aka In Lulu's Country, There Is No Freedom For A Freedom March
especially since Lulu lulu-ed and missed last year's march.
Lulu made plans to attend last year's march, and was down at Merdeka Square by 7:25am for the march which was scheduled for 8:00am. But the square was kinda empty, with a group of falun gong people [they were wearing falun gong t-shirts - that's how Lulu knew they were falun gong-ers] doing taichi and a few people who didn't look like they were there for a march. Lulu waited for a little while, too shy to ask, before deciding that maybe Lulu got the wrong date/venue or maybe the venue got shifted and Lulu was not informed.
So, Lulu went off.
Lulu underestimated "Malaysian time".
The event did take place. People [being the Malaysians that they are] started coming at 8:00am. By then, Lulu had gone over to the Amnesty International office and started writing letters for their Global Letter Writing Marathon.
The falun gong group ... they were part of the march.
And so were the "a few people who didnt look like they were there for a march". Just that they look like regular people like Lulu.
So, this year's march was, amongst others, supposed to make up for Lulu's lulu-ness last year. But this was not to be.
Malaysiakini just reported that The Bar Council has decided to call off its annual human rights day march on Sunday, ostensibly due to pressure from the authorities to obtain a police permit. “We are calling it off, but will proceed with the rest of the festivities (at the Central Market),” council chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan told Malaysiakini when contacted this afternoon.
Part II of the Festival at Central Market is still on.
0900 Welcome speech by President, Bar Council (Ambiga Sreenevasan)/Chair, Human Rights Committee (Edmund Bon)
0910 “Speechless”: Lip-reading of the UDHR (led by Wong Nyok Mei)
0925 Breakfast and prize-giving ceremony for essay competition 2006 winners (BM and English)0935 Poetry Reading (Noreen Ariff)
0945 Conversations: “When Faith Meets Law” (multi-religious forum)
- Deputy Director, Jabatan Agama Islam, Perak- Zaid Kamaruddin, JIM (TBC)
- Bishop Paul Tan, Christian Federation Malaysia
- Datuk A. Vaithilingam, Hindu Sangam- representatives from Sikh, Taoist and Buddhist communities
also (colouring session for children commences)
1100 Cultural performance by the Orang Asli (Pusat Kebudayaan SPNS)
1115 “I wish that ……” session (led by Fadiah Nadwa Fikri)
1130 Stage performances by various artists/activists
• Fahri Azzat & His Soul Brotha (1135 – 1150)
• In Torment (1155 – 1210)
• The Wave (1215 – 1230)
• Lai Chee Hoe (1235 – 1250)
• Amer Hamzah & Cassarrah (1255 – 1310)
• Dr Wan Zawawi (1315 – 1330)• Couple (1335 – 1350)
• Tina and Dipendra (1355 – 1410)
• KL Legal Aid Centre (1415 – 1430)
1435 Closing speech by President, Bar Council (Ambiga Sreenevasan)/ Chair, Human Rights Committee (Edmund Bon)
In conjunction with International Human Rights Day on December 10th, Amnesty International Malaysia will be organizing a 24-hour global letter writing marathon. This begins from the 15th Dec noon and will end on the 16th Dec noon at the Annexe Central Market, Kuala Lumpur
Lulu's just read Mdm Ambiga's statement on the bar council website
She was being very polite when she said
In fact, it is an event that would have demonstrated complete racial harmony and would have demonstrated (as we have before) that we can walk peaceably in unity for human rights the world over. It would have been an opportunity for the authorities to show to the world that we subscribe to these values. It is a missed opportunity.
Lulu, in a sense, sees her point but from a different perspective.
The walk is supposed to demonstrate all those "complete racial harmony" and "unity in human rights", but the sad truth is... well, you know what the sad truth is.
If the march were for those vaules as goals, yes, we need to march.
If the march was to demonstrate those goals, guess the show was over even before it had begun. And we can thank the government for showing us clearly where they stand on those goals.