Obituaries – Prominent Asian Activists

20 Aug

The deaths of prominent Asian democracy activists in recent weeks marks the passing of time and shows how much has changed over the years.

Former South Korea President Kim Dae-jung passed away on Tuesday. He was remembered as an activist for fighting against the military dictatorship of General Park Chung-hee and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for the sunshine policy which sought to promote closer ties with North Korea. In an obituary by Amnesty International, he was quoted denouncing the death penalty:

“A human should not kill a human. We need to abolish the death penalty in Asia…If the death penalty were abolished, it would change the atmosphere in Asia and also have a positive knock-on effect in Central & South America and Africa and the rest of the world…the issue of death penalty is one of the most serious issues confronting human beings, and I hope that, if possible, the Asian countries will set an example in sorting out this problem.”

His death was preceded by Corazon Aquin, a former Philippines President who was well-known for being part of the people revolution against the Marcos dictatorship. After her presidency, she was well-known for playing ‘host to visiting groups of oppositionists-in-exile and delivered a speech smuggled out of Burma in the name of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. She has also extended a public podium to Wan Azizah Ismail, who–shades of the young Cory–is struggling to fill the political shoes of her jailed husband, Malaysia’s ex-Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: