy and others in his party, a heartening accretion of international support makes it clear that the voice of the Sam Rainsy Party will continue to press actively for change in the country. CALD was happy too to welcome as its 9th full member the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, while engagement with the Pakistan Liberal Forum continued, with the hope of increasing democratization of the political process in Pakistan despite the continuing impact of terrorist activity. The record as laid out above points to the need for continuing commitment to the promotion of liberal democracy throughout our continent and elsewhere. Aung San Suu Kyi’s release was in the context of a wholly undemocratic election. Yet she herself has made clear her determination to work in whatever space is made available to promote her country’s welfare. I hope CALD, in starting 2011 by expressing its solidarity for her struggle, will be able to promote progress in the painfully slow democratization of Burma. In the Philippines we hope President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, with the assistance of the CALD stalwarts in his Cabinet and the legislature, will be able to move on the structural reforms the country needs so badly if the cronyism and corruption of previous regimes are to be eliminated. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, needs to affirm its commitment to an inclusive polity that promotes reconciliation and social and economic opportunities for all its citizens on the basis of pluralism and equality. And as Thailand faces great
challenges in the year ahead, we hope the steady commitment to principle in the face of difficulty will ensure that the country progresses without succumbing again to populism. Internationally, we have continued to benefit from interaction with like-minded groups. Several members of CALD were again at the gathering in Rome organized by the Alliance of Democrats to discuss “Security, Development, and Democracy.” CALD representatives were also honored to attend the Liberal Democrat Party Conference in Britain, to celebrate the first opportunity the Party has had in close upon a century to contribute actively to government. LibDem commitment to Asia was exemplified by the Party conducting a workshop for the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka that was a wonderfully learning experience for party activists who had been starved of such interactions. We are also delighted that the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe continues to sponsor interns at the European Parliament, and that the biennial conference held in Kuala Lumpur, which discussed the recent financial crisis, provided an opportunity for a healthy exchange of ideas and experiences. We were pleased, too, that ALDE as well as Liberal International participated in the Colombo Conference on Education, which dealt with a subject in which South and Southeast Asia need to move fast to ensure that more of our citizens are able to take advantage of the enhanced opportunities a globalized world has to offer. It was satisfying that there was high-level Indian participation in the Conference, but this also highlighted the absence of an organization committed to political liberalism in India. Recent developments have made clear the increasing importance of India on the world stage, and it is heartening for Asians that, after so many years of doubts about the Indian model, the economic successes of a country that remained committed to democracy and pluralism throughout its independent history are receiving positive recognition. Though India did succumb to statism to some extent, it was never at the excessive levels from which we in Sri Lanka for instance suffered. Conversely, India never succumbed to the strongman model of development that the West used to encourage during the worst days of the Cold War -- encouraging dictatorships in Taiwan and South Korea and similarly inclined individuals in the Philippines and Indonesia, to cite just a few examples. We in CALD have done our best to advocate economic freedom with social justice, and commitment to all human rights, civil and political, economic and social. We hope the successes of the last year will be repeated in the coming decade, and that the problems we still have will be overcome through increasing commitment to liberal principles in the rest of the world as well as Asia.
Message from the
Secretary General Dr. Neric Acosta. I write this message in the flush of victory for the Liberal Party of the Philippines, which was brought to power in a historic, country-changing campaign in the first half of this year.
After what seemed like an improbable turn of events, following the death of beloved democracy icon President Corazon C. Aquino in August 2009, Senator Benigno C. Aquino III was drafted and elected by a ‘people-powered’ landslide as president of the country in May 2010. I was privileged to have been part of the 12-member senatorial slate of the Liberal Party, embracing the challenge of waging a frenetic yet ennobling national campaign of hope and renewal across the archipelago. We took to heart the call of a nation’s zeitgeist and were proud bearers of a message of liberalism: That the ordinary citizen is the locus of democratic power, and in whose hands freedom is guaranteed and protected. This is, all told, what we at the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats have believed in and fought for in the 17 years since the group’s inception. That power in a democracy, while emanating from the citizen, is made accountable by laws and open institutions. All the seminars and conferences, publications and research projects, electoral missions and political workshops across the region all these years have served this fundamental purpose. Our liberal democratic parties across Asia exist for the indivisible value of human liberty and democratic expression – and for the rule of law to govern our societies. That is why in a year that saw the resurgence of ‘people power’ in the Philippines and the release, though fledgling, of Nobel Peace laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, we at CALD have every reason to celebrate and embrace the promise 2
and practice of democracy. Institutions may falter, political processes may be corrupted by money and the abuse of power, electoral exercises may be plagued with fraud and chicanery, human rights may be violated by apparatuses of state power, but whenever and wherever the spirit of freedom rings, from the elemental yearning of people to freely choose their leaders and government, CALD finds its true anchor. The future, indeed, looks bright. Democracy’s march, we believe, will be unimpeded by the forces of tyranny and those who choose to mute the voices of democratic change. In the age of social media and the real-time interaction and exchange on the World Wide Web, the jet streams of freedom will continue to flow to more corners of Asia and the world. As we know all too well in the CALD family, our friendships are strengthened and our solidarity nurtured by the programs and ideas we give flesh to and the open, dynamic channels of communication that bring us together. CALD’s raison d’etre is, after all, humankind’s birthright. Freedom. Kalayaan. Seriphap. Zi You. Nidhahasa. Loot Myout Yay. Serey Pheap. Kebebasan.For the Council and its member parties across the fast-changing region of Asia, better and brighter days are yet to come. For as long as there are bold leaders and a free people anywhere who have the courage to fight for universal principles CALD enshrines, the march of democracy will not be impeded. Long live democracy – in 2011 and beyond.
LIBERAL VICTORIES CALD 2010
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARY GENERAL
CALD PROJECTS FOR 2010 CALD Colombo Conference Joint CALD and LI Executive Mission to Asia CALD Manila Conference 2010 1st CALD Youth Caucus Workshop 3rd Political Party Management Workshop on Party Finance and CALD Women’s Caucus Workshop CALD-ALDE Meeting CALD Vision Mission Workshop CALD Electoral Mission to Taiwan
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IN FOCUS: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Largeness of Spirit CALD Awards Honorary Plaque to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Liverpool Joint Statement of ALDE and CALD on the Release from House Arrest of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi President Noynoy Aquino speaks with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
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SPEECHES H.E. Benigno Simeon Aquino III Hon. Ong-art Klampaiboon Hon. Niccolo Rinaldi, MEP
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STATEMENTS AND LETTERS
BULLETIN CALD Secretariat pays courtesy call to Bangkok Governor and former CALD Chair CALD Wraps up Manila Activities with Aquino’s Inauguration Sam Rainsy Party meets in Manila the second time around CALD Secretary General meets FNF Regional Director for South Africa Taiwan Workshop leads to the formation of CALD Youth CALD in UK Liberal Democrats Conference CALD-FNF conducts mission to Mongolia CALD attends Alliance of Democrats meeting in Rome CALD Youth attends IFLRY General Assembly Dutch Student Ends Internship at the CALD Secretariat CALD Internship to the European Parliament
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WHAT’S NEW WITH CALD CALD Women’s Caucus CALD Youth
CALD MEMBERS and UPDATES
Projects CALD Colombo Conference Colombo, Sri Lanka 1-3 March
Joint CALD and LI Executive Mission to Asia Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore 6-10 April
CALD Manila Conference 2010 Manila, Philippines 27 June to 1 July
1st CALD Youth Caucus Workshop Kaohsiung and Tainan, Taiwan 17-21 August
A conference organized with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and hosted by the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka. With the theme “Choice and Excellence in Education,” members of parliament, officials of CALD member-parties as well as members of the academe discussed the complex interplay between or among choice, excellence, and liberalism in education. Apart from case studies from South Asia and Southeast and East Asia, topics discussed include current obstacles to choice and excellence in education; education for freedom, development, and democracy; and liberalism and the promotion of choice and excellence in education. 4
A joint-mission organized by CALD and Liberal International, with the support of FNF. With the theme “Fortifying Liberal Democracy and Partnership in the Region,” the delegation conducted executive visits to the capitals of Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. Delegates discussed current issues and problems confronting liberal parties and organizations in the Asia, along with possible measures that could be undertaken by CALD and LI in connection with such issues and problems, and also strengthened the means of communication and networking among CALD, LI, and their partners in the region.
Hosted by the Liberal Party of the Philippines, with FNF support, the conference focused on “Asian Liberal Parties: Getting There, Remaining There” and included discussions on the opportunities and constraints as well as the mechanisms and strategies encountered by political parties when getting into power and remaining in power. Topics discussed were opportunities and constraints in the political environment; ingredients for success in launching electoral campaigns; preparing for power and forming governments; and governing effectively and addressing threats.
This five-day workshop is the first gathering among the youth wings/ departments of CALD member and observer parties envisioned to serve as a venue where CALD youth leaders can share experiences, build relations, and collectively discuss the importance of increasing youth participation and influence within their mother parties, as well as in national, regional, and international affairs. With the theme “The Role of Youth Wings in Political Parties,” this event was organized by CALD, hosted by the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan, and hosted by FNF and Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.
3rd Political Party Management on Party Finance and CALD Women’s Caucus Workshop Phnom Penh, Cambodia 1-6 October
CALD-ALDE Meeting Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 12-14 November
CALD Vision Mission Workshop Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 15-16 November
CALD Electoral Mission to Taiwan Taipei, New Taipei City, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung 24-28 November
Back-to-back events organized by CALD and hosted by the Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia, with FNF support. The workshops served as a venue where activists from CALD member and observer parties could share experiences, build relations, network, and discuss the importance of party finance and grassroots organizing. The partyfinance workshop allowed participants to identify possible and specific policy recommendations on promoting or increasing transparency and accountability in their respective political parties while the women’s caucus workshop identified techniques for targeting specific sectors, particularly women, in grassroots organizing.
The 4th CALD-ALDE Meeting brought together delegates from Asian and European countries to discuss the current state and prospects of the world economy. Hosted by the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia and with FNF support, the gathering had the theme “Reinvigorating the Global Economy: Successes and Lessons from Asia and Europe.” Delegates identified specific policy recommendations, drawing from the experiences of countries in Asia and Europe, on how to respond to global economic crises and how to promote sustainable and equitable economic development.
The 2nd Vision Mission Workshop was a followup activity to the 2004 workshop where it was agreed that CALD’s mission remains consistent: “To elaborate a shared vision of a liberal and democratic Asia that is compelling and relevant enough to educate and inspire political leaders in the region to adopt liberalism as a formula for securing better outcomes for their peoples in their respective context.” While CALD remains committed to this vision, new developments and challenges made it imperative for CALD to look back at its past achievements and assess its standing at present in order to prepare itself for the future. This workshop was hosted by PGRM or Gerakan, with FNF support.
A delegation from CALD was invited by the Democratic Progressive Party, with the support of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, to observe municipal elections in Taiwan’s five major cities: Taipei, New Taipei (Xinbei), Taichung, Kaohsiung, and Tainan. The activity served as an avenue for sharing of experiences and best practices on election administration, campaign strategies, and political communication between and amongst CALD member parties. 5
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CALD Colombo Conference Colombo, Sri Lanka / 1-3 March. Former South African president Nelson Mandela, who had languished in prison during his country’s darkest days, said it best: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
And so it was that an ever hopeful CALD chose to have education and development as focus for its first major activity in 2010. The three-day conference that was held in Sri Lanka’s legendary capital began with a ceremonial lamp lighting that is a tradition in that country. A moment of silence for the late Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, who was also a CALD individual member then followed, after which CALD Chair Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha and Friedrich Naumann Foundation Resident Representative Siegfried Herzog were introduced by Cambodian opposition leader and MP Sam Rainsy so that they could extend their welcome to the conference participants. Lalith Weeratunga, secretary to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, delivered the keynote address on the president’s behalf. He spoke not only about milestones in the history of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka and the country itself, but also on how the South Asian nation had consistently maintained an outstanding literacy rate despite 6
limited resources. Afterward, Liberal International Vice President Robert Woodthorpe Browne took the podium to report on the results of the 2009 LI Cairo Congress on education. Five core sessions made up the conference. Session One tackled current obstacles to choice and excellence in education, and was facilitated by Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Central Committee Member Ng Lip Yong. Japanese MPs Harunobu Yonenaga and Itsuki Toyama noted that while their country’s economic development helped reduce the state’s role in education, the current widening gap between the rich and poor now necessitated a rethinking of Japan’s education policy. Former ASEAN secretary general Dr. Wilfredo Villacorta meanwhile looked at the issue from the Southeast Asian viewpoint and observed, “The worst roadblock to quality is the elitist mindset that the poor do not deserve a level playing field.” Dr. Parth Shah, president of India’s Center for Civil Society, was next to speak; looking at India’s success in education, he said that there should now be a shift from ‘right to education’ to ‘right to
TOP PICTURE. Mr. Robert Woodthorpe Browne (second from right) reports on Liberal International’s Congress with the theme “Education for the 21st Century” while Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP, Mr. Siegfried Herzog and Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha (left to right) listen attentively. MIDDLE PICTURE. Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP discusses the Cambodian experience during the session on case studies from Asia. BOTTOM PICTURE. Mr. Anees Jillani of the Liberal Forum, Pakistan, raises a question during one of the conference’s open forums.
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education of choice.’ He then proposed measures to promote the latter, such as scholarships, cash vouchers, and conditional cash transfers. Nyo Ohn Myint of the National Council of the Union of Burma chaired Session Two, which dealt with links among education, freedom, development, and democracy. European Parliament member Niccolo Rinaldi said that while education is important for individual development, its more significant role lies in building a sense of community and belongingness in every person. Barun Mitra, founder and director of India’s Liberty Institute, for his part argued that state-sponsored education has a tendency to be captured by different groups that try to shape the education system in accordance to their own interests. He therefore asserted that the private sector be given a free hand to operate in education. Session Three, chaired by Liberal Party-Sri Lanka leader Kamal Nissanka, focused on case studies from South Asia. Amit Kaushik, former CEO of India’s Shri Educare Ltd., presented two success stories: a pilot voucher program operated by CCS in New Delhi and the annual status of education report facilitated by Pratham. Kaushik said that both programs – made possible by strong community involvement – created awareness and promoted choice. Liberal Forum Pakistan Chairman Anees Jillani then took the floor and pointed out that unless Pakistan invests more in the education sector, it would continue to show dismal performance for years to come.
ABOVE PICTURES. Delegates enjoy the evening during dinner at the home of CALD Chair, Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha,
*Prior to the conference, the CALD Executive Committee was convened to discuss some issues confronting the organization, as well as CALD’s activities for the year. A turnover ceremony was also held in which the SDP handed over the leadership of CALD to the LPSL. 8
Participants were in for more case studies in Session Four, which was facilitated by Singapore Democratic Party’s Sylvester Lim. Dr. Upali Sedere, chief adviser to Sri Lanka’s education ministry and chief of the National Institute of Education, opened the session by providing an overview of the state of education in his country. Sam Rainsy then told participants about the continuing impact of the brief but brutal regime of the Khmer Rouge on Cambodia’s education system. Gerakan’s Lau Chin Hoon, who is also Pemanis assemblyman and Education and Knowledge Society Bureau chairman, spoke next, highlighting the complexities that characterize Malaysia’s education system in the midst of that country’s political and economic
Delegates of the CALD Colombo Conference: “Choice and Excellence in Education”
transformation. Rounding up the session was the presentation of Prof. Ying Shih, president of the Humanist Education Foundation in Taiwan, in which he discussed how the country’s education system could be improved, among other things. The political priorities of liberals in the field of education took the spotlight in the last session, which was facilitated by Juan Miguel Luz of the Manila-based Asian Institute of Management. LI’s Woodthorpe Browne stressed the importance of the right kind of education in bringing to fore liberal values such as self-determination, individual freedom, and the ability to question decisions made for and about them. He also noted the inefficiencies that attend education, such as indoctrination, as this stunts not only individual development, but also societal growth. LPSL’s Wijesinha meantime observed that while the right
‘The three-day conference that was held in Sri Lanka’s legendary capital began with a ceremonial lamp lighting that is a tradition in that country.’
to basic education has been embodied in many international agreements, there are still many countries that lag behind on the observance or implementation of this right. The conference closing ceremonies were led by Thai MP Ong-Art Klampaiboon while the closing keynote address was delivered by Premasara Epasinghe on behalf of Sri Lankan education minister A.D. Susil Premajayantha. Closing remarks were done LPSL’s Swarna Amaratunga, FNF’s Herzog, and CALD’s Wijesinha. The CALD Colombo Conference attracted about 30 international participants and dozens of locals. The CALD contingent included the Liberal Party-Philippines’ Dr. Julio Teehankee (International Studies Department chairman, De La Salle University); LPSL’s Romesh
Fernando; Sam Rainsy Party’s Secretary General and MP Ke Sovannroth and Deputy Secretary General Kuoy Bunroeun; Democrat Party-Thailand’s Nannapas Sukwattananipaat (also of the Thai foreign ministry); Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan’s Maysing Yang, Winston Dang (senior advisor to the DPP chairperson), and Huai-hui Hsieh (international affairs department deputy director ); SDP’s Jaslyn Go; Gerakan’s Khaw Veon Szu (and SEDAR Institute executive director); Nation Awakening Party of Indonesia’s Dwight George Nayoan ; CALD Executive Director Lito Arlegue, Program Officer Gianna Gayle H. Amul, consultant John Joseph S. Coronel; and FNF Web Developer Narwin Espiritu.
Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Sri Lankan President, delivers the keynote address.
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Joint CALD and LI Executive Mission to Asia Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore / 6-10 April. CALD missions may be short, but they are always packed with activities – and sometimes marked with significant events.
Participants of the joint CALD and LI Executive Mission to Asia with members of the Singapore Democratic Party
Its joint mission to Asia with Liberal International in early April, in fact, had it witnessing a serious challenge to the government led by a CALD member party in Thailand, prompting the mission delegates to reiterate their support for it before the local media. Making up the team were LI President and European Parliament Member Hans van Baalen; LI Secretary General Emil Kirjas; MP Yim Sovann of Cambodia’s Sam Rainsy Party; CALD Executive Director Lito Arlegue; and LI Asia and Human Rights Officer Connie Chung. The mission – which was supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation -- aimed to strengthen the means of communication and networking among CALD, LI, and their partners in the region, even as it took up current issues 10
and concerns of liberal parties and groups in Asia. As fate would have it, Bangkok was the mission’s first stop. On 7 April, the team met with the officials of CALD member Democrat Party at the Thai National Assembly. Just before Easter, negotiations between the Thai government and the so-called ‘Red Shirts’ leading the protests had bogged down. LI head van Baalen thus took the opportunity to convey LI and CALD’s support for the Democrat Party, which he said was “the only political party in Thailand that can nurture democracy and bring about political stability.” Democrat Party Spokesman and MP Dr. Buranaj Smutharaks then thanked the delegation, whose presence, he said, was an “important source of courage” in their
time of need. As if on cue, the meeting was cut short by the ‘Red Shirts,’ who by then had surrounded the Thai Parliament. At the press conference called by the Democrats, van Baalen not only reiterated CALD and LI’s support for the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, but also expressed hope for the immediate resolution of the political crisis. There was less drama at the mission’s second leg -- Kuala Lumpur -- but it was a visit that was still full of substance. A public lecture on ‘Tolerance and the Protection of Minority Rights’ given by van Baalen kicked off the mission’s Malaysian leg on 8 April. This was followed by a luncheon meeting between the team and CALD member Parti Gerakan Rakyat, which is also an LI
PICTURE ONE. Hon. Buranaj Smutharaks, MP (second from right), Spokesperson of the Democrat Party joins delegates for a press conference at the Thai Parliament. PICTURE TWO. Lunch meeting with President of the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon (seated, third from left), and other party leaders PICTURE THREE. Participants with Hon. Buranaj Smutharaks, MP (fourth from left) and Dr. Pusadee Tamthai (second from right) of the DP and Mr. Moritz KleineBrockhoff of FNF PICTURE FOUR. Seminar on human rights, democracy and free market with Dr. Shankaran Nambiar (second from right) in Malaysia
with other local opposition parties and members of civil-society groups. The discussion participants agreed that while they have differences, they must work together to bring about democratic change in Singapore. Van Baalen observed, “Only this (opposition alliance) will force openness and democracy.” Otherwise, he said, Singapore’s leaders would just continue their authoritarian ways.
observer party. At the luncheon, CALD Executive Director Arlegue discussed CALD’s possible activities in the Malaysian capital in collaboration with Gerakan while van Baalen conveyed LI’s desire for Gerakan to seek full LI membership. The seminar ‘Human Rights, Democracy, and Free Market: Guarantee for Development’ that had van Baalen, Arlegue, and economist Dr.
Shankar Nambiar as panelists capped the mission’s activities in Kuala Lumpur. By 9 April, the team was in Singapore, where it had a briefing with CALD member and LI observer Singapore Democratic Party on how they could assist one another in furthering the democratic agenda in the city state. The next day saw the delegation still at work, this time at a roundtable discussion
Aside from the CALD-LI team, the discussion participants included Tan Tee Seng and Kenneth Jayaratnam, Reform Party; Jolovan Wham, Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME); Bentley Tan; Donaldson Tan; Bart Woord, International Federation of Liberal Youth president; and the Singapore Democrat Party’s Gandhi Ambalam (chairman), Francis Yong (vice chairman), Dr. Chee Soon Juan (secretary general), John Tan (assistant secretary general), Gerald Sng (treasurer), Jeffrey George (assistant treasurer), Chee Siok Chin (head, Women Democrats), Lilian Chia, John Ho, Jufrie Mahmood, Laurence Lai, Sylvester Lim, Mohd Isa, Chong Kai Xiong, Sin Kek Tong, Ng Teck Siong, Chin Ti Lin, Priveen Suraj, Jaslyn Go (Women Democrats), Muhd Khalis Rifhan (Young Democrats), Jarrod Luo (Young Democrats), and Teoh Tian Jing (Young Democrats).
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CALD Manila Conference Manila, Philippines / 27 June – 1 July. The past few years have proved to be a rollercoaster ride for many of CALD’s member parties, and it looked like several could use a breather to assess things. As the Philippines prepared to inaugurate Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ C. Aquino III of the Liberal Party – a CALD founding member – as its next president, CALD thought it best to gather members and friends from all over the world for a conference in Manila that it called “Asian Liberal Parties: Getting There, Remaining There.” Chairing the opening ceremonies at the conference that was held 27 June to 1 July was Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who noted that the four topics to be discussed during the meeting were actually the different stages of a long and difficult process that CALD member parties should master. Sharing the task of welcoming participants were CALD Chairman Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha, LP Philippines and MP Jun Abaya, and Friedrich Naumann Foundation East and Southeast Asia Regional Director Rainer Adam. “Assessing the Political Environment: Opportunities and Constraints” was the focus of Session One, which had Ng Lip Yong, international relations and affairs chairman of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia as facilitator. Singapore Democratic Party Assistant Secretary General John Tan in his talk recounted how his party continues to gear up and press on for elections even though the Singaporean government keeps on 12
putting obstacles in the path of opposition parties, including media control and a judicial system that appears compliant to the powers-that-be. Nyo Ohn Myint, foreign affairs committee chairman of the National Council of the Union of Burma, meanwhile said that just like National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, he believed that the ruling junta in his country should first attend to the basic needs of the people and have a proper dialogue with the opposition instead of pushing through with suspect polls. Unfortunately, he said, the junta had succeeded in creating a divide in the NLD itself through its declaration that the parliamentary elections would bar political prisoners from participating. Rounding up the session was Cambodian MP Mu Sochua, who said that rather than being cowed by the defamation suits filed against her and Sam Rainsy by the Hun Sen government, they plan to use the cases to show the people the government’s true nature. She said the SRP is addressing the various obstacles thrown its way by the government by preparing well for the next election and by empowering the campaign with the message that the people can fight for freedom from fear, threat, and intimidation. LP Philippines Director General Chito Gascon chaired Session Two, which tackled “Launching Electoral
Campaigns: Ingredients for Success.” Indonesian MP Yasona H. Laoly of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle pointed out that parties should know and understand voters’ aspirations and should analyze the political landscape first before crafting platforms and agenda that are clear to the people. Ensuring a secure voter protection mechanism before, during, and after elections is vital as well for the success of any electoral campaign, he said. Huia-hui Hsieh, Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwain’s international affairs deputy director, for her part said parties need to balance the ideas of the people and those of leaders. She conceded that while
As the Philippines prepared to inaugurate Benigno Simeon Aquino III as its next president, CALD thought it best to gather members and friends from all over the world for a conference in Manila that it called “Asian Liberal Parties: Getting There, Remaining There.”
PICTURE ONE. Dr. Yasona Laoly, Member of Parliament, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle PICTURE TWO. Mr. Chito Gascon, Esq., Director General, Liberal Party of the Philippines PICTURE THREE. Sdra Datuk Chang Kou Youn, National Deputy President, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia PICTURE FOUR. Hon. Bi-khim Hsiao, Director of the Department of International Affairs, Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan PICTURE FIVE. Hon. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP, Chair, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats
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the DPP proved good in campaigning and in bringing out the issues against its opponents during the campaign, it still made mistakes. It made mistakes as well while it was in power, said Hsieh, but now the party has gone back to its basic value of reforms and providing the people a better life – something that is once again resonating well with the public. ‘Black swans’ or unforeseen events with grave consequences dominated the talk of FNF South Asian Regional Director Siegfried Herzog, who said that these could trump the best message development, marketing, and other essential vote-getting. The death of Corazon Aquino, he said, was an example of a black swan that ignited the clamor for real change among Filipinos and that eventually led to the election of Noynoy Aquino as president. MP and RELIAL President Otto Guevarra finished the discussion on electoral campaigns by sharing seven elements that he said are needed to launch a successful one: efficient organization, effective leadership and a good candidate, significant amount of money, good marketing, clear knowledge of the rules of the game, excellent research, and a resonant platform. Session III, chaired by FNF Philippine Resident Representative Jules Maaten, took up “Preparing for Power and Forming Governments.” Parties are formed on the basis of shared political philosophy and ideology, said Gerakan National Deputy President Chang Kou Youn. The real test when parties gain power, he said, is how committed they are to the pledges they had presented to the people. So long as parties do not run away from its basic principles, said Chang, the people will
‘Although the main highlight of the conference was the opportunity to attend the oath-taking and inauguration of the Philippines’ 15th President, Noynoy Aquino, there were two other significant events that made the CALD Manila Conference extra special.’ 14
keep on supporting them. But he also reminded parties to handle bureaucrats and civil servants well because they can become liabilities if they are mistreated or are dissatisfied. CALD Chair Wijesinha meantime stressed that power must always belong to the people. For parties to exercise power on behalf of the people, he said, they should always be aware that their power is limited, and their tenure always subject to the people’s will. He also said, though, that governments sometimes must make hard, unpopular decisions and must trust that in time the benefits of such decisions would become clear to the public. The last session, chaired by MP Saumura Tioulong of the SRP, was on the factors that contribute to effective and principled governance. MEP and LI President Hans van Baalen began with remarks on how democracy seemed alive and well in Asia, citing the recent Philippine elections as an example. But he also reminded participants that compromise is part of forming governments, and that this should be explained properly to the public. In coalition governments, he said, parties need to learn how to handle both pains and gains of working with others as well. DPP international affairs director Bi-khim Hsiao, for her part, used her own experiences while she was in government in explaining why a different set of skills is needed when a party transitions from opposition to government. For one, she said that once it comes to power, a party now represents all sectors in society and no longer just its own political powerbase. She also said that people in government should be players in multiple levels and that parties need to constantly cultivate new leader to sustain new ideas. Former Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayodhin of the Democrat PartyThailand then shared that the key challenge facing the DP-led government was social inequality. He said that the DP had no honeymoon stage when it came to power because of high expectations within and even outside of Thailand. Apirak said that to address big gap among classes, a well-balanced and longterm policy platform on the economy was crucial. Decentralization and the empowerment of the local government, he added, was also one of the key areas the government was focusing on to promote efficient budget distribution
and to develop long-term sustainable communities and an empowered civil society. CALD Secretary General Neric Acosta provided a synthesis of the conference while Ong-Art Klampaiboon, minister of Thailand’s Office of the Prime Minister gave the keynote address. OngArt said that the DP-led government was in the process of rehabilitation and reconciliation is was committed to democracy and human rights. The closing remarks to the two-day conference, which attracted more than 50 participants from Asia, Europe, and Latin America (aside from a significant local contingent made up of members of the LP, NGOs, and media organizations), were given by Maaten, Sam Rainsy, and Acosta.
that the occasion captured the conference theme because generations passed before Liberals succeeded in achieving freedom and democracy. He also described Ka Jovy as a democracy icon, great statesman, and a treasure and pillar of liberalism in the Philippines. The tribute proper included testimonials from friends and colleagues of Ka Jovy, many of whom recalled how he had show principled leadership through his unwavering stand against the U.S. military bases in the Philippines while he was Senate president. They also recounted how Ka Jovy preserved LP’s dignity and honor during the dark years of martial law.
The first was the ceremony at the start of the conference that marked the formal welcome into CALD of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle as the organization’s 9th full-member party. On behalf of his party, MP Laoly received the membership plaque presented by Wijesinha and Sam Rainsy. Laoly expressed gratitude and pride in receiving the plaque. He also shared a letter from former Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who is now the PDI-P chairperson, congratulating Presidentelect Aquino and the LP for their victory at the polls.
Conference participants included Thai Vice Minister Chatchalerm Chalermchaiwat; DP MP Buranaj Smutharaks, Ratakrai Ekapech, Chavanon Intarakomlyasut, Sirirath Siripant, and Thanutcha Viriyajit; DPP’s Dr. TsaiLung Hong and Joanna Lee; Philippine Budget Secretary Butch Abad, Senator Francis Pangilinan, and Samar Governor Raul Daza; LP MPs Jun Abaya, Erin Tañada, and Dina Abad, and Dr. Julio Teehankee; Gerakan Sdra Datuk Chang Kou Youn and Sdra Hng Chee Wey; SRP MPs Hon. Yim Sovann, Son Chhay, Ke Sovannaroth, Kong Korm, Ho Vann, Eng Chhai Eang, Mao Monyvann, Khy Vandeth, Nuth Rumduol, and Yont Tharo, and Hong Sok Hour; LPSL leader Kamal Nissanka and Anura Samarajeewa; SDP’s Mr. Muhd Khalis Rifhan and Grace Chia Li Foo; NCUB Secretary General Maung Maung; PDI-P’s Hanjaya Setiawan; Liberal Forum Pakistan’s Faiz Muhammad; Civil Will PartyMongolia’s Turbaya Manaljav; FNF’s Mr. Bjoern Wyrembek, Dr. Pimrapaat Dusadeeisariyakul, Dr. Sebastian Braun, Karnchanok Khunmuang,
The other special event took place in the afternoon of Day One: a tribute organized by LP Philippines and the CALD Secretariat for former Philippine Senate President Jovito ‘Ka Jovy’ R. Salonga, currently LP chairman emeritus. Gascon, who hosted the celebration, remarked
Suchaya Tancharoenpol, Minnie Salao, Mayec Vergara, and Narwin Espiritu; CALD Executive Director Lito Arlegue; CALD Secretariat’s Paolo Zamora and Carlo Religioso; consultant John Coronel; and volunteers Rosanna Ocampo and Phillip Fullon.
Although the main highlight of the conference was the opportunity to attend the oath-taking and inauguration of the Philippines’ President, 15th Noynoy Aquino, there were two other significant events that made the CALD Manila Conference extra special.
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1 CALD Youth Caucus Workshop st
Kaohsiung and Tainan, Taiwan / 17-21 August. August found representatives of the youth arms of CALD member and observer parties and friends in Taiwan for a conferenceworkshop on “The Role of Youth Wings in Political Parties” – the first ever such event for CALD.
Participants with members of the CALD Secretariat and Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan
But they were not left to themselves; providing guidance and valuable inputs and insights the entire time were CALD and Friedrich Naumann Foundation old hands. Giving the welcoming remarks at the opening conference were CALD Chairman and Sri Lankan MP Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha, Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan international affairs department director Bi-khim Hsiao, her 16
DPP colleagues Maysing Yang and Alex Huang, and FNF’s Dr. Sebastian Braun. Explaining the conference-workshop’s rationale, Wijesinha stressed the need to develop “a collective youth voice in politics.” Toward this end, he said the youth could be guided by radicalism, reform, and renewal. He also said that it was vital that the youth strike a balance between structural links with the mother party and adopting a critical stance vis-à-vis
the party when the situation calls for it. Braun, meanwhile, highlighted the workshop’s importance not only in strengthening youth wings, but also in consolidating and preserving democracy in Asia. DPP’s Hsiao, Yang, and Huang, for their part, took to citing their experiences in both CALD and their own party in laying out why the workshop was taking place. Yang, for instance, recounted how
Participants to the first CALD Youth Caucus Workshop
Mr. Alex Huang, Director of the Youth Department, Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan
CALD began with most of its member parties poor and out of power. She said it was very fulfilling to witness CALD growing into what it is today: a force that shatters the walls of authoritarianism so Asian people could see clearly the rewards of liberalism and democracy. Hsiao, for her part, pointed out that the workshop’s host, the DPP, had always been associated with the youth, and that their election victory a decade ago had confirmed the youth’s being a powerful electoral bloc in Taiwanese politics. The youth’s importance, she added, extends
to governance. “It is a challenge to govern and to make a difference,” Hsiao said, “and the youth always plays a pivotal role in the process.” Huang, director of DPP’s youth department, then gave a presentation on the party, highlighting what it does to connect with young people. Among these measures were the use of social networking sites and moving campaign stages (actually trucks that serve as stage and storage for campaign bicycles).
By the afternoon of the first working day, facilitators Hsieh and Youth AidPhilippines Executive Director Mardi Mapa-Supido had formally opened the workshop proper. Session One was essentially a getting-to-know-you exercise, with each participant describing their respective organizations and their plans and aspirations. Rich Too Seng Shin of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, for example, said his mother organization was one that moves to the ground and dreams of making Malaysia more free and democratic. Srd Kisevic, secretary
Members of DPP take participants to a popular local restaurant for dinner.
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ABOVE PICTURES. Young representatives of CALD member organizations participate in the workshop activities and enjoy a cultural visit to a local museum.
Ms. Mardi Mapa-Suplido facilitates the workshop.
general of the European Liberal Youth said his organizations was wide, open, focused, and outspoken, and that its greatest achievement would be the information campaigns surrounding the European elections on free trade, the EU budget, and privacy. A quick round of sharing about the similarities and differences among the parties’ vision-mission, organization, and programs wrapped up the session. Next came a session on “Strengthening Youth Work Between Elections,” during 18
which the participants took turns talking about the roles their organizations assume in between polls and the issues and problems they encounter during such times. One participant, Teoh Tian Jing of the Young Democrats of Singapore, shared that his part has been active on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. He said it also has a website that functions as its pre-campaign channel since it includes videos, pictures, and news articles that promote the party and its plans for Singapore.
“Strengthening Youth Work During Elections” was the focus of Session Three. MP Kumiko Hayakawa said the Democratic Party of Japan’s youth department helps it raise awareness for political participation, especially among young voters. DPP’s Alfred Lee meantime noted that his party attracted more youths than the ruling Kuomintang because the young feel more empowered with the activities organized by the DPP. Parties, he said, should revitalize the passion of the youth. Jirayu Tulyanond of the Democrat Party (Thailand) cited
Dinner with high school students who are participants of DPP’s youth camp
Hon. Bi-khim Hsiao gives the welcome remarks. ABOVE PICTURE. Hon. Kumiko Hayakawa, MP of the DPJ and Mr. Jirayu Tulyanond of DP Thailand
his organization’s various activities – internships, talk shows, blogging, essay-writing, YouTube video contests, among others – as helping it stay connected with the youth. Phillip Fullon of the Liberal Party (Philippines) also said that the youth in his country became really involved in the last elections because the campaign was packed with pop culture –- pop music-and celebrity infused radio and TV ads, for instance. For the Democratic Party Hong Kong, Christopher Tsoi said that its youth wing organizes internship programs along with public relations and membershiprecruitment activities. The DPHK youth wing, he said, focused on providing training, canvassing, image-building activities, and mobilization initiatives. But he noted that the party not only lacked manpower, it also has to contend with the materialistic mindset among the Hong Kong young set. Sessions Four to Seven involved more brainstorming sessions and groupwork. In Session Four (“Current Global Realities, Organizational Needs and Challenges”), Gerakan’s Too observed that since
technology is part of the youth’s lifestyle, this is a channel that can be tapped by a party to entice the young to participate in politics. Session Five tackled “Youth in Regional and International Networks” and had Sudiyatmiko Aribowo of he Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle remarking that the challenges in his country include the lack of knowledge of foreign languages and internal youth group conflicts. DPP’s Andrea Yang also said that Taiwan has limited access to international and regional organizations because of the one-China policy adopted by many governments. This and the domestic political system, public apathy, and self-censorship are among the many obstacles faced by DPP, she said. Kisevic then pointed out that through international networks and youth events, resources get pulled together. He said that groups with international exposure help the growth of not only organizations but also individuals. By Session Six, the focus had turned to “Building a Regional Youth Caucus/ Network.” The highlight of this was the formation of CALD Youth (see Bulletin
and What’s New with CALD). The closing session had Mapa-Suplido synthesizing the results of the workshop and the participants writing their thoughts and messages about what they had just accomplished on a puzzle piece. The pieces were then put together to create the workshop’s official logo. Participants included Eang Maly (Sam Rainsy Party, Cambodia); Hanjaya Setiawan (PDIP); Wahyu Andre Maryono and Dwight George Nayoan, Nation Awakening Party, (Indonesia); Andy Chai Yit Shang (Gerakan); Jan Robert V. Beltejar (Alliance of Liberal Youth, Philippines); Sheena T. Pimentel (ReBirth, Philippines); Eric Ng Ting Li (SDP); Selyna Peiris and R.M. Upali Sadananda (Association of Young Liberals of Sri Lanka); and Sorana Panjachaichana (DP Thailand). Also present were FNF’s Karnchanok Khunmuang and CALD Executive Director Lito Arlegue, Senior Program Officer Paolo Zamora, and Program Officer Carlo Religioso.
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3rd Political Party Management Workshop on Party Finance and CALD Women’s Caucus Workshop Phnom Penh, Cambodia / 1-6 October. Sometimes living a cliché is not so bad, and CALD proved that by hitting two birds with one stone in a span of one week in October.
In cooperation with the Sam Rainsy Party and with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, CALD held back-to-back workshops on party finance and grassroots organizing in Phnom Penh, with delegates from CALD member parties (including observer and associate members) as participants. First up was the workshop on party management, which allowed participants to understand the key issues regarding political finance and how these affect parties. It also aimed to assess the performance of the participants’ respective political parties with regard to the institutionalization of transparency and accountability in the management and use of party funds. In addition, it sought to identify possible and specific policy recommendations on how the participants can promote or increase transparency and accountability in their parties. Once talks began to veer toward party finance, recommendations on the necessity of legislation, institutions, and mechanisms to promote transparency and accountability flew fast and furious. 20
Participants pointed out that state funding for political parties should be instituted to provide parties with the financial base needed to support party activities, especially in between elections. At the same time, they said, political parties must have their own internal mechanisms to guarantee transparency and accountability in the use and management of party funds. The grassroots-organizing workshop, meanwhile, enabled participants to learn from each other’s experiences and best practices on addressing the constraints to successful grassroots organizing. Participants themselves recognized that political parties should prioritize grassroots organizing, noting that not only would this ground parties in the issues and concerns of their constituents, it would also enable parties to contribute to the political education of the citizenry and the democratization of the polity. The workshop, though, also aimed to stress the significance of including women in grassroots organization, along with identifying techniques on how the participants could identify, research,
and target specific sectors – particularly women – in their grassroots efforts. The workshop participants later said that political parties should tap even what some perceive as “weak” characteristics of women, saying that these may just turn out to be useful for parties in achieving their goals and objectives. The participants thus agreed that parties should establish or strengthen their respective women’s wings. One highlight of the week-long series of activities was the 3 October live streaming address of exiled Cambodian opposition leader and MP Sam Rainsy. While he expressed regret that government-orchestrated legal and political intimidation against him and the SRP barred him from being there in person, he emphasized his party’s pleasure in being able to host the workshops that assist in strengthening not only political parties, but also other democratic institutions and processes. Speakers at the workshops were MP and CALD Women’s Caucus Chairwoman Mu Sochua (who is also the head of SRP’s Women’s Wing); FNF Cambodia
PICTURE ONE. Participants share a song and dance with women members of the SRP.
ABOVE PICTURE. Representatives of CALD member organizations participate in the workshop activities.
manager Khim Sophanna; SRP Deputy Treasurer Seng Mardi; FNF Malaysia Program Manager Dr. Pimrapaat Dusadeeisariyakul; and CALD Executive Director Lito Arlegue. Participants included SRP’s MP and Party Provincial Chief Cheam Channy, Treasurer Hong Sok Hour, MP and Party Provincial Chief Kim Sour Phirith, Party Provincial Chief Nuth Rum Doul, Spokesman and MP Yim Sovann, and Keo Phirum; Cheng Lai King of the Democratic Party, Hong Kong; Nation Awakening Party (Indonesia) Deputy Secretary General Luluk Nur Hamidah; Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s Rosi Silvia (member of the Women and Children’s Wing, Jambi province) and Mathius Tandiontong (West Java treasurer); Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia’s Jayanthi Devi Balaguru (Women’s Wing secretary general) and Law Fei Mein (KLF Beliawanis Bureau); Liberal Forum Pakistan’s Bismillah Irum Tahir (Khanewal chapter chairperson); Liberal Party of the Philippines’ Shalani Soledad (councilor) and MP Maricar ZamoraApsay; Singapore Democratic Party’s
Jaslyn Go; Liberal Party of Sri Lanka’s Senior Vice President Dr. Newton Peiris and Women’s Wing Coordinator Shalini Senanayake; Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan’s Chia-Tien Hsu (DPP Taipei City executive director); Taiwan Foundation for Democracy’s Maysing Yang; Democrat Party-Thailand’s MP Anik Amaranand and MP and Director General Nataphol Teepsuwan; and FNF’s Regional Manager for Impact Assessment, Evaluation, and Analysis Dr. Sebastian Braun and Project Assistant Suchaya Tancharoenpol. Providing administrative support were CALD Program Officers Carlo F. Religioso and Rosanna P. Ocampo.
PICTURE TWO. Dr. Pimrapaat Dusadeeisariyakul facilitates the workshop. PICTURE THREE. Hon. Mu Sochua, MP warmly welcomes delegates to Cambodia. PICTURE FOUR. Hon. Nataphol Teepsuwan, MP shares the Democrat Party’s experiences and strategies on fundraising
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CALD-ALDE Meeting Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia / 12-14 November. It has become a political cliché worldwide, but the 1990s U.S. Democrats’ campaign slogan “It’s the economy, stupid” has gained even more currency in an era where national economies become more interlinked,
resulting in a more volatile and crisisprone global economy (with equally volatile political repercussions). With this in mind, CALD and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe came up with the theme “Reinvigorating the Global Economy: Successes and Lessons from Asia Europe” for its latest biennial meeting that was held 12-14 November in Kuala Lumpur. CALD Chairman and Sri Lankan MP Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha and Friedrich Naumann Foundation East and Southeast Asia Regional Director Dr. Rainer Adam shared the conference-opening duties. Then everyone quickly got down to business, with the keynote addresses by Gerakan President Y.B. Senator Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and European Parliament member and ALDE Vice President Niccolo Rinaldi setting the tone for the conference. Dr. Koh first pointed out the measures that Malaysia used in the aftermath of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis that he said again served the country in good stead in the recent global economic upheaval. He said that while free enterprise is 22
much more workable than a controlled economic system, the former can lead to excesses that need to be managed. The challenge, he said, was how to manage the economy while ensuring an inclusive society. Rinaldi then reaffirmed his belief that free trade is a way to boost economies and get them out of the crisis. But he stressed the importance of remembering the ethical dimension of markets, pointing out, “Profit is essential for the people, but we cannot have profit without justice and we cannot have justice without freedom.” He also noted that CALD and ALDE enjoy enough goodwill to form a coalition to respond to the economic downturn. This response, he said, should be international because a local one could lead to global anarchy. Gerakan’s Jayanthi Devi Balagaru chaired Session One, which tackled the policies adopted by Asian and European governments in addressing the crisis. Philippine Budget Secretary Florencio Abad in his presentation, for instance, said that his country has emerged as among the least affected by the economic
downturn because its structural and political issues had prevented it from full participation in the world market. He said, however, that the new Philippine government was now implementing approaches based on good governance and other liberal principles. Its policy direction, he added, seemed to point to the continuance of capital inflow, use of currency appreciation to settle foreign debt, and improvement of the business environment. Thai MP Nataphol Teepsuwan of the Democrat Party meanwhile said that “if all of us can strengthen the national economy, there would be less problems in the global economy.” Using Thailand as a case study, he identified some measures to strengthen the national economy, among them stimulating the economy by making state investments particularly in education and health; improving the budget process to guarantee sensitivity to the people’s needs; reforming the tax system to balance taxation of income and taxation of wealth; strengthening the welfare system; addressing governance and corruption issues; abolishing monopolies and preventing processes
PICTURE ONE. Session IV: Towards Recovery and Sustainable Development: Can Economic Development, Social Cohesion and Environmental Protection Be Achieved Simultaneously?
PICTURE TWO. Hon. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP, Chair of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats; Mr. Lambert Ramirez, Executive Director of the National Institute of Policy Studies, Liberal Party of the Philippines; and Hon. Jan Mulder, MEP of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
P RO J EC T S | C A L D 2 0 1 0 PICTURE ONE. Delegates with Hon. Niccolo Rinaldi, MEP (standing, fourth from left) PICTURE TWO. Celebrating the traditional Deepavali festival PICTURE THREE. The celebration was hosted by Ms. Jayanthi Devi Balaguru (second from right) PICTURE FOUR. Asian and European leaders converge.
that inhibit competition; and encouraging exports. MEP Toine Manders presented the issue from a European and quite personal viewpoint. Citing his own life experiences, he noted that the economy is simply the means for an individual to live the life he wants. But he said that this is possible only in an atmosphere of freedom and possibilities – and the state plays a role in ensuring that this condition is realized. At the same time, Manders observed, “The higher the level of prosperity, the greater the greed.” Session Two, chaired by Maysing Yang of the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan, looked at the importance of world economic governance in responding to the crisis. In his talk, ALDE Staff Unit Head Willem Vander Broucke noted that with Asia’s increasing economic might, it is important to reform the shareholder and voting structures of multilateral agencies to reflect the power of emerging markets. The EU, he said, has been supportive of this process, as evidenced by its espousal through the G20 of the reform of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. CALD Secretary General Dr. Neric Acosta followed that up with a presentation that highlighted the challenges facing many Asian countries even as they struggle to cope with the economic crisis: inequality, instability, increase in population, institutional deficiency, and integration. International trade was the topic of Session Three, which was chaired by FNF Philippine Office Country Director Jules Maaten. MEP Jan Mulder used EU’s history to stress the importance of international trade, pointing out that the EU’s predecessor, the European 24
Coal and Steel Community was set up partly to lessen the possibility of war among European countries. This was done by making them economically interdependent through their trade relations. But Mulder said that EU now has to address issues such as the completion of the internal market, the emergence of protectionism, and difficulties posed by the membership criteria on applicant nations. Meantime, Gerakan’s Ng Lip Yong noted that Asia was expected outperform other regions and have a greater share in the world economy. He then observed that far from government-to-government relations, business-to-business and people-to-people contacts have been the critical drivers of international trade. Ng wound up his talk by assessing the role of the world’s two largest economies in the global trade. The United States, he commented, should “stop spending money that it does not have” while China should concentrate on its domestic economy and transform itself from being the “factory of the world” to being the “market of the world.” Lambert Ramirez of the Liberal PartyPhilippines chaired Session Four, which addressed the issue of how seemingly competing alternatives of economic development, social cohesion, and environmental preservation could be achieved. MEP Mulder again took the stage to say free enterprise should be accompanied by strong support for education, healthcare, unemployment insurance, and poverty alleviation measures. Dr. Wijesinha, for his part, said that Sri Lanka has been able to weather recent economic crises because of the successes of state policies like eradicating terrorism, supporting agriculture and regional development, addressing inflation and financial volatility, and promoting education. In his synthesis of the conference, Dr. Acosta identified these themes or “tensions”: the need to see what power really means in the backdrop of a struggling economy; the importance of striking a balance between promoting and safeguarding; a recognition of the importance not only of economic growth, but also of sustainable and equitable economic development; the need for business-to-business, people-to-people, and party-to-party engagements in
addressing the crisis; and the reality of the “tyranny of the urgent” in a time of great unpredictability. During its first day, the conference also had a special session on Burma during which National Council of the Union of Burma Joint General Secretary U Aung Moe Zaw briefed the participants on the recently concluded polls in his country and the impending release from house arrest of CALD honorary member and Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Later that same night, Daw Suu Kyi was released, an event that prompted a joint statement from CALD and ALDE. Closing remarks at the conference, which was hosted by Gerakan and supported by the FNF, were given by MEP Rinaldi, Gerakan’s Ng, and FNF Malaysia and Cambodia Project Director Moritz Kleine-Brockoff. Capping the event were a briefing at the Gerakan headquarters on the Malaysian premier’s government transformation program and a tour of Gerakan’s Wawasan Open University. Participants at the conference included: Nyo Myint (NCUB); Cambodian MPs Yim Sovann and Ly Srey Vyna (Sam Rainsy Party); Sin Chung-kai, JP (Democratic Party Hong Kong); Hanif Dhakiri (Nation Awakening Party, Indonesia); Hanjaya Setiyawan and Maria M. Restu Hapsari (Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle); Teng Chang Yeow, Dato’ Mah Siew Keong, Dato’ Dr. Lim Thuang Seng, Dominic Lau Hoe Chai, Lau Chin Hoon, Nicholas Lee Kin Hong, Lim Keh Ho, Andy Yong Kim Seng, Chong Chee Yen, David Ang Chin Tat, Chang Yi Chang, Husain Bin Hadi Bahaudin, A. Ramarao Mr. G. Parameswaran, Chue Peng Kong, Ng Yeen Seen, Janice Law, Ung Lee Wah, and Catherine Chong (Gerakan); S. Devananthan, private secretary to Malaysian Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister; MP Ma. Carmen ZamoraApsay, (LP Philippines); Jainudeen Cassim (LP Sri Lanka); Selyna Peiris (CALD Youth); Huai-hui Hsieh (DPP); Thérese Murdock (ALDE); Dr. Sebastian Braun and Suchaya Tancharoenpol (FNF); Lito Arlegue, Paolo Zamora, Carlo Religioso, and Wytske Zijlmans (CALD Secretariat).
TOP PICTURE. Dr. Koh Tsu Koon during his keynote address MIDDLE PICTURE. Hon. Butch Abad speaks on the Global Economic Crisis BOTTOM PICTURE. Ms. Maysing Yang chairs the session on Asia and Europe and the Multilateral Approach to World Economic Governance
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CALD Vision Mission Workshop Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia / 15-16 November. Even the most efficient system or piece of machinery needs a check-up now and then just to make sure there would be minimal – if any – problems in the future. in an era where national economies become more interlinked,
Indeed, although CALD has been one of the most successful networks of its kind, it could only benefit from a periodic assessment of where it has gone, what is has accomplished, and where it is headed. And so in November, CALD was off to Kuala Lumpur to have its 2nd Vision Mission Workshop. Six years before, CALD had a similar workshop in Penang, where it was agreed that the organization’s mission remained consistent: “To elaborate a shared vision of a liberal and democratic Asia that is compelling and relevant enough to educate and inspire political leaders in the region to adopt liberalism as a formula for securing better outcomes for their peoples in their respective context.” Now participants in the 2nd workshop were coming in still committed to that mission; but they also knew that new developments and challenges had made adjustments necessary so that CALD could continue – and perhaps even expand – what it had set out to do. The workshop’s theme, in fact, said it all: “Taking Stock, Setting Directions.” The opening session thus had CALD 26
Chairman and Sri Lankan MP Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha discussing CALD’s track record so far, as well as analyzing the internal and external factors affecting the group’s overall ability to perform as a liberal and democratic network and channel. This was followed by a workshop examining CALD’s external environmental and its engagement with partners, affiliates, and networks, with CALD Executive Director Lito Arlegue acting as facilitator. CALD’s structure, leadership, and membership arrangements were the focus of Session One, along with the past, present, and future support for the Secretariat. CALD Secretary General Dr. Neric Acosta, who was the workshop’s overall facilitator, also opened the floor for a discussion on possible structural reforms that could help CALD improve its programs’ effectiveness and efficiency. The participants then set to work on possible charter revisions that would clarify and resolve issues concerning certain provisions. Internal processes – specifically decisionmaking mechanisms, communication
practices, and project-planning strategies -- took center stage in Session Two. Taiwan Foundation for Democracy vice president and Democratic Progressive Party member Maysing Yang shared essential information and recommendations on how to make CALD’s projects and programs more appealing to funders, based on her experiences with the organizations she is connected with. By Session Three, the talk turned to how CALD could remain relevant not only to its members, but also to external networks. Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty Country Director Jules Maaten, who is a former European Parliament member, chaired the session. He also recounted his experience in handling the operation and coordination among members of Liberal International when he was its secretary general. In addition, representatives of CALD member-parties discussed the political, economic, social, and political problems and issues facing their
respective countries, and how CALD as an organization help them locally, regionally, and globally. The vision-mission workshop ended with Acosta posing three important questions for CALD to always keep in mind as it forges ahead: ‘What?’, ‘So What?’, and ‘Now What?’ He said that while the workshop helped member-parties know and assess the problems and challenges facing CALD and why it matters to each party, it was evident that “we need to go beyond our own network to grow.” That meant, said Acosta, continuing to answer questions pertaining to commitment and relevance of CALD as an organization of liberals and democrats, as a network of like-minded individuals longing to come up with liberal solutions, and as a mechanism that could effectively promote the principles that holds CALD together: rule of law, human rights, and the greater quest for genuine democracy.
Other participants in the workshop were NCUB’s Chairperson for Foreign Affairs Nyo Myint and Joint General Secretary I Aung Moe Zaw; SRP’s Spokesperson and MP Yim Sovann; CALD individual member Hon. Sin Chung-kai, JP; Hanjaya Setiawan of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle; Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia’s Ng Lip Yong and Jayanthi Devi Balaguru (Vice Chair of the CALD Women’s Caucus); MP Maricar Zamora-Apsay and Lambert Ramirez of the Liberal Party of the Philippines; Liberal Party of Sri Lanka’s Jainudeen Cassim and Selyna Peiris (also Chair of the CALD Youth Caucus); and Huai-hui Hsieh of the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan. CALD Secretariat, comprised of Paolo Zamora, Carlo Religioso and Wytske Zijlmans, provided administrative support.
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CALD Electoral Mission to Taiwan Taipei, New Taipei City, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung / 24-28 November. Free and fair elections are more than marks of a democratic system. They are essential to any democracy, enabling people to become masters of their destiny.
Being a network of liberal and democratic political parties, CALD views free and fair polls as the only legitimate means to attain political power. As a result, electoral missions have become semiregular CALD activities, with such occasions also being used by participants as a means to share experiences and best practices on electoral administration and campaign strategies. In late November, a CALD delegation headed for Taiwan to observe elections in five big cities: Taipei, New Taipei (Xinbei), Taichung, Kaohsiung, and Tainan. Included in the team were Nyo Ohn Myint, foreign affairs committee director, National Council of the Union of Burma; Becky Li, community officer, Democratic Party of Hong Kong; Zainul Munasichin, deputy secretary general, Nation Awakening Party, Indonesia; Lau Chin Hoon, central committee member, and Ong Thean Lye, Penang vice chairman, national central committee, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia; Erka Erdenechimeg, foreign relations secretary, Civil Will Party of Mongolia; Humerito Dolor, Oriental Mindoro vice governor, and MP Bai Sandra Sema, 28
Liberal Party of the Philippines; Gerald Sng, treasurer, and Ahmad Suhaimi bin Mohd Sukor, communications team member, Singapore Democratic Party; and CALD’s executive director Lito Arlegue, project officers Carlo F. Religioso and Rosanna P. Ocampo, and intern Wytske Zijlmans. The Democratic Progressive Party had extended an invitation for a CALD electoral mission to be conducted in Taiwan, with the support of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. Acting as overall mission guides were DPP’s international affairs department deputy director Huai-hui Hsieh and Pingya Hsu, editor of the party’s English newsletter. A briefing at the TFD office was the first item on the team’s agenda on Day One, with the Foundation’s work in the region detailed in a video presentation. Dr. Eric Chen-Hua, assistant researcher at the National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center, then provided a backgrounder on the city elections and on the strengths and weaknesses of the major candidates for the mayoralty post. Next and last stop for the day was the
DPP headquarters, where foreign policy advisors Winston Dang and Fu-Mei Chang, together with Survey Center researcher Ryan Lin Chih-Wen shared their thoughts on DPP’s prospects in the city polls. A short lecture on Taiwan’s electoral process at no less than the Central Election Commission (CEC) began Day Two, along with a run-through on the CEC’s own tasks and functions. After a visit to the DPP Taipei City Campaign Branch (Shilin District) – with hosting duties carried out by the campaign staff and volunteers of mayoralty candidate Su Tseng-chang – the CALD delegation proceeded to Kaoshiung. There campaign manager Liu Shih-fang greeted the team with the good news that, based on survey results, Mayor Chen Chu of the DPP looked like a sure win. The positive wind blew the delegation to DPP stronghold Tainan next, where an elegant dinner was hosted by longtime DPP supporter Shih. Capping the evening was a jeep parade for DPP Tainan mayoralty candidate Dr. William Lai.
ABOVE PICTURE. Su Jia-chyuan, candidate for Mayor of Greater Taichung
The morning of Day Three found the team in Taichung in west central Taiwan, where DPP mayoralty candidate Su Jiachyuan was making significant inroads in surveys. This was despite Taichung being Kuomintang territory. After a visit and lunch at the DPP Taichung headquarters, the CALD delegation joined a jeep parade for Su. Then it was off to the campaign headquarters of DPP Chairman Dr. Tsai Ing-wen in New Taipei, where he had joined the mayoralty race. Rallies for Tsai and DPP Taipei City mayoralty candidate Su Tseng-chang. Day Four was Election Day, and the team visited a poll station to observe voting, which was conducted in a simple and orderly manner. A panel discussion at the DPP headquarters provided context to the polls, with the panelists including Taiwan Think Tank research director Leou Chia-Feng; DPP foreign policy advisor Chang Fu-Mei; and Monash University professor J. Bruce Jacobs. DPP foreign policy advisor Winston Dang was moderator. By day’s end, the delegation was observing vote counting both at the polling station and at the CEC.
Kaoshiung and Tainan ended up voting DPP but Taipei, New Taipei, and Taichung went to the rival party. Still, DPP was able to capture more than half of overall votes, and increased its number of city council seats significantly. And as one member of the CALD delegation observed, “While electoral results are not always to our liking, the idea that we can always fight another day is what keeps the democratic spirit alive and well.”
PICTURE ONE. At the DPP Headquarters in Taipei PICTURE TWO. Briefing at the Central Election Commission PICTURE THREE. At the Kaohsiung campaign headquarters of Chen Chu PICTURE FOUR. Walking during the rally in Tainan
Her diminutive sarongwrapped frame belies a quiet, if fierce, dignity, made emblematic by the spray of bright flowers she always plants on pulled-back hair. Upon her persona of feminine courage and moral clarity a whole nation rests its hopes for democracy and a secure future – away from the decades-long nightmare of military junta rule that has made what was once one of Southeast Asia’s most prosperous countries the poorest and most repressed. She is to millions of her countrymen simply called “The Lady.” But to the brutish junta of Burma, she is everything they are not. She is the biggest threat to their continued rule and quite singularly represents a people desperately yearning to be free. She is Aung San Suu Kyi, only daughter of General Aung San, Burma’s independence hero, who led his country out of British colonial rule but was assassinated not long after Burma gained its independence in 1948. To the world she is the 1991 Nobel Peace Laureate who in 1990 led the National League for Democracy to an unprecedented victory by winning over 90 percent of the seats in the Burmese national parliament. But the junta, stunned by a massive display of people power, cancelled the elections and put the country right back on the path of a closed society, throwing Suu Kyi and thousands others to jail.
I N F O C U S | Daw Au n g S a n S uu Ky i
Largeness of Spirit By Dr. Neric Acosta. Her face bears some of the weariness of close to two decades of detention, but it still exudes an uncommon serenity and strength.
In the last 18 years, Suu Kyi had been detained and locked up in her lakeside home in Rangoon, deprived of access to the world, including her own family. She has had no Internet connection, television, or contact with her party colleagues. When her husband, British academic Michael Aris, was dying of cancer a few years ago, he and their two sons were barred from visiting Burma to be by her side. To this day Suu Kyi has yet to meet her own grandchildren. On 13 November 2010, however, the world rejoiced in her release from detention. Yet while there was celebration, it was one paired with cautious optimism. After all, earlier that same month, the junta had conducted largely fraudulent and sham elections blatantly excluding Suu Kyi’s NLD and guaranteeing 25 percent of parliament seats for the military. Was Suu Kyi’s release conditional, and simply a crude public relations stunt for a ruling junta to create a façade of democratization? Or was this turn of events a hopeful sign, at last, of change for a long-suffering Burma? Only time will tell. In a BBC interview Daw Suu Kyi eloquently spoke of conciliation and peaceful collaboration. Asked if she would want the regime to fall, she answered without a hint of rancor and with great charity: “I do not wish to see the military regime fall, but
for it to rise to more dignified heights of doing what is best for democracy and the aspirations of the people of Burma.” It was Suu Kyi who had once said it most cogently about power, revising Lord Acton’s famous quote, and declaring that in truth “it is not power that corrupts but the fear of losing it.” It is indeed the fear of losing power that drives tyrants to oppress their own people and stand in the way of their nation’s potential. It was fear of losing power that drove a terrified junta to ruthlessly deny the people the democratic mandate they had entrusted to the NLD in 1990. It is the same fear that made the generals brutally crush the massive protests led by Buddhist monks in 2007 against rising commodity prices, food shortages, and increasing repression. Burma’s pained narrative is not unlike South Africa’s – years of oppression by a police state, the clash between the pragmatic requirements of realpolitik and international trade, and the call for sanctions and greater democratization. As with South Africa for most of the apartheid years, some countries have turned a blind eye on human rights violations and the suppression of dissent in Burma because of the extraction of rich natural resources. The natural gas and oil fields, abundant minerals, and timber resources of Burma ensure the
generals of steady support from China and India, just as South Africa was long a source of copious minerals for the global markets. But domestic resistance and global demand for democracy and human rights fueled the drive for international sanctions and growing multilateral pressure on both countries to open their societies. And for both nations, the face of such resistance and heroism were individuals who had the ‘largeness of spirit’: Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years as a political prisoner, and Suu Kyi, who has paid a high price for the principles she has lived by. Like the Philippines’ own Ninoy Aquino, incarcerated for over seven years under martial law and returning from exile to meet his martyrdom in 1983, such large spirits are towering exemplars of humanity, humility, and courage, inspiring peoples across the world. Just as a freed Mandela ushered in change for a new South Africa and became its first post-apartheid president -- and just as the Philippines saw the rise of Ninoy’s widow Cory leading ‘people power’ to bring down a dictatorship -- the world awaits with bated breath and prays for Daw Aung Suu Kyi to claim at long last what is her and the Burmese people’s democratic birthright and rightful place in history.
I N F O C U S | Daw Au n g S a n S uu Ky i
A special award for an extraordinary
Even the awarding of a plaque can be quite a task when the recipient is Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. But CALD managed to accomplish the job – even if it took a few months after the CALD Executive Committee had decided and prepared a special CALD Honorary Individual Membership for the gentle but strong-willed Lady. The awarding took place in Liverpool, on the sidelines of the U.K. Liberal Annual Conference there, on 20 September. Receiving the plaque on Daw Suu Kyi’s behalf was Zoya Phan, international coordinator of the Burma Campaign, U.K. Among the witnesses were members of the CALD delegation such as CALD Chairman Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha and CALD Secretary General Dr. Neric Acosta, as well as members of the LI Bureau. Months earlier, on 29 June in Manila, CALD’s Execom had decided to bestow the membership to the Nobel Peace Laureate to reaffirm its support and solidarity to the people of Burma in their continuing struggle for justice, freedom, and democracy. It was the first (and so far the only) time that CALD had made someone a member without that individual signifying interest in joining the organization. The citation on the plaque noted Daw Suu Kyi’s “unwavering devotion and dedicated service to her country and people” and her “exemplary and selfless leadership of Burma’s opposition forces toward the realization of liberty, respect for human rights, and rule of law in her country, and the promotion of freedom and democracy in Asia and beyond.”
I N F O C U S | Daw Au n g S a n S uu Ky i
I N F O C U S | Daw Au n g S a n S uu Ky i
Call of Friendship — and Freedom Dr. Neric Acosta. When it finally came through, the moment seemed unreal. But realization quickly took hold that what was taking place was unprecedented and decidedly monumental and historic for the saga of democratization in Asia.
A fortnight before, Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III had been on one of his first trips abroad as head of state. But he declared boldly before the ASEAN Summit in Hanoi that Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi be freed by the military junta from years of house arrest. In Daw Suu Kyi President Aquino apparently saw a common thread of sacrifice and heroism; his own childhood was marked by the harrows of seeing his father incarcerated for eight years and the painful experience of exile during martial law and the authoritarian rule of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. Aquino’s was a forthright voice of that was not usual in ASEAN circles, where ‘non-interference’ among member states has long been considered as a policy of regional relations. To put primacy on democracy and human rights, even in terms of an official statement, was more 34
than a whiff of fresh air in an otherwise stultified context of diplomatic dealings and formal meetings in the ASEAN setting. It was in this light that Aung San Suu Kyi sent word to the CALD Secretariat not long after her release from detention in November 2010 that she wanted to make contact with President Aquino to convey her thanks and well wishes for the kind of support he had expressed for her during the Hanoi summit. For the next two days the CALD office was agog channeling messages to our colleagues in the National League of Democracy and the National Council of the Union of Burma on one hand, and Malacanang Palace on the other, on the intricacies of placing the call. It was, apparently, not going to be simple and straightforward. This involved, after all, Burma, which has one of the most
cryptic governments on earth, ruled by a ruthless junta that brooks no form or sign of dissent. A phone call to country’s most famous dissident and Nobel Peace Prize recipient could well be seen as a provocation, or breach of security, or in bilateral terms, established protocol. Personally, as Secretary-General of CALD, which had just a month earlier embraced Suu Kyi as its Distinguished Individual Member in a simple ceremony in the sidelines of the United Kingdom Liberal Democrats National Conference in Liverpool, England, I was somewhat wary, anxious of what President Aquino would have to face if this was going to be played out in the media in an unseemly way. But all, as they say, turned out well and beautifully in the end. On 22 November 2010, the Office of the President asked me to come to the Palace and place the call on a private mobile phone from
there – two hours before the originally scheduled time. The driver was out on an errand, the afternoon rain had turned into a downpour and the city’s traffic ground to a crawl. I flagged a taxicab from a forum in another part of Makati, and asked the cab driver to negotiate side streets and alleys all the way to the banks of the Pasig River; the three other CALD staff followed in a car stuck in the gridlock of rush hour. I walked into the President’s office slightly bedraggled; President Aquino was quite bemused. As planned, the call was placed from a private mobile phone; Aung San Suu Kyi was on her way, I was informed, to a NLD youth meeting in Rangoon. Even with her voice on the other end of the line, she was, as I had always imagined, gracious in demeanor. I handed the phone the President, and both had a conversation for over 15 minutes, with the President reiterating
his support to the cause of freedom and democracy in Burma. All told, what was conveyed and affirmed was a spirit of solidarity, with the President saying that his mother, Corazon Aquino – iconic as she had become in the Philippines’ own struggle to win democracy back from autocratic rule – had long sought to visit Suu Kyi. And even after her presidency, she continued to assure the opposition leader of her unflinching support for Suu Kyi’s and the Burmese people’s struggle. While bearing witness to this moment, I thought that all the investment and work in building a network of liberal democratic parties in the region since 1993 had come to clear fruition. All the CALD conferences, roundtables, electoral missions, publications, networking, alliance-building in the region and beyond seemed to have converged on that
historic instance of democratic kinship. This may be an audacious and unabashed claim: the proverbial bridge that linked a new President, elected with the rekindled spirit of people power, with a Nobel Peace laureate whose two-decade long unrelenting fight for freedom rests on the unyielding faith of a people seeking to reclaim their own power, was CALD. That fateful connection on November 22, 2010 between two leaders whose families and lives in two countries have been entwined with the fight for democracy was emblematic of CALD’s raison d’etre: to build bridges of friendship and solidarity amongst kindred political parties and hardy liberal-democratic souls across cultures and countries in Asia. And with those bridges, build an enduring political order anchored on human rights and the rule of law – to serve the greater, universal ends of human freedom.
S P E EC H ES | P re s. B e n i g n o S. Aq u i n o I I I
His Excellency Jose Ramos Horta, Former President Fidel V. Ramos, Former President Joseph Estrada, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and members of the Senate, House Speaker Prospero Nograles and members of the House, justices of the Supreme Court, members of the foreign delegations,Your Excellencies of the diplomatic corps, fellow colleagues in government, my fellow countrymen. My presence here today is proof that you are my true strength. I never expected that I will be here taking my oath of office before you, as your president. I never imagined that I would be tasked with continuing the mission of my parents. I never entertained the ambition to be the symbol of hope, and to inherit the problems of our nation. I had a simple goal in life: to be true to my parents and our country as an honorable son, a caring brother, and a good citizen. My father offered his life so our democracy could live. My mother devoted her life to nurturing that democracy. I will dedicate my life to making our democracy reach its fullest potential: that of ensuring equality for all. My family has sacrificed much and I am willing to do this again if necessary. Although I was born to famous parents, I know and feel the problems of ordinary citizens. We all know what it is like to have a government that plays deaf and dumb. We know what it is like to be denied justice, to be ignored by those in whom we placed our trust and tasked to become our advocates. Have you ever been ignored by the very government you helped put in power? I have. Have you had to endure being rudely shoved aside by the siren-blaring escorts of those who love to display their position and power over you? I have, too. Have you experienced exasperation and anger at a government that instead of serving you, needs to be endured by you? So have I. I am like you. Many of our countrymen have already voted with their feet – migrating to other countries in search of change or tranquility. They have endured hardship, risked their lives because they believe that compared to their current state here, there is more hope for them in another country, no matter how bleak it may be. In moments when I thought of only my own welfare, I also wondered – is it possible that I can find the peace 36
and quiet that I crave in another country? Is our government beyond redemption? Has it been written that the Filipino’s lot is merely to suffer? Today marks the end of a regime indifferent to the appeals of the people. It is not Noynoy who found a way. You are the reason why the silent suffering of the nation is about to end. This is the beginning of my burden, but if many of us will bear the cross we will lift it, no matter how heavy it is. Through good governance in the coming years, we will lessen our problems. The destiny of the Filipino will return to its rightful place, and as each year passes, the Filipino’s problems will continue to lessen with the assurance of progress in their lives. We are here to serve and not to lord over you. The mandate given to me was one of change. I accept your marching orders to transform our government from one that is self-serving to one that works for the welfare of the nation. This mandate is the social contract that we agreed upon. It is the promise I made during the campaign, which you accepted on election day. During the campaign we said, “If no one is corrupt, no one will be poor.” That is no mere slogan for posters — it is the defining principle that will serve as the foundation of our administration. Our foremost duty is to lift the nation from poverty through honest and effective governance. The first step is to have leaders who are ethical, honest, and true public servants. I will set the example. I will strive to be a good model. I will not break the trust you have placed in me. I will ensure that this, too, will be the advocacy of my Cabinet and those who will join our government. I do not believe that all of those who serve in our government are corrupt. In truth, the majority of them are honest. They joined government to serve and do good. Starting today, they will have the opportunity to show that they have what it takes. I am counting on them to help fight corruption within the bureaucracy. To those who have been put in positions by unlawful means, this is my warning: we will begin earning back the trust of our people by reviewing midnight appointments. Let this serve as a warning to those who intend to continue the crooked ways that have become the norm for too long.
Inaugural Address of His Excellency
BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines 30 June 2010, Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila
To our impoverished countrymen, starting today, your government will be your champion. We will not disregard the needs of our students. We will begin by addressing the glaring shortage in classrooms and educational facilities. Gradually, we will lessen the lack of infrastructures for transportation, tourism and trade. From now on, mediocre work will not be good enough when it comes to roads, bridges, and buildings because
â€˜Today marks the end of a regime indifferent to the appeals of the people. It is not Noynoy who found a way. You are the reason why the silent suffering of the nation is about to end.â€™
we will hold contractors responsible for maintaining their projects in good condition. We will revive the emergency employment program established by former President Corazon Aquino. This will provide jobs for local communities and will help in the development of their and our economy. We will not be the cause of your suffering or hardship. We will strengthen collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and we will fight corruption in the Bureau of Customs in order to fund our objectives for the public welfare, such as: (1) Quality education, including vocational education, so that those who choose not to attend college or those who cannot afford it can find dignified livelihood; (2) Improved public health services such as PhilHealth for all within three years; (3) A home for every family, within safe communities. We will strengthen the armed forces and the police, not to serve the interests of those who want to wield power with impunity, but to give added protection
for ordinary folk. The armed forces and the police risk their lives daily so that the nation can live in peace and security. The population has doubled and yet their numbers remain unchanged. It is not right that those who make sacrifices are treated pitifully. If there was a fertilizer scam in the past, today there will be security for farmers. We will help them with irrigation, extension services, and marketing their products at the best possible prices. We are directing Secretary Alcala to set up trading centers that will directly link farmers and consumers thereby eliminating middlemen and opportunities for corruption. In this way, funds can be shared by farmers and consumers. We will make our country attractive to investors. We will cut red tape dramatically and implement stable economic policies. We will level the playing field for investors and make government an enabler, not a hindrance to business. This is the only means by which we can provide jobs for our people. Our goal is to create jobs at home so that there will be no need to look for employment abroad. However, as we work towards that end, I am ordering the 37
S P E EC H ES | P re s. B e n i g n o S. Aq u i n o I I I
DFA, POEA, OWWA, and other relevant agencies to be even more responsive to the needs and welfare of our overseas Filipino workers. We will strengthen the process of consultation and feedback. We will strive to uphold the constitutional right of citizens to information on matters of public concern. We relived the spirit of people power during the campaign. Let it take us to good and effective governance. Those who believe in people power put the welfare of others before their own. I can forgive those who did me wrong but I have no right to forgive those who abused our people. To those who talk about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say: there can be no reconciliation without justice. When we allow crimes to go unpunished, we give consent to their occurring over and over again. Secretary de Lima, you have your marching orders. Begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all. We are also happy to inform you the acceptance of Chief Justice Hilario 38
‘You are the boss so I cannot ignore your orders. We will design and implement an interaction and feedback mechanism that can effectively respond to your needs and aspirations.’ Davide of the challenge of strengthening and heading a Truth Commission that will shed light on many unanswered issues that continue to haunt our country. My government will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao. We are committed to a peaceful and just settlement of conflict, inclusive of the interests of all — may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian. We shalI defeat the enemy by wielding the tools of justice, social reform, and equitable governance leading to a better life. With proper governance life will
improve for all. When we are all living well, who will want to go back to living under oppression? If I have all of you by my side, we will be able to build a nation in which there will be equality of opportunity, because each of us fulfilled our duties and responsibilities equally. After the elections, you proved that it is the people who wield power in this country. This is what democracy means. It is the foundation of our unity. We campaigned for change. Because of this, the Filipino stands tall once more. We are all part of a nation that can begin to dream again. To our friends and neighbors around the world, we are ready to take our place as a reliable member of the community of nations, a nation serious about its commitments and which harmonizes its national interests with its international responsibilities. We will be a predictable and consistent place for investment, a nation where everyone will say, “it all works.” Today, I am inviting you to pledge to yourselves and to our people. No one shall be left behind.
No more junkets, no more senseless spending. No more turning back on pledges made during the campaign, whether today or in the coming challenges that will confront us over the next six years. No more influence-peddling, no more patronage politics, no more stealing. No more sirens, no more short cuts, no more bribes. It is time for us to work together once more. We are here today because we stood together and believed in hope. We had no resources to campaign other than our common faith in the inherent goodness of the Filipino. The people who are behind us dared to dream. Today, the dream starts to become a reality. To those among you who are still undecided about sharing the common burden I have only one question: Are you going to quit now that we have won? You are the boss so I cannot ignore your orders. We will design and implement an interaction and feedback mechanism that can effectively respond to your needs and aspirations.
You are the ones who brought me here – our volunteers – old, young, celebrity, ordinary folks who went around the country to campaign for change; my household help who provided for all my personal needs; my family, friends, colleagues at work, who shared, cared, and gave their support; my lawyers who stayed all hours to guard my votes and make sure they were counted; and the millions of Filipinos who prevailed, kept faith, and never lost hope – I offer my heartfelt gratitude. I will not be able to face my parents and you who have brought me here if do not fulfill the promises I made. My parents sought nothing less, died for nothing less, than democracy and peace. I am blessed by this legacy. I shall carry the torch forward. My hope is that when I leave office, everyone can say that we have traveled far on the right path, and that we are able to bequeath a better future to the next generation. Join me in continuing this fight for change. Thank you and long live the Filipino people!
‘Today, I am inviting you to pledge to yourselves and to our people. No one shall be left behind.’
I N F O C U S | Ho n , O n g- a r t K l a mp a i b o o n
Closing Keynote Address of
HON. ONG-ART KLAMPAIBOON
Minister, Office of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva Kingdom of Thailand CALD Manila Conference 29 June 2010, Dusit Hotel, Manila, Philippines
To the chair of CALD, Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha, the regional director of Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Dr. Rainer Adam, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. It is indeed a great pleasure to be able to speak with fellow liberals and democrats here today. With me here are some members of the Democrat Party, Dr. Buranaj Smutharaks, spokesperson of the party and, of course, our former Bangkok governor, Hon. Apirak Kosayodhin. I think this conference is a very special meeting because the Philippines has a new president. This is special not only for CALD, but also for our liberal and democrat friends in the region. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Liberal Party of the Philippines for winning the presidential election. I’m certain that the legacy of democracy and justice will carry on through the leadership of P-Noy (President Noynoy Aquino). The commitment to liberal democracy by all of us here today is extremely important. This is in parallel to the commitment of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in Thailand. As you all know, we are in the process of rehabilitation and 40
reconciliation. Of course you also know that we have a long history and track record of being a champion of democracy and human rights in the region. Just last week, Thailand was elected as the new Council President of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), with H.E. Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow assuming the presidency. On behalf of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the leader of the Democrat Party, I am here to commit our support for democracy. Over the past few months in Thailand, we ourselves have gone through difficulties – as Dr. Neric Acosta said, “a big storm.” I think you have
‘We guarantee to the world that we do not use democracy as an “advertisement” or tool to take power and to try to keep the power as long as we can.’
been following the news: The Red Shirts’ -- the protesters – aggression created confusion among Thai citizens and the international community alike. The Red Shirt leaders were trying to force the government to dissolve the parliament so that H.E. Abhisit Vejjajiva would no longer be Prime Minister. With their use of cosseting system -- by blocking down central Bangkok and most of the important business area in Bangkok -- many were affected, especially the tourists. For two months during the protests, we tried to negotiate with them, but we were not successful. The plan, at least at that time, was for this legitimate government to go through an election sometime at the end of this year. We proposed the 14th day of November. At first the agreement was aptly considered, but later rejected by the leaders of the Red Shirts. Many people in Thailand fear that the Red-Shirt protesters are not operating by themselves and believe that the former prime minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra, may be behind all of these. We were determined to minimize conflict
and find a solution, but the rejection of the agreement led to further incidents. The Red Shirts’ hardcore supporters pressed for the rejection of the peace plan. They decided to use force. The government called on the protesters to disarm and refrain from using firearms and to dissuade them from taking over commercial and business buildings because innocent civilians were trapped in the middle. The government had little option. We had to act in accordance to the law and try to stop the violence in the center of Bangkok. We found out that there was a local network group hiding among the innocent -- the civilians -and using them as shields. The group’s attempt to use firearms and set the city on fire caused tremendous chaos. But with the hard work and dedication by both the government and all the security teams, the violence came to pass. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva called on everyone to move forward and set up a reform committee and parallel panels on social, political, and economic reforms. We appointed former prime minister Dr. Anand Panyarachun to chair the national reform committee and Dr. Prawase Wasi to chair another panel that would work on the ground to gather input from citizens on how reforms should be executed. Both are highly respected and qualified and both are working together now to assure the success in the reconciliation plan where all Thais can contribute. This may take some time, but I think this is the starting point of solving our problem. The government has to look for solutions and tactical plans to prevent similar future incidents from happening again. Before this conference -- as you heard from the news -- the Red Shirts had started attacking and bombing some places in Bangkok. Now we hope there is no more, but nobody knows what will happen next. We know that the political uncertainty still remains but the reconciliation plan is currently in process to try to eliminate that uncertainty. We acknowledge that there are still problems and political difficulties, and that part of the challenge is to maintain democracy. Ladies and gentlemen, this government, led by Democrat Party, your friend in CALD, does not use democracy as a tool to assert or keep power. We guarantee to the world that we do not use democracy
as an “advertisement” or tool to take power and to try to keep the power as long as we can. Most of time, we are in the opposition, so we can accept situations when we are in power and also when we are not. We play our part in strengthening democracy in Thailand. We try to do many things now that we are in power – even things that may not gain us popularity. Education development comes with an ever-increasing improvement in political understanding. This is the key in our efforts to strengthen democracy. Do you know that this may not increase the number of our MPs in the next election? Yet while we may not have more MPs, more people would have more understanding about democracy and more understanding about what has happened to Thailand – what is the “advertisement,” what is the propaganda, and what is the reality. Our prime minister says, “Education policy is an indication that this government is moving forward.” We do many things on education: increase the teaching quality, improve the education facilities and institutes, and provide free education. The 15-year education policy is not a populist program but a foundation to understand democracy. I must convey our appreciation for the concern and best wishes from all our friends around the world, especially our friends from CALD. I am certain that Thai citizens themselves have become confident. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you here again because the past few months have been a very difficult period. We have seen your concern for us and have heard very good comments and suggestions for Thailand. Let me assure you that we appreciate your concern and your support through our difficult times. Our government is working swiftly to be certain that all investments are protected and that all democratic processes are ongoing. I would like to say it again that we are not in power because of power, but for us to use the power to strengthen and sustain democracy in our country and bring back the way Thailand is known worldwide. Thank you for your attention. Thank you for your confidence and support to the Democrat Party and to your liberal friends in Thailand. 41
S P E EC H ES | Ni cco lo R i n a l d i
The first thing that I would like to say is that one thing that we capture in the debates about the economic crisis - in the European Parliament, in the media, and in society at large - is that it is everybody else’s fault. The Americans have been complaining about the Europeans. The Europeans have been complaining about the Americans. The emerging countries, particularly in Asia, have been complaining about the West because they are affected by the crisis, in which they had no part and in which they should not be involved. The West is complaining about the Asians as not liberal businessmen, about the region’s workers, about unfair competition, among others. The young people are complaining about old people because they now have less brilliant futures and less perspective. The old are complaining about other people talking about the past. The poor complain about the rich. The rich complain about the poor. There is something that I hope this conference would definitely manage to stop -- to stop this culture of complaining. We are talking about a phenomenon with supranational, national, and individual implications. We need to start understanding this now, so that we do not start from scratch every time. It is good that we have people who engage in intellectual and policy debates and try their best to contribute to addressing the crisis. CALD and ALDE, without a doubt, are part of this network of people with good intentions and willingness to help in understanding this economic downturn. We are here because we believe that the answer to the crisis is not just national but also international. But what kind of responses should we give? The conference, I hope, would come up with preliminary ideas on how to answer this question. In analyzing the crisis, the first element that we need to discuss, I believe, is the altered global terrain. Five years ago, there was no G-20. There was just a G-7, or G-8. Now, we have a
plethora of institutions that can deal with the crisis. Twenty years ago, the economies of the West had basically the same real GDP growth. Now, emerging economies are fostering higher growth rates than that of the West in the past. If the crisis had taken place sixty years ago, it would take place in a completely different landscape. The Bengal famine in 1947 serves as a case in point. It was not a financial crisis, but it was interesting to see the way it was approached. This was the last famine in India, and it happened just before India gained its independence. One explanation for the crisis came from Winston Churchill. He said that the Bengali people provoked the famine. This was an example of long tradition of explaining crisis and disasters with concepts rather than with empirical evidence and proper analysis. In the same vein, historian James Neel explained the crisis in terms of racial inferiority. In his book The History of India and South Asia, he classified the Indian civilization as an inferior one, together with the Chinese, Persians and French – and just as inferior as undiscriminating nations such as those of the Japanese, Chinese, Burmese, and Malaysians. Now, liberal democrats think differently: We look at ourselves as constituting one human civilization. More importantly, we are confident that our civilization has everything within its power to be able to cope with crises of great magnitude. The second element is international governance. Yesterday, the G-20 meeting was concluded and it was a major development compared to the G-7, G-8 experience. I hope that the G-20 would be more successful than the G-8, but I doubt if it would be. I think it is much
‘There is something that I hope this conference would definitely manage to stop -- to stop this culture of complaining. .’
at the CALD-ALDE Conference 13 November 2011, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
more a photo opportunity and networking exercise rather than a mechanism for creating an action plan for global governance. If we believe that the answer to the crisis is the G-20, I think we would be disappointed because this institution is just a preliminary step. To realize global governance, what we need, at least at the regional level, are strengthened regional cooperation and greater supranational powers in order to address issues. I think that free-trade agreements can be a reason to boost economies and to get out of the financial crisis. The main approach should still be, as much as possible, a multilateral approach -- to increase global trade and technology transfer. However, bilateral free trade agreements are a proper alternative to the lack of progress in the multilateral approach. They provide an element of stability and peace, which are critical elements in solving the crisis. Trade among countries, however, is still suffering from many setbacks, including the lack of progress in the Doha rounds.
We have to be careful in this respect, because not everything in free trade has been satisfactory. Sometimes, some institutions manage to include practices that are contrary to the principles of free trade. In India, for example, there are trade provisions that lead to difficulties with regard to free trade agreements and negotiations. There are also realities like child labor and other social problems that need to be addressed. The crisis, undoubtedly, is not only financial in nature, but also an industrial and social one as well. To address this, we need to liberalize the energy and increase the potential of the people. This was what we discussed at the CALD conference in Colombo in March 2010. The education system has to be fully accessible to everybody. An opendoor policy for access to the job market is an essential way to use the crisis as an opportunity and to move forward our liberal agenda. The last point that I hope this conference could address would be the ethical
dimension of markets. The crisis has affected millions of innocent people, without a doubt. But some analysts also portrayed the crisis as a sort of punishment for the financial class that has been selfish and not adhering to any moral standard. We all believe in profit. Profit is essential for the continuity of the nation. But we cannot have profit without justice. And we cannot have justice without freedom. Let us be clear: Profit is never an end in itself; it is not a goal in itself. It is only an estimate for development, while justice and freedom are goals in themselves – including, of course, economic justice and economic freedom. To combine economic justice and economic freedom is not always easy, and this is one of the challenges for us liberal democrats. One of the differences between us and the socialists and conservatives is that we do not want to reconcile justice — economic justice — and freedom—economic freedom. The crisis made us realize that this should not be the case, and we should from here on strive to achieve both simultaneously. 43
Resolutions Resolution No. 1 S. 2010
Resolution No. 4 S. 2010
Resolution No. 7 S. 2010
Condemns the grenade attack at the Democrat Party headquarters in Bangkok that coincided with the party’s 64th foundation anniversary; calls for the just, peaceful, and immediate resolution of the ongoing political unrest in Bangkok; supports the legitimate government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva; and manifests its trust in the DP-led government of Thailand to resolve the political crisis while adhering to the principles of democracy and the rule of law. Issued 11 April.
Congratulates the Liberal Party of the Philippines for its victory in the May 10 Philippine national and local elections that were also the country’s first automated polls; wishes Presidentelect Benigno Simeon Aquino III and other incoming government officials from LP success as they assume their respective posts and fulfill their commitments to the Filipino people; and expresses its trust in the incoming Aquino administration’s commitment to lay the groundwork for political reforms and genuine social change in the Philippines. Issued 8 June.
Affirms CALD’s support for the Thai government headed by the Democrat Party of Thailand; urges all parties to avoid violence and participate in the government’s efforts at reconciliation; and requests the international community to take firm measures against forces seeking further disruption of Thai society. Issued 29 June.
Resolution No. 2 S. 2010 Congratulates CALD Chair Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha for winning a seat in the 7th Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, his victory achieved in the country’s first national polls since the defeat of the Tamil Tigers; recognizes his capability to carry out the functions of this office with the highest degree of excellence, dedication, and genuine concern for the public good; and wishes him success in his new post as Member of Parliament. Issued 22 April. Resolution No. 3 S. 2010 Congratulates the Liberal Democrats for their successful entry into the British government as coalition partners of the Conservative Party and for the consequent appointment of their leader, Nick Clegg, as Deputy Prime Minister; recognizes the Liberal Democrat Party’s historic role in British politics as a party of gradual but continuous reform; and expresses its trust in the commitment of the coalition government to enact the necessary political, economic, and social reforms in the British system that would further deepen freedom and uphold social justice. Issued 21 May.
Resolution No. 5 S. 2010 Commends Siegfried Herzog for his exemplary work and dedicated service as Resident Representative of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty Philippine Office (20062010); recognizes his significant contributions to the advancement of liberal politics and economic freedom in the Philippines and in the region; expresses CALD’s sincere gratitude for his support; and wished him continued success in his new post as FNF Regional Director for South Asia and in all his future endeavors. Issued 28 June. Resolution No. 6 S. 2010 Looks forward to sustainable peace in Sri Lanka on the basis of a united nation committed to pluralism and democracy and accountability; regrets efforts to revive violence in the cause of separatism, and urges political parties in Sri Lanka to enter into negotiations with the government for the resolution of problems that remain; and urges the international community to support the government’s efforts at reconciliation and rapid economic development in areas affected by war, with full respect for human rights. Issued 29 June.
Resolution No. 8 S. 2010 Condemns the 23 September verdict on Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP and leader of Cambodia’s second largest political party, to 10 years in prison with a fine of $15,730 for supposed disinformation and falsifying public documents; noting that Sam Rainsy was tried and sentenced in absentia; calls for independence of the Cambodian judiciary and respect for political dissent; and expresses CALD’s unwavering support for the Sam Rainsy Party and its continuing struggle to strengthen democratic institutions and instill democratic reforms in Cambodia. Issued 25 September. Resolution No. 9 S. 2010 Denounces the Burmese military junta’s claim that the upcoming 7 November elections will be free, fair, and inclusive; and demands that the military government show serious efforts to make the transition to democratic civilian rule more inclusive and credible: first, by releasing all political prisoners; second, by amending the 2008 constitution and initiating a series of dialogues and consultations with stakeholders from all sectors of societyl and third, by constituting an independent Election Commission that will provide for the conduct of an impartial, transparent, accountable, and fully democratic election. Issued 5 November.
Statements and Letters The sorry state of affairs in Cambodia and Burma continued to weigh heavily on CALD’s mind in 2010, prompting it to issue at least two statements on pertinent issues in those two countries during the year. In a 4 June statement, for instance, CALD expressed alarm over court cases against Cambodian opposition members that it traced to a “flurry of questionable actions done in 2009 by cohort of the Prime Minister in the Cambodian National Assembly, particularly the lifting of the parliamentary immunities of opposition leaders Hon. Sam Rainsy, Hon.. Mu Sochua, and Mr. Ho Vann, making them vulnerable to politically motivated charges.” CALD, the statement also said, was also “gravely troubled by the seeming pattern of convictions in the court cases filed by the ruling government against the opposition. This raises valid concerns regarding the independence of the judiciary in Cambodia and the use of position and power in silencing dissent through politically motivated cases in the guise of observing the rule of law.” The statement, in fact, was partly a reaction to a Cambodian Supreme Court ruling upholding the conviction of Mu Sochua in a defamation case filed against her by Premier Hun Sen. Earlier, Sam Rainsy had also been sentenced in absentia on charges of racial incitement and destroying demarcation posts on Cambodia’s border with Vietnam. At least CALD’s 14 November statement that it issued jointly with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe was in reaction to good news – it welcomed the long-overdue release from house arrest of Nobel Peace Laureate and Burmese democracy leader Daw Aung Suu Kyi. At the same time, though, CALD saw it fit to urge the Burmese junta not only to make the CALD honorary individual member’s release unconditional, but also to release other political prisoners. It said as well, “While we rejoice with the reset of the world about Daw Aung Suu Kyi’s release, we deeply lament that the recently held election was a sham and a mockery of democratic processes. We are concerned that a possible escalation of armed conflicts between the regime and ethnic groups may ensue because the election was largely seen as unfair and not free.” Fortunately, the rest of CALD’s statements for 2010 were decidedly more optimistic. In January, CALD issued a statement congratulating the Liberal Party of the Philippines on its 64th founding anniversary, noting that the party was “ready to take the challenge to fulfill the promise that had long been laid down before the Filipino people – to strengthen the country’s democratic institutions and processes and institutions and to give back to the people the power that rightfully belongs to them.” The next month, CALD was congratulating the Singapore Democratic Party on its 30th founding anniversary. In its 26 February statement, CALD said that with SDP’s “firm stand to promote a transparent and accountable political system and with its unwavering commitment to uphold democratic principles and institutionalize democratic practices, CALD is confident that the SDP will, in time,
take on the mantle of leadership in building a nation where freedom of expression, human rights, tolerance of legitimate dissent, and independence of the judiciary are secured and respected.” By 7 June, CALD was issuing a statement congratulating CALD Founding Secretary General and current Thai MP Hon. Ong-art Klampaiboon, who had been appointed as minister in the Office of the Prime Minister. It also noted that the reformist stance of the ruling Democrat Party had been recognized by the people of Bangkok, who gave the DP a landslide victory in the district council elections. CALD said that while there were still numerous challenges ahead both for the party and Thailand, it strongly believed in the DP’s capability to surmount these challenges and “pave the way for genuine national reconciliation.” CALD also found time to write congratulatory letters to members of its extended family. On 7 June, it wrote to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, congratulating him on his recent election as Japanese premier and as president of the Democratic Party of Japan, a CALD observer party. In the letter, CALD expressed its strong belief in Kan’s “commitment to build a country with a strong economy, strong finances, and strong social welfare would restore the confidence of the Japanese populace in the government.” Ten days later, CALD was sending its congratulations further afield -- to the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) in the Netherlands. The VVD had then recently achieved a resounding victory at the polls, emerging as the largest party in the Dutch Lower House, where it snagged 31 seats. Commending VVD for “elevating campaign standards to sustain the interest of the people on its issue-based strategy,” CALD said it was confident that “genuine reform will soon take place in the Netherlands under the coalition leadership of fellow liberals from VVD.” In November, CALD took time out to write Dr. Tsai Ing-Wen, chairperson of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party. In the letter dated 29 November, CALD expressed its gratitude and appreciation for DPP’s hosting of a CALD delegation to observe Taiwan’s November elections, as well as for the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy’s financial support for the mission. The mission, CALD said, became a venue for the sharing of experiences in election administration, campaign strategies, and political communications. It also reminded members of the CALD delegation of the importance of elections in a democracy. CALD then went on to congratulate the DPP, a CALD member party, on its mayoralty wins in Kaohsiung and Tainan, as well as for its being able to capture more than half of the popular votes overall, apart from significantly increasing its seats in the city councils. Remarked CALD: “These, we believe are indications that the DPP is regaining the trust of the Taiwanese people and is prepared to contest the parliamentary and presidential elections in the coming year.”
Bulletin A meeting of the old and new OLD and new CALD family members and friends had a mini get-together in Bangkok on 4 March when members of the CALD Secretariat made a courtesy call to Bangkok Governor and former CALD Chairman H. E. M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra. The governor, a stalwart of Thailand’s Democrat Party, received the visitors at the Amornpiman Room of the Hall of Angels at the headquarters of the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA). John Joseph Coronel, CALD consultant and former executive director, introduced to Governor Sukhumbhand CALD’s new executive director, Lito Arlegue. He also briefed the Bangkok official on the outcome of the then freshly concluded CALD Colombo Conference on education, as well as on the organization’s upcoming activities. Governor Sukhumbhand said he appreciated the visited and expressed willingness to assist CALD in its future endeavors. Other BMA officials present were Deputy Permanent Secretary Saowapark Krajangyooth and Secretary to the Bangkok Governor Piyaporn Sankosik.
Included in the CALD delegation were CALD Program Officer Gianna Gayle Amul, ASEAN-WEN Liaison Officer and former CALD Program Officer Brian Gonzales, and FNF Web Developer Narwin Espiritu.
Witnessing a democratic highlight AT exactly 12 noon of 30 June, CALD members, partners, and guests witnessed in person the oath-taking and inauguration of Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III as the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines. The son of the late President Corazon ‘Cory’ Aquino, Noynoy Aquino became the standard bearer of a CALD founding member organization, the Liberal Party of the Philippines, at the May 2010 presidential polls, acquiescing to public clamor for him to vie for the country’s highest post. A former legislator, Noynoy Aquino had also served as CALD secretary general in 1999. The CALD delegation was part of more than half a million people who endured the sweltering midday heat at Manila’s historic Quirino Grandstand just so they could observe democracy’s most distinguishing landmark: the peaceful transfer of power from one leader to another. Indeed, there
were few complaints, with Huai-hui Hsieh, international affairs department deputy director of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party, even commenting, “We attended inaugurations in the past, but we think your ceremony is the best.” National Council of the Union of Burma Secretary General Maung Maung, meanwhile, described the event as a “marvelous sight” -- a rather bittersweet observation from someone whose homeland has been under a despotic regime for decades now. The Philippine presidential inauguration was the highlight of the three-day “Asian Liberal Parties in Power: Getting There, Remaining There” that was organized by CALD in the Philippine capital. (See Projects section)
Bulletin Manila redux for Sam Rainsy Party EVEN holding a simple meeting can be complicated for the Cambodian opposition Sam Rainsy Party in its homeland, but the CALD member group knows it is always welcome in the CALD headquarters in Makati City, Philippines. And so on 1 July, MPs and officials of the feisty Cambodian party – including its exiled leader Sam Rainsy -- met at the new premises of the CALD Secretariat. It was actually the second time the SRP held its meeting in Manila. The first time around was on 15 November 2005, when Sam Rainsy’s parliamentary was first stripped, forcing him to go into exile. Similar circumstances prompted the July meeting in Manila; the MP and former CALD chair was once more in exile, and had even been tried and sentenced in absentia in January on charges of racial incitement and destruction of demarcation posts on the Cambodia-
Vietnam border. Since its head could not enter Cambodia without being arrested, SRP opted to hold its meeting with him in another country. MP and CALD Women’s Caucus chairwoman Mu Sochua would later say that meeting was very productive and fruitful. Prior to the meeting, the SRP delegation attended the CALD Manila conference, as well as the inauguration of the Liberal Party’s Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino as Philippine president. For sure, it was one party meeting the SRP would not forget easily. Said its leader and former CALD chairman Sam Rainsy: “We are grateful for the warm hospitality our liberal friends in Manila have shown.” He added that beyond the success of the SRP meeting, solidarity in action was definitely in place through CALD’s efforts.
Friends from far away touch base WHEN CALD Secretary General Neric Acosta found himself in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa in July, he lost no time seeking out Hubertus von Welck, South Africa regional director of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. After all, von Welck had served previously as FNF East and Southeast Asia regional director, and had worked closely with Acosta on various CALD projects and initiatives.
On 5 July, the two men had a casual meeting during which they updated each other on their respective organizations’ activities. Acosta, for one, told von Welck about the latest political developments among the CALD member parties, as well as about CALD projects for the second half of 2010. He also shared his campaign experience the Philippines’ May polls in which he ran for senator and which saw the victory of LP’s Noynoy Aquino in the presidential race. Von Welck, meanwhile, informed Acosta of the liberal developments in the African region. He also updated the CALD official on the progress of the African Liberal Networks (ALN), an organization of 24 parties from 19 African nations that aims to promote liberal democratic objectives and principles throughout the African continent. He reminded Acosta as well of the Liberal International Executive Committee meeting that was to be held in Cape Town in November. Both CALD and ALN are LI partners and have actively participated in regional liberal network meetings during LI Congresses.
A youthful beginning THE newest kid on the CALD block was born in a workshop in Kaohshuing, Taiwan in August (see Projects section and What’s New with CALD). One could also say participants labored for five days – the duration of the CALD workshop for the youth wings of its member and observer parties – with CALD veterans acting as midwives before the newest member of the CALD family could be delivered. By the time the workshop ended, the participants had unanimously agreed that there was a need for them to organize to increase their influence not only in their mother parties and CALD, but also in national, regional, and global affairs. Put another way, the workshop participants saw the formation of CALD Youth as an important step in promoting youth participation and empowerment in Asia and the rest of the world. It was decided that CALD Youth would serve as CALD’s youth arm, with tight organizational set-up and clear political orientation. The youth wings/departments/ desks of CALD member and observer parties -Democrat Party (Thailand); Democratic Progressive Party (Taiwan); Liberal Party (Philippines); Liberal Party (Sri Lanka); Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia; Sam Rainsy Party (Cambodia); Singapore Democrat Party; National Council of the Union of Burma; Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle; Nation Awakening Party (Indonesia); Democratic Party of Hong Kong; and Democratic Party of Japan – became its founding members. At the workshop, the representatives of these organizations decided to adopt the CALD model in terms of structure and processes and chose as CALD Youth’s very first chairperson Selyna Peiris, head of the Young Liberals of Sri Lanka (youth wing of the LPSL). When not busy with politics, Peiris works at one of the leading law firms in Sri Lanka. She is also studying at the Sri Lanka Law College, although she already has a Masters in Advanced International Studies from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, and holds an LLB Honors from Hull University in the United Kingdom as well as an LLM in International Business Law from University College London. Said Peiris after being chosen for the CALD Youth post: “I am very honored to be chosen as founding chair of CALD Youth. It is a huge responsibility, but it is comforting to know that my fellow delegates are really committed into making this work.”
Bulletin Liberals in Liverpool IT is known as the birthplace of the Beatles, but now there’s another reason for CALD to remember Liverpool: on 18-22 September, it had a delegation there for a conference study visit that was organized by the Liberal Democrats of the United Kingdom. At the time, the LibDems were still savoring their party and the coalition government’s victory at the May national elections. The CALD delegation, which was headed by Chairman Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha and Secretary General Dr. Neric Acosta, were briefed by no less than State Secretary for Business, Innovation, and Skills and MP Vince Cable; State Secretary for Energy and Climate Change and MP Chris Huhne; former Liberal Democrats leader Lord Paddy Ashdown; State Minister and MP Jeremy Browne; and State Minister for the Armed Forces and MP Nick Harvey. Then again, the CALD delegation was made up of seasoned politicians as well, ensuring thoughtful discussion: MP Sam Rainsy (Sam Rainsy Party, Cambodia); Bi-Khim Hsiao (Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan), Nyo Myint (National Council of the Union of Burma), John Tan (Singapore Democratic Party), Ng Lip Yong (Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia), Andreas Pareira (Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle), and Lamberto Ramirez (Liberal Party of the Philippines). Policy debates included motions on human rights, the ‘war on terror,’ and accountability to the poor. Fringe sessions, meanwhile, aimed to answer questions such as ‘Can aid help poor people hold their leaders to account?,’ ‘Conflict-affected states – is it time to rethink development?,’ and ‘Truth about trade – igniting or impeding African development.’ Democracy and human rights in the developing world was another topic for discussion.
The CALD team was also able to meet Paul Speller, head of the Liberal Democrat International Office; Baroness Scott, president of the Liberal Democrats; International Relations Committee Chairman Robert Woolthorpe Browne; International Development Select Committee Chairman and MP Malcolm Bruce; former Liberal Democrats Chief Executive Lord Rennard; MP Don Foster, Liberal Democrat Party Governor for Westminster Foundation for Democracy; MP Michael Moore, State Secretary for Scotland; and the Liberal International Bureau. But the entire visit’s highlight was clearly the opportunity to meet and
listen to party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, MP. In his speech, Clegg talked about the challenges of being part of a coalition government while affirming the party’s commitment to its ideology. He stressed, “(Walking) through the door of government with the Tories does not mean we lose our souls as liberals.” Observed CALD’s Acosta: “It will be fascinating to watch how this coalition will evolve in the next five years, or how the British public will judge the effectiveness of running government with two drivers at the steering wheel – with two divergent ideological moorings at that.”
Beyond the yurts MONGOLIA is hardly the first country that comes to mind whenever talks turn to democracy, but the international monitoring group Freedom House says it is actually one of the few “free” nations in the Asia-Pacific. Indeed, in a region that has seen a continuous erosion of political right and political liberties, Mongolia is one country that has consistently proven its commitment to freedom and adherence to democratic values. And so when the Civil Will Party (CWP) of Mongolia coordinated a joint mission for CALD and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty there, CALD Executive Director Lito Arlegue and FNF East and Southeast Asia Regional Director Dr. Rainer Adam quickly packed their bags and headed for the Mongolian capital. And while their visit to Ulaanbaatar was brief – from 27-30 September – they were able to meet not only with key officials and members of CWP, but also had a fruitful dialogue with the leaders of Mongolia’s other major parties, including the ruling Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) and the Democratic Party. Arlegue and Adam met with the country representative of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation as well. CALD-FNF later expressed their appreciation for the efforts of CWP in making the mission possible. CWP previously had been part of the Mongolian government (2004 to 2008) as one of the three democratic parties forming the Democratic Coalition. But the coalition collapsed in 2006; two years later, the ex-communist MPRP regained control of the Parliament, the State Great Hural. In 2009, CWP became part of the Democratic Union to contest the presidential elections; the Union won with a narrow margin over the MPRP candidate. In the past, CWP spearheaded the passage of the AntiCorruption Law, as well as a bill on financial transparency of government officials and political parties. In recently years, the party has broadened its advocacies to include electoral reforms, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development. CWP head and MP Dr. Sanjaasuren Oyun has been elected consistently into parliament since 1998. the sister of assassinated democratic leader Sanjaasuren Zorig, she is the only woman who has been voted consistently as among Mongolia’s 10 most popular politicians. A Liberal International observer member since 2009, CWP participated in CALD’s Asian political parties conference in Manila in June.
Let’s talk about security THE setting was Rome in the fall of 2010. But CALD came in formidable force at the meeting set by the Alliance of Democrats on 30 September to 1 October not in search of romance, but to participate in the sharing of ideas on “Security, Development, and Democracy” After all, as Alliance of Democrats lead coordinator and former Italian deputy foreign minister Gianni Vernetti, MP, pointed out in his opening remarks, security is a precondition to any government with a vision to achieve development and nation-building. He also stressed the importance of regional stability in strengthening the rule of law and democracy. CALD Chairman and International Secretary of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka Rajiva Wijesinha, MP, later drew attention to the root causes of terrorism. Everyone, he said, should “think of issues and problems in terms of the thorough awareness of history and thorough awareness of the situation today.” Unless people do so, said Wijesinha, there will be no moving forward. 52
CALD Secretary General Dr. Neric Acosta, for his part, observed that in transition societies, people would tend to follow “security, development, and democracy” in that order. But he argued that to achieve sustainable security, one needs the antecedents or enabling conditions of democracy and freedom, along with the respect for human rights, to sustain economic development, reduce poverty and bridge societal divides, and build stronger democratic institutions. Former Italian deputy prime minister and Rome mayor Francesco Rutelli in his concluding remarks took note of the security and peace efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, even as he encouraged the plenary to continue the fight for freedom in Burma and for the freedom of opposition leader Daw Aung Suu Kyi. Currently co-president of the European Democratic Party, Rutelli also said that democrats should reach consensus and commitment in policy-making to consolidate peace, security, and economic growth. One of the highlights of the meeting was the video welcome speech of Japanese
Prime Minister Naoto Kan, one of the founding members of the Alliance of Democrats. A member of the Democratic Party of Japan, a CALD observer party, Kan had expressed delight over the alliance’s continued growth. A farewell dinner hosted by Hon. Rutelli and his wife at their elegant home in central Rome capped the event. CALD presented tokens of appreciation to the couple and thanked MP Venetti for the opportunity given to CALD to participate and dialogue with democrats from 45 countries across the globe. Aside from Wijesinha and Acosta, the CALD delegation included Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, who is also adviser to the leader of the Thai Democrat Party; Sam Rainsy, MP and head of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia; Bi-Khim Hsiao, international affairs director of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party; James To, legislative councilor from the CALD observer party Democratic Party of Hong Kong; and CALD Senior Program Officer Paolo Zamora.
Building bridges in Beirut IT’S the baby in the CALD family, but CALD Youth is already going places – Beirut, Lebanon, specifically, for a few days in November. Actually, the new organization was invited by the International Federation of Liberal Youth to attend its General Assembly and so CALD Youth head Selyna Peiris left her Sri Lankan home and boarded a plane for the Middle East. IFLRY, a full member of CALD partner Liberal International, describes itself as an “international umbrella organization of liberal and radical youth organizations.” At present it has more than 90 member organizations across the globe. The decision for CALD Youth to be present at the IFLRY assembly on 19-21 November was made in consultation with the CALD Secretariat. Peiris also had a private meeting with the IFLRY Executive Committee. As Peiris pointed out later, having CALD Youth at the IFLRY event was an “excellent opportunity to introduce CALD Youth to the global youth liberal movements and organizations and to build networks and connections,” among other things. In fact, Peiris went home with an invitation for CALD Youth to apply for IFLRY membership at the group’s next general assembly. Peiris, who is also president of the Association of Young Liberals of Sri Lanka, said that it was helpful to “hear what other liberal organizations thought of CALD Youth.” “Additionally,” she said in a report she wrote after the assembly, “the seminars and workshops were very useful and interesting. There was debate and discussion about liberalism in the Arab world and the need for contextualization to the specific environments…(Lessons) can be drawn across the continents. I took the opportunity o give inputs about the South and Southeast Asian context as well. I was also encouraging as a young liberal to meet like-minded individuals, build relationships for working together, share experiences, and make friendships.” 53
A Dutch-ess at CALD SHE came, she saw, and she more than conquered whatever tasks were thrown her way. Indeed, while University of Utrecht political history and international relations student Wytske Zjilmans had her hands full during her three-month internship (6 September-6 December) at the CALD Secretariat, but her energy barely flagged throughout. This was even though she found herself participating in at least two projects overseas: the 4th CALD-ALDE Meeting/2nd CALD Vision Mission Workshop in Kuala Lumpur on 12-16 November and CALD’s Taiwan Election Monitoring Mission on 24-28 November. Zjilmans also assisted in the IAF Replication Seminar on Human Rights of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Philippine Office that was held in Cebu City, Philippines on 20-23 November. She participated as well in some lectures and seminars organized by FNF Philippines partners, such as the Liberal Party of the Philippines, the National Institute for Policy Studies, Foundation for Economic Freedom, and the Philippine Economic Society. At the same time, she did research and audio-visual presentations, along with editing manuscripts and doing documentation. “I was warmly welcomed in the CALD family,” said Zjilmans of her short stay with CALD. “I got the opportunity to experience Asian politics on various levels, which, I must say, is very interesting from a Dutch perspective. More importantly, the program significantly improved my work and social skills. This without a doubt would help me in my graduate studies and in my future endeavors.” Zjilmans was slated to begin graduate studies at the University of Ultrecht in February 2011, under an exclusive program on international relations from a historical perspective (specializing in Southeast Asia’s decolonization).
Tales of two interns MONEY and the military were probably foremost in the minds of CALD’s two interns to the European Parliament for 2010, but that would be because one was assigned to ALDE’s Economic Committee while the other’s research were mainly on European security and defense strategies. The two actually did their internships a few months apart. First to arrive in Brussels was Muhammad Shamin Bin Mohamed Sidek of the youth wing of the Singapore Democratic Party, who was at the EP from 11 January to 9 April. Assigned to the Economic Committee, he wrote reports on hearings that he attended, a summary on an OECD report, and research notes on “dark pools” and the concept of living wills in the financial sector. He also organized a seminar on the EU’s anti-cartel policy, as well as helped the ALDE-PAC committee get ready for a seminar in Burundi. In addition, Sidek did administrative and data mining.
L. H. W. Chamil Prasad of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka came later in the year. The subcommittee on security and defense became his home of sorts for the duration of his internship, which was from 13 September to 15 December. Among his tasks was researching and producing briefing notes on topics such as European crisis management strategies, defense policies, military operations, antiterrorism strategies, and the like. Although the issues they tackled during their internships were poles apart, both Sidek and Prasad later expressed appreciation for being given the opportunity to see the EU Parliament at work and to be exposed to a multicultural environment. Prasad, in his report on his EP experience, noted that the “system is very comprehensive and consists of a lot of democratic values such as check and balance in various stages…(and) inputs of the majority based on constructive debates and criticisms.” Sidek, for his part, commented, “Having been brought up in an authoritarian political system where policies are forced down the throat of citizens, a system that practices the idea of democracy and freedom and (in which) decisions are made based on compromises is something that I really admire.” Sidek, however, thought that interns from CALD should perhaps be given some tasks or assignments that have some connection to CALD or Asia. He also suggested that stagiaires coming from Asia be met by someone at the airport “to prevent security complications.” Prasad meanwhile said that it would be useful to have a mechanism in place that would monitor and evaluate the interns’ activities and performance “as that would help us to identify our (weak) and strong areas in performing duties.” ALDE organizes the annual internship program at the EP for CALD member parties with the International Political Dialogue of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.
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Women’s Caucus CALD has always recognized the role women play in the organization and elsewhere, but now there’s the CALD Women’s Caucus that is putting even more focus on women’s abilities and skills. In October, it held a workshop on grassroots organizing in Phnom Penh that had among its discussion topics assisting women in organizing themselves, attracting them to join political parties, and encouraging them to seek leadership positions.
instance, she addressed the Alliance of Liberal Democrats for Europe at the European Parliament during the staging of ‘Seven,’ a play about human-rights activists that included her story. During a visit to the United States in that same month as SRP women’s wing head, she joined a panel discussion organized by the Economist in New York.
“Empowerment cannot be enforced from outside or ‘the top,’” observes Mu Sochua, current head of the Caucus, as well as a human-rights activist and Cambodian opposition MP. “Only through education programs, awareness-raising, and continuous discussions can we push for a world in which both men and women actually truly believe in and respect the equality of all. This must take place at all levels of society, within elite circles, as well as at the grassroots level.” “Today, all of the world’s countries still hold a strong culture of disregard toward women’s qualifications,” she adds. “However, the paradigm is shifting slowly in almost all countries in Asia, and even drastically in some as we have seen women emerging to take the top office of their own government.” The CALD Women’s Caucus, in fact, was formed in June 2006, in recognition of the women’s ability to contribute greatly to CALD’s thrusts of promoting democracy and human rights; justice; rule of law; and free and fair elections. It aims to broaden women’s participation in CALD member parties; to open and strengthen more avenues for women in CALD parties to assume greater leadership roles; and to identify and mainstream gender issues and gender-related policies and initiatives within CALD organizations and activities. It also calls upon CALD member parties to develop their respective women’s wings. And just to help ensure everyone is up to date with whatever the Caucus is up to, it recently put up the website www.caldwomen.org. A Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Mu Sochua herself has been doing more than her bit to bring international attention to women’s political participation in Asia. In December, for
Mu Sochua is also the acting vice president for Asia of the International Network of Liberal Women (INLW), which includes the Caucus among its members. Says the Cambodian politician: “We as political representatives of CALD are the fortunate observers of exciting and important times in Asia, as well as direct responsible participants. As greater space is being available to women on the political scene, we hold the ability to push for further and faster changes.” “Across the world,” she says, “with the Asian region certainly leading, women are speaking out, becoming public figures, but also demanding yet more equality and respect. And as representatives of all the people, we cannot but respect these requests. To ignore them would only erode our legitimacy and relevance.”
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THERE’S a palpable spring in each of CALD’s steps these days, and it could well be because of the renewed vigor it is feeling with the latest addition to the organization: CALD Youth, born in August 2010 at a workshop in Taiwan. Currently made up of the youth wings/desks/departments of CALD member and observer parties, CALD Youth is inviting other similar liberal and democratic organizations to become part of it. Its main goal, it says, is “to bring together…politically oriented liberal youths into on forum for discussion and action on common agendas.” The organization hopes that by doing so it would be able to a. Promote liberal and democratic values through education and capacity- building among youth nationally and regionally; b. Create regional solidarity among liberal youth on national issues relating to the violation of liberty, democracy, and equality; c. Create regional networks and build relationships among liberal youth and potential future liberal leaders in the Asian region; and d. Increase membership in national liberal party youth wings and provide for the smooth transition of youth wings into the political mainstream with an added advantage of regional linkages and liberal relationships. “In essence,” says CALD Youth, “we work together to ensure a democratic and free Asia for our future generations and quintessentially, we wish to influence common liberal solutions to common problems with the overarching aim of uniting and creating a progressive and democratic Asia.” CALD Youth is presently headed by the Young Liberals of Sri Lanka, whose president, Selyna Peiris, is now CALD Youth chairperson. Each member party gets a chance to lead the organization for two years. CALD Youth holds office at the CALD Secretariat in Manila, Philippines.
CALD Speakers and Session Chairs 2010
CALD Colombo Conference Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP Leader of the Cambodian Opposition (Sam Rainsy Party) & Former CALD Chairman
Dr. Wilfrido Villacorta Former Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN & Former Chair of the National Institute for Policy Studies (NIPS) Liberal Party of the Philippines
Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP Leader of the Cambodian Opposition (Sam Rainsy Party) & Former CALD Chair
Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Chairman, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats & Former President, Liberal Party of Sri Lanka
Dr. Parth Shah President Center for Civil Society, India
Hon. Lau Chin Hoon State Assemblyman of Pemanis & Chairman of Education and Knowledge Society Bureau Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia
Mr. Nyo Ohn Myint Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Committee National League for Democracy (Liberated Area)
Prof. Ying Shih President of the Humanistic Education Foundation Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan
Mr. Siegfried Herzog Resident Representative Friedrich Naumann Foundation – Manila Office
Mr. Barun Mitra Founder and Director Liberty Institute, India
Mr. Juan Miguel Luz Associate Dean, Center for Development Management Asian Institute of Management, Philippines
Mr. Lalith Weeratunga Secretary to H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Mr. Robert Woodthorpe Browne Vice-President and Member of the Bureau, Liberal International & Chairman, International Relations Committee of the Liberal Democrats, United Kingdom Mr. Ng Lip Yong Former Deputy Minister of International Trade, Malaysia & Central Committee Member, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Hon. Harunobu Yonenaga, MP Vice Director-General of the International Department Democratic Party of Japan Hon. Itsuki Toyama, MP Democratic Party of Japan
Hon. Niccolo Rinaldi Member of the European Parliament Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Mr. Kamal Nissanka Leader of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka & Former Secretary General of CALD Mr. Amit Kaushik Former CEO Shri Educare Ltd., India Mr. Anees Jillani Chairman Liberal Forum Pakistan Mr. Sylvester Lim Singapore Democratic Party Dr. Upali Sedere Director General, National Institute of Education & Chief Adviser to the Ministry of Education Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Mr. Robert Woodthorpe Browne Vice-President and Member of the Bureau, Liberal International Chairman, International Relations Committee of the Liberal Democrats United Kingdom Hon. Ong-Art Klampaiboon, MP Democrat Party Thailand Founding Secretary General of CALD Mr. Premasara Epasinghe Private Secretary of Hon. A.D. Susil Premajayantha Minister of Education Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Mrs. Swarna Amaratunga President Liberal Party of Sri Lanka
CALD Manila Conference Hon. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP Chair, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Secretary of International Affairs & former President, Liberal Party Hon. Jun Abaya, MP Secretary General Liberal Party of the Philippines Dr. Rainer Adam Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty Mr. Ng Lip Yong Chairman Central Unit of International Relations and Affairs Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Mr. John Tan Assistant Secretary-General Singapore Democratic Party Mr. Maung Maung Secretary General National Council of the Union of Burma Hon. Mu Sochua, MP Head, Women’s Wing of Sam Rainsy Party Chair, CALD Women’s Caucus Mr. Chito Gascon, Esq. Director General Liberal Party of the Philippines Hon. Yasona H. Laoly, MP Member of Parliament Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle
Ms. Huai-Hui Hsieh Deputy Director of Department of International Affairs Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Mr. Siegfried Herzog Regional Director for South Asia Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Manila Hon. Otto Guevara Guth President, Libertarian Movement Party Co-founder and President, RELIAL Mr. Jules Maaten Resident Representative Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty, Philippine Office Former Member of the European Parliament Sdra Datuk Chang Kou Yun National Deputy President Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Mr. Butch Abad, Esq. Transition Team of President-elect Noynoy Aquino Hon. Saumura Tioulong, MP Sam Rainsy Party Hon. Hans Van Baalen, MEP President Liberal International Ms. Bi-Khim Hsiao Director of Department of International Affairs Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Hon. Apirak Kosayodhin Former Governor of Bangkok Democrat Party of Thailand
Dr. Neric Acosta Secretary General Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Hon. Ong-Art Klampaiboon Minister Office of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva Hon. Franklin, M. Drilon Senator-Elect, Republic of the Philippines Chairman, Liberal Party of the Philippines Former CALD Chair Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP Leader of the Cambodian Opposition President of the Sam Rainsy Party
CALD Youth Caucus Workshop Ms. Chen Chu Mayor, Kaohsiung City Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan (DPP) Ms. Bi-khim Hsiao Director of Department of International Affairs Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan (DPP) Mr. Alex Huang Director, Youth Development Department Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan (DPP) Hon. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP Chair, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Secretary of International Affairs & former President, Liberal Party of Sri Lanka (LPSL)
Ms. Mardi Mapa-Suplido Executive Director Youth Aid Philippines Ms. Huai-hui Hsieh Deputy Director of Department of International Affairs Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan (DPP)
3rd Political Party Management Workshop on Party Finance and CALD Women’s Caucus Workshop Hon. Mu Sochua, MP Chair, CALD Women’s Caucus & Head of the Women’s Wing, Sam Rainsy Party Mr. Khim Sophanna Cambodia Manager Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty Mr. Seng Mardi Deputy Treasurer Sam Rainsy Party Dr. Pimrapaat Dusadeeisariyakul Programme Manager Malaysia Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty Mr. Celito Arlegue Executive Director Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats
CALD-ALDE Meeting Mr. Ng Lip Yong Chairman of the International Relations and Affairs of the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, & former Deputy Minister of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP Chair Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Hon. Niccolo Rinaldi, MEP Vice President Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Hon. Sin Chung-kai, JP Vice Chairperson, Democratic Party of Hong Kong CALD Individual member Dr. Rainer Adam Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF) Y.B. Senator Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon President, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (PGRM) & Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Hon. Niccolo Rinaldi, MEP Vice President Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Ms. Jayanthi Devi Balaguru Vice Chair, CALD Women’s Caucus & Secretary General, Women’s Wing, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (PGRM)
Hon. Florencio “Butch” Abad Minister of Department of Budget and Management, Philippines & former CALD Chair Hon. Toine Manders, MEP Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Hon. Nataphol Teepsuwan, MP Director General Democrat Party of Thailand Mr. Moritz Kleine-Brockhoff Project Director, Malaysia and Cambodia Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty U Aung Moe Zaw Joint General Secretary I National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) Chairperson, Democratic Party for a New Society Ms. Maysing Yang Vice President, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy CALD Founding Member Mr. Willem Van den Broucke Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Dr. Neric Acosta Secretary General Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Mr. Jules Maaten Country Director, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty, Philippine Office & former Member of the European Parliament
Hon. Jan Mulder, MEP Full Member LIBE Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Mr. Ng Lip Yong Chairman of the International Relations and Affairs of the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, & former Deputy Minister of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia Mr. Lambert Ramirez Executive Director National Institute for Policy Studies Liberal Party of the Philippines Hon. Jan Mulder, MEP Full Member LIBE Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Hon. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP Chair Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Dr. Neric Acosta Secretary General Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Hon. Niccolo Rinaldi, MEP Vice President Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Mr. Ng Lip Yong Chairman of the International Relations and Affairs of the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, & former Deputy Minister of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia
Mr. Moritz Kleine Brockhoff Project Director, Malaysia and Cambodia Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty
Electoral Observation Mission in Taiwan Ms. Maysing Yang Vice President Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Dr. Eric Chen-Hua Yu Assistant Researcher Election Study Center, National Chengchi University Dr. Winston Dang Foreign Policy Advisor Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan (DPP) Mr. Ryan Lin Chih-Wen Associate Researcher Survey Center, Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan (DPP) Ms. Liu Shyh-fang Campaign Manager DPP Greater Kaohsiung Campaign Headquarters for the National Security Council and the Office of the President. Mrs. Shih Director, Women’s Support Group for Greater Tainan Candidate Lai Chingteh Dr. Lin Chia-Lung Campaign Manager DPP Greater Taichung Campaign Headquarters Mr. Leou Chia-feng Director of Research Taiwan Thinktank 61
Members FULL MEMBER PARTIES Democrat Party of Thailand The Democrat Party, founded in 1946, is the oldest political party in Thailand, and is considered the oldest in Southeast Asia as well. Since its inception over 60 years ago, the Democrat Party has held ideologies that are opposed to all forms of dictatorship and which are instead committed to the promotion of democracy for the people, and most importantly, by the people. The survival and existence of the Democrat Party has not come easily. The Party has had to go through many political struggles throughout its history, which can be divided into four periods: -1st Period (1946-1967) - Party Building, Pro-Democracy, and Anti-Dictatorship -2nd Period (1968-1979) - Party Rehabilitation and Democracy Promotion -3rd Period (1979-1990) - Policy Improvement and Participation in National Administration -4th Period (1991-Present) - Leading Party of Opposition and of Coalition Government Introducing People’s Agenda Throughout its history, the Democrat Party has always stood firm on the principles of democracy, freedom, transparency, accountability, and public participation. These principles, stipulated in the Party Guidelines, have guided the Party in the last six decades, and will continue to guide it for many years and generations to come. Under the leadership and guidance of Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva and the Executive Committee, the Democrat Party aims to provide the Thai public with a viable, responsible political alternative to the populist political environment that has been permeating the Thai atmosphere since 2001. Through various schemes and measures implemented since 2008, especially the People’s Agenda, the Party has been able to steer national development toward a new direction. It uses the idea of “policy for the people by the people,” which highlights the point that “People must come first.” The Party has assured the inclusiveness of its socio-economic policy and measures. Programs such as 15 years of free education, income-guarantee initiative for farming population, debt relief and access to micro-credits, and social and health security scheme have been launched. Party Executives: 1. H.E. Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand Leader of the Democrat Party 2. H.E. Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand Secretary Generals of the Democrat Party 3. H.E. Mr. Kasit Piromya Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand Advisor to the Leader of the Democrat Party on Foreign Affairs 4. Hon. Dr. Buranaj Smutharaks Member of Parliament Spokesperson of the Democrat Party
Contact: Hon. Nataphol Teepsuwan, MP Director General Address: 67 Setsiri Road, Samsannai Phayathai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand Tel.: + 66 (0) 2270 0036 Fax: +66 (0) 2279 6086 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http:// www.democrat.or.th
Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan The DPP was founded on 28 September 1986 as the first opposition party in Taiwan that was created during the Martial Law period enacted by the Kuomintang Party (KMT). Founded mainly by family members and defense lawyers of political prisoners held by the KMT, the DPP consisted of political activists who risked their freedom and lives to transform Taiwanâ€™s political landscape. With the arrival of the DPP, a new era of rapid democratic change began in Taiwan, transforming a nation previously forced to endure decades of one-party authoritarian rule. The DPP has since evolved into a party dedicated to ensure social and political justice within Taiwan. The DPP has championed social welfare policies involving the rights of women, senior citizens, children, labors, indigenous peoples, farmers, and other disadvantaged sectors of society. On the political front, the DPP has won many battles for free speech, free press, the freedom of association, and respect for human rights. In 2000, Taiwan entered a new period of democracy when the DPP became the first ruling party in Taiwan other than the KMT. Under two administrations with eight years in government, the DPP earned valuable experience as a young party. Currently, as Taiwanâ€™s major opposition party, the DPP continues striving to preserve democracy and to ensure a balanced and fair system of government that represents the will of the Taiwanese people. For the last two years, the DPP has bounced back from a tumultuous period of setbacks and challenges. The past local elections have proven that the people are once again trusting the DPP through their support. Winning a total of six seats in the legislative by-election held in January and March of 2010, the DPP gained momentum during the end of 2010 at the Big-5 mayoral and councilor elections, garnering more than 50% support rate and winning two mayoral seats in Southern Taiwan. For 2011, the DPP is aligning itself with the current trend changes in Taiwan and listening to the voices of the public, planning to issue the final drafts of the proposed 10-Year Policy Manifesto, a policy package that will involve major policy recommendations for Taiwan in the aspects of international and cross strait affairs, gender equality, social fairness, and economic development. Under the current leadership of Dr. Tsai Ing-wen as the party chair, the DPP will also found, for the first time, a think tank dedicated to research on policies between the delicate relationship between Taiwan and China. Internationally, the DPP continues to adhere by the principles of democracy, human rights, and good governance through close alliances with democratic countries around the world. The DPP is a member of Liberal International and a founding member of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats.
Leaders: Dr. Ing-wen Tsai Chairperson Bi-khim Hsiao Director, International Department Contact: Huai-hui Hsieh Deputy Director, International Department Address: 10F, No. 30, Pei-ping East Road, Taipei, Taiwan Tel: +886-2-23929989 Fax: +886-2-23930342 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.dpp.org.tw Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle The ideology of PDI Perjuangan (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan â€“ Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) is based on 1st June 1945 Pancasila (Five Principle), which in turn is derived from the old indigenous Indonesian philosophy and way of life. Pancasila reflects Indonesian nationalism, humanity and internationalism, democracy, social justice, and belief in one God. PDI Perjuangan faces a constant challenge to become the uniting power of Indonesia and is always in the forefront of supporting social diversity in Indonesia. Equality among citizens is the basic foundation of our diversity in the unity. In the current Indonesian democracy, PDI Perjuangan plays its role to fulfil people and state sovereignty by strengthening democratic institutions, mechanisms, and political practices. It also aims for a self-sufficient economy in the globalization era to bring prosperity and social welfare to the people. A nationalist party, PDI Perjuangan maintains a political stand for pluralism, social welfare, and the sovereignty of the people. In April 2010, PDI-P held its third party congress in Bali, in which Hon. Megawati Soekarnoputri was re-elected as party chairwoman. The congress also solidified the partyâ€™s decision to become a major opposition to the government. In addition, the party restructured the organization in 33 provinces, over 500 districts, and more than 6,000 sub districts, down to the village level. 2010 was also a year of local elections, with 221 local government elections taking place until the beginning of January 2011. PDI-P won approximately 40% of the seats in the provincial and regency/district elections. Notably, the party won tremendously with more than 90% of the votes and the seats of Mayor and Vice Mayor, in Solo, Central Java. The party is proud of its success in spite of limited financial resources. Leaders: Hon. Megawati Soekarnoputri Chairwoman
Members Tjahjo Kumolo Secretary General Contact: Andreas Pareira Division Head for Defence, Security and International Affairs Hanjaya Setiawan Department Head for International Affairs Address: Jl. Raya Lenteng Agung No. 99, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia Tel: +62 21 7806028; 7806032 Fax: +62 21 7814472 Website: http://www.pdi-perjuangan.or.id Liberal Party of the Philippines The Liberal Party (LP) was founded on 19 January 1946 by Manuel Roxas, the first President of the Third Philippine Republic. It was formed by President Roxas from what was once the “Liberal Wing” of the old Nacionalista Party. Two more Presidents of the Philippines elected into office came from the LP: Elpidio Quirino and the redoubtable Diosdado Macapagal. Two other Presidents came originally from the ranks of the LP, being former members of the Party who later chose to follow a different path and joined the Nacionalistas: Ramon Magsaysay and Ferdinand Marcos. During the days leading to Martial Rule, Marcos would find his old Party as a potent roadblock to his quest for one-man rule. Led by Ninoy Aquino, Gerry Roxas, and Jovito Salonga, the LP would time and again hound the would-be dictator on issues like Human Rights and the curtailment of Freedoms. Not even the declaration of Martial Law silenced the LP, and it continued to fight the dictatorship despite the costs. Many of its leaders and members would be prosecuted and even killed during this time. In recent times, the LP was instrumental in ending more than half-a-century of U.S. military presence in the Philippines with its campaign in the Senate of 1991 to reject a new RP-US Bases Treaty. This ironically cost the Party dearly, losing for it the elections of 1992. In 2000, it showed its mettle by standing against the corruption of the Estrada administration, actively supporting the Resign-Impeach-Oust initiatives that led to People Power II. In 2004, the Party again stood its ground and withdrew its support from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo following controversies of her election into office. Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino III of the Liberal Party was elected as President of the Philippines in May 2010. At present, the LP has four members in the Senate and 80 members in the House of Representatives (approximately one-third of the roster), including the seats of House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. and three deputy speakers. At the local level, LP increased its number of governors from eight to 14. It has 11 vice governors and 122 provincial board members. The Party has also significantly increased its number of city and municipal government officials. LP is working to ensure that more Liberals are elected in the midterm 2013 elections.
Leaders: H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III Chair Senator Franklin Drilon and Speaker Sonny Belmonte Vice Chairs Hon. Mar Roxas President Hon. Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya, MP Secretary General Contact: Gladys Sta. Rita Director General Address: BALAY Expo Centro Building EDSA cor. MacArthur Avenue Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City Tel: +63 2 709 3829 / 709 3817 Fax: +63 2 709 3826 Mobile: +63 906 433 8452 / 949 415 9482 Website: http://www.liberalparty.org.ph Liberal Party of Sri Lanka The Liberal Party began as a think tank called the ‘Council for Liberal Democracy,’ the first institution to criticize the all-embracing statism of the colonial and immediate post-colonial periods. In espousing free economic policies together with wide-ranging political freedoms, the Council, and then the Liberal Party, opposed both the authoritarian crony capitalism of the United National Party and the socialism of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Both major parties are now in theory in favor of wide freedoms, but to ensure that these are understood and entrenched there is still need of coherent liberal activism. 2010 was a year of major elections for Sri Lanka. At the Presidential elections held in January, all parties rallied around either of the two main contenders. The Liberal Party continued to support the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapakse. After the victory at the parliamentary elections that followed in April, the party garnered a slot in the national list of the winning United Peoples Freedom Alliance Coalition and Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha was nominated as an MP from the national list after the election. During a meeting in Colombo in March 2010, the party took over the CALD chairmanship with Prof. Wijesinha as chairperson. The party revived the Council for Liberal Democracy and held consultative discussions with liberal-minded members of other parties. The Liberal Youth for Sri Lanka was also established and helps promote discussions amongst Sri Lankan youth groups. The party held a training workshop for its members, sponsored by a visiting delegation from the British Liberal Democrats. It also sent an intern to the European Parliament under an exchange program with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. This year, the party revived its website (www.liberalparty-srilanka.org) even as Prof. Wijesinha’s blog (rajivawijesinha.wordpress.com) is widely consulted in the country. 66
Members Leaders: Kamal Nissanka Secretary General Dr. Newton Peiris, Ph.D. Deputy Leader Swarna Amaratunga President J. Cassim Vice President Ananda Stephen Deputy Secretary General Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Ph.D., MP Secretary for International Affairs Contact: Address: 88/1, Rosmead Place, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka. Tel: +94-11-2691589 Website: http://www.liberalparty-srilanka.org
National Council of the Union of Burma The National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) works on democratic principles to achieve a democratic federal system in Burma. It believes equality for all can be achieved only through transparent and inclusive participation. NCUB was formed on 22 September 1992 in Marnerplaw. Originally aimed to perform both the responsibilities of the united front as well as Burmaâ€™s Parliament in exile, NCUB was initially made up of four major organizations: NDF, DAB, NLD(LA), and NCGUB. Today MPU is working on behalf of the NCGUB. NCUB is at the forefront of the resistance movement against the military junta even as it endeavors to gather Burmaâ€™s peoples together to build mutual trust and understanding. NCUB marches toward the elimination of military dictatorship in Burma and the establishment of peace, democracy, and a genuine Federal Union. Contact: Maung Maung Secretary General Aung Moe Zaw Joint General Secretary I Nyo Myint Director of the Foreign Affairs Committee National Council of the Union of Burma
Address: P.O Box (40), Mae Sot, Tak, 63110, Thailand Tel: +66 55 542 089 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ncub.org Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Since its founding in 1968, the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (PGRM) has seen growth and strength despite external constraints and internal problems. Through sincere leadership, pragmatic strategies, and non-communal approaches, PGRM obtained mass support to strive for an egalitarian united Malaysia characterized by racial harmony, social justice, economic equality, political democracy, and cultural liberalism. PGRM’s receptivity to people’s criticisms and advices and its sensitivity to their needs and aspirations are two major factors that contribute in making it a dynamic and resilient political force in Malaysia. In 2010, the Central Unit for International Relations and Affairs under the leadership of Mr. Ng Lip Yong was upgraded to the now full-fledged Central Bureau of International Relations and Affairs to reflect the party’s commitment to playing a greater and more meaningful role in the international and regional political arena. Besides council meetings, members of the Bureau and leaders of Gerakan regularly participate in CALD conferences, workshops, and other programs. Leaders: Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon National President Dato Chang Ko Youn Deputy President Teng Chang Yeow Secretary General Contact: Ng Lip Yong Chairman for International Relations and Affairs Katherine Ooi Deputy Chief Administrator Address: Level 5, Menara PGRM, No. 8 Jalan Pudu, Cheras, 56100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +60 3 9287 6868 Fax: +60 3 9287 8866 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.gerakan.org.my
Members Sam Rainsy Party Cambodia’s main opposition party is a political organization with a vision and commitment dedicated toward genuine reform: quality of life and justice for all. The Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) is fully committed to building roads for a peaceful transition toward a liberalized democracy in the Kingdom of Cambodia through its motto of “Integrity, Truth, Justice.” In January 2010, Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP, Leader of the Cambodian opposition, was sentenced in absentia to two years in prison. This was in addition to a 10-year sentence handed down in 2009, after Sam Rainsy was convicted for racial incitement and the destruction of public property. Hon. Sam has since been in self-imposed exile in Europe but continues his work with the party through online conferences and international meetings. The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Cambodia on 21 October 2010 that strongly denounces “all politically motivated sentences against representatives of the opposition and NGOs,” particularly those against Hon. Sam Rainsy. It calls upon Cambodian authorities to engage in political and institutional reforms to build a democratic state and “guarantee free and fair political expression without intimidation and harassment.” Similarly, the parliamentary immunity of Hon. Mu Sochua, MP, head of the party’s women’s wing, was lifted in February 2010. She has been found guilty of defamation for filing a law suit against the Prime Minister of Cambodia. Her case has also been denounced internationally as a politically-motivated prosecution. The Sam Rainsy Party continues to struggle to strengthen democratic institutions and instill democratic reforms in the country. In his New Year message for 2011, Hon. Sam Rainsy stated that “Cambodia needs true progress, modernity, sustainable and equitable economic development, social justice, decent employment for the large number of young people entering the job market, increased well-being for the entire population, and an intelligent and strong defense of the vital interests of the nation.” Leader: Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP President Sam Rainsy Party Contact: Hon. Yim Sovann, MP Spokesperson Sam Rainsy Party Address: 71 Sothearos Blvd., Phnom Penh, Cambodia Telefax: +855-23-217452 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.samrainsyparty.org
Singapore Democratic Party The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) was constituted in 1980. It believes in, and is working toward restoring human, civil, and political rights in Singapore; fostering a vibrant and dynamic society based on pluralism and diversity; cultivating a transparent and accountable political system; establishing an economic system based on free competition and equal opportunity for all; removing all policies and practices that discriminate against the less fortunate, women, and minorities; and cooperating with democratic parties and organizations in Asia to achieve peace and sustainable development in the region. It is the first opposition party in Singapore to have a youth wing (Young Democrats) and to deploy Internet as alternative media. It uses blogging, political videos, and online forums to reach out to the people. The Central Executive Committee (CEC) governs the party with Mr. Gandhi Ambalam as its chairman and Dr. Chee Soon Juan its secretary-general. SDP commemorated its 30th founding anniversary in February 2010 in the midst of facing continuing persecution by an authoritarian government for its belief in democracy and human rights. Party leaders and members have had to endure a series of government-orchestrated court cases, and even imprisonment, for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and assembly. The party is preparing for the general elections scheduled in 2011 and remain undaunted and soldier on in their struggle for freedom in their nation. Leaders: Gandhi Amblam Chairman Dr. Chee Soon Juan Secretary General Contact: John Tan Assistant Secretary General Singapore Democratic Party Mailing Address: Yishun Central P.O. Box 0025 Tel: +65-6456-4531 Fax: +65-6459-8120 Email: email@example.com Website: http://yoursdp.org
Members ASSOCIATE MEMBER PARTY Liberal Forum Pakistan LFP (Liberal Forum Pakistan) is promoting liberal values in Pakistanâ€™s polity by creating awareness about the positive features of democracy, freedom, and secularism. It works toward these objectives by publishing and disseminating literature about liberalism throughout the country; and by holding consultations on the related issues. It also takes out a bi-monthly magazine in Urdu that is the only regular publication covering liberal issues in South Asia. LFP regularly organizes functions in all major urban centers and in places where it has active chapters. The membership of the organization is open to all, subject to approval by LFPâ€™s Membership Committee; a chapter can be formed once it has 20 members. The overall supervision of the organization is in the hands of a Board of Directors that is headed by a Chairperson who is also the Chief Executive of the organization. The four provinces are headed by provincial presidents. LFP also has a youth wing by the name of FYG (Future Youth Group), which holds activities similar to LFP amongst the younger segments of the population. LFP has a website that gives up to date information about liberal developments. In 2010, LFP continued its movement to promote liberalism in Pakistan and expanded its membership to approximately 2,000 members who pay an annual fee and receive a bi-monthly magazine, Liberal Pakistan. Thirty-six chapters are currently functional throughout the country. During the year, LFP held seminars on topics ranging from opposing corruption to promoting liberal values, including good governance, secularism, and the right to information. These activities garnered publicity in the local media. LFP also spread its advocacy through publications on corruption and individual liberty. Contact: Anees Jillani Chairman Address: No S1, Second Floor, Rawal Arcade, F-8 Markaz, Islamabad, Pakistan Tel: +92 51 225 6458/ 225 6459 Fax: +92 51 225 6459 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.lfp.org.pk
INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS Martin Lee Martin C.M. Lee (Lee Chu Ming) is the founding chairman (1994 - 2002) of the Democratic Party, which is one of the largest and most popular political parties in Hong Kong. Prior to the founding of the Democratic Party in October 1994, Lee was chairman of the United Democrats of Hong Kong -- Hong Kong’s first political party that won the first-ever democratic elections to the territory’s Legislative Council in 1991. Since its incorporation in 1994, the Democratic Party has done well in every set of elections held in Hong Kong and has received wide public support for its stance that Hong Kong must develop democratic institutions and preserve freedom, human rights, and the rule of law if the territory is to continue to prosper as part of China. Address: 704A, Admiralty Centre, Tower I, 18 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong Tel: +852-25290864 Fax: +852-28642829 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.martinlee.org.hk Sin Chung-kai Sin Chung-kai has served as a Member of Legislative Council 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, and free flow of information, democracy, and economic prosperity. Address: Room 410, 4/F., West Wing, Central Government Offices, 11 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong Tel: +852-25093211 Fax: +852-25371469 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sinchungkai.org.hk Abdurrahman Wahid H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid served as the fourth president of the world’s most populous Muslim nation from 1999-2001. He was an important figure among religious groups and political movements during the restoration of freedom and democratic rights after 32 years of the Suharto dictatorship. More popularly known as “Gus Dur,” he showed fellow Indonesians his lifetime commitment to public service and the promotion of liberal democracy and staunchly defended human rights, ethnic minorities, and Indonesia’s secular tradition. Wahid headed the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization. His position as a moral leader was transformed, however, when he and his supporters formed the National Awakening Party (PKB) following the dramatic fall of President Soeharto. He became the Chairman of its Advisory Council and its official presidential candidate in 1999. Though dominated by NU members, Wahid promoted PKB as a party that is non-sectarian and open to all members of society.
Members Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is a Nobel Peace Laureate, Burma’s leader of the opposition, and one of Asia’s most revered icons of democracy. She is also founding General Secretary of the National League of Democracy. The Lady has spent most of her life committed to the people of Burma’s struggle for justice, freedom, and democracy. Much of the last two decades has seen her locked up, but she has recently been released from house arrest.
OBSERVERS Democratic Party of Japan The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) was created in 1998, when reform-minded politicians from a number of opposition parties came together with the aim of establishing a genuine opposition force capable of taking power from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Former Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata and former party presidents Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan (now party president once more) were among those instrumental in establishing the new party. The DPJ has since grown in size at successive elections. It was further strengthened by a merger with the Liberal Party, led by Ichiro Ozawa, in 2003. In 2009, the party won a landslide election victory, bringing about an historic change of government. Now under the leadership of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, the ruling DPJ administration is working to bring about true political reform in Japan by implementing policies that put people’s lives first. Contact: DPJ International Department Address: 1-11-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0014 Japan Tel: +81-3-35959988 Fax: +81-3-35957318 Website: http://www.dpj.or.jp Nation Awakening Party PKB is short for Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa or the Nation Awakening Party. The party was established in Jakarta on 23 July 1998 by a number of the famous Indonesian Islamic scholars from the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the biggest Muslim organization in Indonesia. One of the founders of the party is Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), the fourth President of the Republic of Indonesia and the father of pluralism and moderate Islam in the country. PKB is a Muslim-based political party that stands for an open, democratic and just society of Indonesians. It promotes the values of moderate Islam that go hand in hand with democratic values to bring about a just and democratic Indonesia. PKB believes in freedom, justice, and brotherhood of the nation, of Islam and of human beings. Although PKB has a strong commitment to Islam, it rejects the idea of an Islamic state and promotes a secular-democratic state.
PKB has participated in the last three general elections in the post-Soeharto era (1999, 2004 and 2009). In the 2009 election, PKB gained around five million national votes. PKB now occupies 28 seats of the national legislature while around 1,000 members belong to the provincial and local legislature. PKB also has a presence in in the cabinet of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono via two ministerial posts. With a young leader, A. Muhaimin Iskandar, as General Chairman. PKB is working harder to regain its political support with the help of NU and expanding its network of supporters throughout the country. Contact: M. Hanif Dhakiri Nation Awakening Party Party HQ: DPP PKB Jl. Raden Saleh No. 9 Jakarta Pusat 10430 Tel: (+62-21) 314 5328 Fax: (+62-21) 314 5329 Website: www.dpp-pkb.or.id
PARTNERS Liberal International Liberal International is the world federation of liberal political parties. Founded in 1947, it has become the pre-eminent network for promoting liberalism, strengtheningÂ liberal parties, and for theÂ promotion of liberal democracy around the world. There are a number of common principles that unite all liberal parties from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe: human rights, free and fair elections, multiparty democracy, social justice, tolerance, social market economy, free trade, environmental sustainability, and a strong sense of international solidarity. Although there is diversity among liberal parties owing to the application of these principles in different national circumstances, all LI members adhere to the organizationâ€™s manifesto. Address: 1 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2HD Tel: +44-20-78395905 Fax: +44-20-79252685 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.liberal-international.org Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament brings together MEPs from liberal and democratic parties across the European Union. We share the common values and promote an open-minded and forward-looking approach to European Union politics. We stand for individual liberty, a free and dynamic business culture, economic and social solidarity, sustainability in taking actions, protection of the environment and respect, and tolerance for cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.
Members Address: European Parliament, Rue Wiertz, B- 1047 Brussels, Belgium Tel: +32-2-2842111 Fax: +32-2-2302485 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.alde.eu Friedrich Naumann Foundation The Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit (FNF) is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental foundation committed to promoting the value of freedom in dignity worldwide. FNF seeks to promote this core liberal value by working to strengthen: human rights and the rule of law, liberal participatory democracy, and a free market economy. Funded by the German parliament, the Foundation supports a wide range of activities in 65 different countries. Its partners include parliaments, political parties, universities, think tanks, research institutions, NGOs, the media, business associations, and community organizations. Its key tasks are civic education, policy dialogue, and consultancy to help find liberal solutions for the problems facing our societies. The Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit has worked in partnership with CALD since 1993. They have collaborated to organize conferences, meetings, networking opportunities, and publications designed to further policy dialogue and cooperation among like-minded Asian political parties. Address: 29 BBC Tower, 25th Floor, Sukhumvit 63 Road, Bangkok 10110 Thailand Tel: +662-3650570 / 365-0567 Fax: +662-714-8384 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.fnfasia.org Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Taiwan’s peaceful transition to democracy is not only a historical accomplishment for its 23 million people, but a landmark in the worldwide spread of democracy. Only after years of struggle and effort could this transformation take place. We must never forget this history, for it shapes the cornerstone of our continued commitment to the principles of democracy and human rights. The Foundation was established with an inter-related, two-tracked mission in mind. Domestically, the TFD strives to play a positive role in consolidating Taiwan’s democracy and fortifying its commitment to human rights; internationally, the Foundation hopes to become a strong link in the global democratic network, joining forces with related organizations around the world. Through the years, Taiwan has received valuable long-term assistance and stalwart support from the international community, and it is now time to repay that community for all of its efforts.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiated the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy project in 2002. After much research and careful evaluation, the Ministry integrated the required resources from many sectors of society. In January 2003, the Ministry obtained the support of all political parties to pass the budget for the Foundation in the legislature. The TFD formally came into being on 17 June 2003, with its first meeting of the Board of Trustees and Supervisory Board. At that meeting, Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-pyng was elected its first chairman. According to its by-laws, the TFD is governed by a total of 15 trustees and five supervisors, representing political parties, the government, academia, nongovernmental organizations, and the business sector. Address: No.4, Alley 17, Lane 147, Section 3, Sinyi Road, Taipei 106, Taiwan Tel: +886-2-2708-0100 Fax: +886-2-2708-1148 Website: http://www.tfd.org.tw National Democratic Institute for International Affairs The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) is a nonprofit organization working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide. Calling on a global network of volunteer experts, NDI provides practical assistance to civic and political leaders advancing democratic values, practices, and institutions. NDI works with democrats in every region of the world to build political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and to promote citizen participation, openness, and accountability in government. Address: 2030 M Street, NW, Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20036-3306 Tel: +1-202-7285500 Fax: +1-202-7285520 Website: http://www.ndi.org Alliance of Democrats In an interdependent world faced by challenges, global responses are vital. This is the reason why the Alliance of Democrats, an international network of liberal democratic, centrist, and progressive political parties from all five continents, was initiated by various leaders from the European Democratic Party and the U.S. Democratic Party in 2005. From 2005 to 2008 the Alliance of Democrats, which now includes over 60 political parties, organized several meetings and international conferences for strengthening the political dialogue between like-minded democratic political parties with the ambition to build a common “Global Agenda.” The founding event was the meeting with the theme “Rebuilding Transatlantic Relations: a dialogue between US and EU Democrats” held in Rome on 24-25 February 2005 with the attendance of the Chair of the New Democrat Coalition of the U.S. Democratic Party at the U.S. Congress, Rep. Ellen Tauscher, François Bayrou, Francesco Rutelli, Bronislaw Geremek, and Graham Watson. Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission and EDP Honorary President, delivered the closing remarks.
The conference participants agreed on the need for a stronger and more structured relationship between the EU democratic parties and the U.S. Democratic Party, in order to strengthen the transatlantic political and economic relations. With this, the Chairperson of the New Democrat Coalition, Rep. Ellen Tauscher, and the CoPresidents of the European Democratic Party, Francesco Rutelli and François Bayrou, a Manifesto on EU-US Relations calling for closer links between democratic parties on the two sides of the Atlantic, and agreed to establish the Alliance of Democrats. Following its engagement to continue building closer relationships with other likeminded parties and organizations around the world, and especially to establish sound links with Asian democrats, the Alliance of Democrats promoted a conference with the theme “A New Europe/Asia strategic partnership: the future is now: A dialogue between Asian and European Democrats” on 1-2 December 2005. The Conference took place in Rome, with the participation of many Asian political leaders representing major political parties such as the Indian Congress Party and members and observer-parties from CALD. In a closed-door seminar, politicians and experts focused on issues such as economic integration between the two continents, international security, energy, multilateral cooperation, and global democracy. The seminar helped set up a common political agenda and a permanent network between Asia and European Democrats. Promoting sustainable development, increasing international security while fighting terrorism, and promoting human rights and democracy were the core issues of the discussions. Participants committed themselves to strengthening political dialogue, increasing cooperation and integration between Europe and Asia, and acting in favor of a closer partnership and integration between the European and Asian economies. The Board of Directors consists of Francois Bayrou, Francesco Rutelli, and Ellen Tauscher as Co-Chairs. Gianni Vernetti, Italian MP and former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, was appointed Coordinator of the Alliance of Democrats. Address: Via di Sant’Andrea delle Fratte, 16 Rome Italy 00187 Tel: +39 06 69532367 Fax: +39 06 69532206 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.allianceofdemocrats.org Liberal Network for Latin America RELIAL (Red Liberal de América Latina), the Liberal Network of Latin America, is a Latin America-wide network of currently 52 civil society organizations, political parties, think tanks, and research-institutes. RELIAL is forming the institutional frame for leaders and opinion makers, academics, intellectuals, business people, and personalities from the region who share and profess the ideas of individual freedom, limited government, the market economy, the rule of law, and a free democratic system in the continent
RED LIBERAL DE AMERICA LATINA
Address: Red Liberal de América Latina - Cerrada de la Cerca Nº 82 – Col. San Angel Inn - México DF 01060 Tel: +5255 5550 1039 Fax: +5255 5550 6223 E-mail: email@example.com Website: http://www.relial.org
CALD The Council for Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) was inaugurated in Bangkok in 1993, with the support of then Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai and South Koreaâ€™s Kim Dae-Jung. CALD, which offers a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation, is the only regional alliance of liberal and democratic political parties in Asia. CALD was formed out of the recognition of leaders of like-minded political parties in Asia of the need for a dynamic forum promoting discussion and exchange of ideas regarding trends and challenges affecting democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the region. The chair parties of CALD since its inception to the present have been the Democrat Party of Thailand (1993-1995; 2002-2004), the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan (1995-1997, 20042005), the Liberal Party of the Philippines (1997-1999; 2005 to 2007), the Liberal Party of Sri-Lanka (1999-2000, 2010-present), the Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia (2000-2002), and the Singapore Democratic Party (2007-2010). The other members of CALD are the Malaysian Peopleâ€™s Movement Party (Gerakan), the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB), and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). The Liberal Forum-Pakistan is an associate member while former Indonesian President, H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), and Hong Kong legislators Martin Lee and Sin Chung-kai are individual members. The observers of CALD include the Democratic Party of Japan and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). In 2010, CALD bestowed honorary individual membership to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Through CALD, political parties, groups, and individuals have a continuing discussion on the developments occurring in the various countries of the region. The aim is to assess the possibilities for liberal solutions to problems facing Asian democracies. Accordingly, CALD organizes network meetings including those with its partners (Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Liberal International, Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Alliance of Democrats, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs), international conferences on vital issues affecting the region, and regular workshops on communication, political management, and women in politics. It also sends missions for various advocacies, sponsors internship programs in its secretariat and in the European Parliament, as well as maintains a website, a social network group account and a bi-monthly electronic news letter.
Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP Chairman Dr. Neric Acosta Secretary General CALD Secretariat Unit 410, 4/F La Fuerza Plaza 2 2241 Don Chino Roces Avenue 1231 Makati City, Philippines Telephone 63 2.819.6071 63 2.496.1388 Facsimile 63 2 8101431 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cald.org facebook.com/asianliberals twitter.com/asianliberals
LIBERAL VICTORIES CALD 2010 Annual Report COORDINATORS Paolo Antonio A. Zamora Celito F. Arlegue EDITOR C.C. Balgos PROJECT ASSISTANTS Carlo Joseph F. Religioso Rosanna P. Ocampo LAY-OUT AND GRAPHIC DESIGN Hervi I. Santos Michael A. Gadi
A summary of the conferences, workshops and meetings that CALD organized in 2010. This report features the inaugural speech of H.E. Benigno...
Published on May 31, 2011
A summary of the conferences, workshops and meetings that CALD organized in 2010. This report features the inaugural speech of H.E. Benigno...