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10-year of Sharmila’s struggle
Correspondent IMPHAL, Oct 28:
Published on 28 Oct. 2010 11:07 PM IST
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Just Peace Foundation is organising a five day long ‘Festival of Hope, Justice and Peace’ to mark the 10-year of Irom Sharmila’s lone struggle on November 2. Irom Sharmila Chanu has been on indefinite hunger strike since November 2000 demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA). She began her non-violent protest after the Malom massacre where 10 civilians were gunned down by the Indian security forces on November 2, 2000. It might be noted that the people of Manipur have done whatever is humanly possible to register their protests against AFSPA -- naked protest by mothers, self immolation by student leaders, mass demonstrations, petition to the Supreme Court, complaints to the United Nations and many others, however the Government of India has completely ignored the peoples struggle against repealing of AFSPA.
The Just Peace Foundation said, Sharmila’s persistent protest and struggle lies not only in defending the most basic and fundamental human rights of the people, but also in questioning the very foundations of Indian democracy which venerates Mahatma Gandhi and his principles of ahimsa or non-violence. Terming that Sharmila’s stir as an extraordinary struggle of an extraordinary woman, the Just Peace Foundation (JPF), in collaboration with the civil society in Manipur, is celebrating Sharmila’s indomitable spirit, her audacity to hope in the midst of adversities, her unwavering stand for justice and her deep yearning for peace.
Series of cultural programs, concerts, painting competitions, exhibitions, press meets, seminars, literary and artistic activities, public meetings, poet’s meet, public rallies, poster campaigns, t-shirt release, book release to mark the 100 days countdown towards the decade long hunger strike had began from July 25 of this year. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development in a press handout said “We, human rights defenders and women human rights defenders, stand as one in demanding that the AFSPA should be repealed immediately and that the hunger strike of Irom Sharmila must end now.” Her (Sharmila’s) 10-year fasting symbolizes the journey of the people of Manipur and other areas of Northeast India for genuine peace and freedom from violence. They reiterated.

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