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SOUTH ASIAN COUNCIL FOR MINORITIES

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  • EMPOWER INDIA
    SOUTH ASIAN COUNCIL FOR MINORITIES Dear Friends Greetings of Peace A three-day workshop on the Condition of Minorities in SAARC Countries was convened in New
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 1, 2005
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      SOUTH ASIAN COUNCIL FOR MINORITIES
      Dear Friends
      Greetings of Peace
      A three-day workshop on the Condition of Minorities in
      SAARC Countries was convened in New Delhi from
      16-17-18 September 2005 at Parliament House Annex, New
      Delhi.
      Around 40 foreign delegates from South Asia joined the
      deliberations on the issues which concern the
      minorities in South Asia along with 75 Indian
      delegates.
      As a follow up of the workshop, the South Asian
      Council for Minorities was floated to bring together
      human rights activists of South Asia and 27 delegates
      from different south Asian Countries were requested to
      be founder members of the Council
      I take this privilege to send you a brief report of
      the Workshop below.

      Regards
      Navaid Hamid

      navaidhamid@...

                                                                                                                                      
                          

      Brief Report on the Workshop on the Condition of
      Minorities In SAARC Countries
      16-17-18 September, 2005, Parliament House Annex, New
      Delhi


      A three day  Workshop on the Condition of Minorities
      in South Asia was held in New Delhi from 16-18
      September 2005, at Parliament House Annex, New Delhi.

      Mr. Jaipal Reddy, Honorable Union Minister for
      Information & Broadcasting, Government of India,
      inaugurated the Workshop and Prof. K.N. Pannikar gave
      a keynote address at the Inaugural Session. Mr. Navaid
      Hamid, Convenor of the Workshop presented introductory
      remarks in the session. Renowned Gandhian Dr. Nirmala
      Deshpande presided over the session.

      Mr. Arjun Singh, Honorable Union Minister for Human
      Resource Development gave a Valedictory Address and
      Smt. Shiela Dikshit, Honorable Chief Minister of Delhi
      presided over the Valedictory Session.

      Around forty foreign participants from different SAARC
      member countries participated in the workshop. The
      notables include Mr. Douglas Devananda, Honorable
      Minister of Sri Lanka; Mr. Justice Saleem Marsoof,
      Honorable Judge of Supreme Court of Sri Lanka; Mr.
      Sihabuddin Nizamuddin, M.P. of Sri Lanka; Mr. Dev Das,
      Member of Parliament, Pakistan, Mr. Akram Masih,
      Member of Parliament, Pakistan; Dr. A Qader Khanzada,
      Member of Parliament of Pakistan; Dr. Robina Saigol,
      Director, Action Aid Pakistan; Mr. Ronchi Ram,
      renowned Minority Rights Activists of Pakistan, Mr. M.
      Parkash, Chairman Minorites Human Rights Commission of
      Pakistan; Mr. Jai Parkash Seetal, Minister for
      Minorites Affairs, Governement of Balochistan; Mr.
      Hasan ul Haq Inu, President Jatiyo Samjtantrik Dal,
      Bangladesh; Mr. Pankaj Choudhury, Advocate, Supreme
      Court, Bangladesh, Mr. Pankaj Bhattachary, Minorities
      Rights Activists of Bangladesh; Prof. N. C. Bhowmik,
      General Secretary, Bangladesh Hindu Boudha Christian
      Okiya Parishad.


      The participants of the workshop deliberated on the
      following issues:

      1. Legal & Constitutional Rights of Minorities.
      2. Educational Status of Minorities and Representation
      of Minorities in      textbooks.
      3. Socio-Economic Status & rights of Minorities.
      4. Ethnic violence, State Violence & security of the
      minorities.
      5. Representation of Minorities in Public Services &
      Law Enforcement   Agencies.
      6. Media and the Minorities.


      Around 100 delegates form India also participated in
      different sessions of the Workshop. Among the Indian
      notable who addressed the participants of the Workshop
      includes Mr. Subodh Kant Sahay, Union Minister for
      Food Processing; Mr. Parkash Karat, Secretary General,
      CPM; Dr. Nirmala Deshpande, Member of Parliament;
      Prof. Amrik Singh, Former Vice Chancellor, Justice A.
      M Ahmedi, Former Chief Justice of India; Mr. Salman
      Khursheed, Former Union Minister; Prof. B.  Mungrekar,
      Member Planning Commission, Government of India, Mr.
      Syed Shahabuddin, Former Ambassador & former M.P.; Mr.
      Kuldip Nayar, Former Member of Parliament; Mr. V. N
      Rai, I.P.S.; Mr. Udit Raj, President Justice Party;
      Mr. Paul Divakar, Dalit Rights Activist; Dr. J. K.
      Jain, Former Member of Parliament & Director, Jain
      T.V.; Mrs. Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, Ms. Madhu
      Kishwar, editor Manushi, Dr. Kavita Sharma of Delhi
      University and Dr. Rakesh Batabyal of Jawaharlal Nehru
      University.






      The other notable participants includes Mr. Ahmed
      Patel, Political Advisor to Hon’ble Congress
      President, Mr. Nilotpal Basu M.P., Mr. Iqbal Saradgi
      M.P., Mr. Hannan Mollah M.P., Mr. Saifuddin Soz M.P.,
      Mr. Shahid Siddiqui M.P., Mr. Abdul Rasheed Shaheen
      M.P., Justice Ranganathan Mishra, Chairman National
      Commission for Linguistic and Religious Minorities Mr.
      Lama Lobzang, Member Schedule Tribes Commission, , Mr.
      O.P. Shah, Dr. Mani Jacob, Chancellor, Allahabad
      Agricultural University, Mr. Shahid Mehdi, former Vice
      Chancellor Jamia Millia Islamia and Dr. Mohinder
      Singh, Member National Commission for Linguistic and
      Religious Minorities.

      Messages of Support and blessings were received from
      Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson United Progressive
      Alliance & Hon’ble Congress President, Smt. Sheikh
      Hasina Wajid, former Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Mr.
      E. Ahmed, Union Minister of State for External
      Affairs, Government of India &  from the office of
      Mayor of London.

      The participants adopted a joint declaration and
      floated South Asian Council for Minorities (SACM) to
      manifest the issues of the minorities of the region.


      DECLARATION ADOPTED BY THE DELEGATES TO THE WORKSHOP
      ON THE CONTIDITON OF MINORITIES IN SAARC COUNTRIES
      HELD IN NEW DELHI ON 16-17-18 SEPTEMBER, 2005 at
      Parliament House Annex, New Delhi


      Reaffirming our commitment to secure the right to
      life, freedom, dignity and equality of all human being
      under law and in reality.

      Recognizing that within each country there are
      minorities based on religion, language, ethnicity and
      nationality who are disadvantaged and vulnerable
      because of their inadequate share in power and
      decision making.

      Realising that owing to majoritarian character of
      states and polities and denial of right to equality to
      minorities in the common national domain and right to
      preserve their distinct identity, minorities have
      generally faced varying degrees of threat to their
      existence, and to their language, religion and culture
      everywhere.

      Noting that such situations of discrimination,
      exclusion and assimilation have been source of violent
      conflicts, secession and insurgencies and even wars.

      Realizing that there is a worldwide concern for equal
      rights of minorities as individual citizens and
      collective rights as identity based groups, which
      require adequate constitutional safeguards and
      machinery of implementation and redressal, and which
      also require promotion of understanding between
      communities and governments and mechanism of
      preservation and resolution of conflicts.

      1. We the delegates to the three-day Workshop took
      stock of the situation of minorities in the countries
      of the region under law and in reality, wherein we
      noted that

      a. Minorities based on religion, sect, language,
      ethnicity and nationality in each of the countries of
      the region faced varying degrees discrimination,
      exclusion assimilation and on occasions threat to
      life, property, dignity and freedom by organized
      majoritarian groups with one agenda of exclusion and
      hate with complicity of the State.

      b. The source of such a state of things lies in the
      following: -
           
      I. Inadequate protection of the rights of minorities
      under constitution, laws and machinery of
      implementation of existing provisions.
      II. In some countries there is no constitutional
      provisions are discriminatory
      III. In some others, there is no constitutional
      safeguards for rights of minorities
      IV. In countries where constitutional provisions on
      right to equality and to preservation of language and
      culture and



      freedom of religion appear to be adequate, in practice
      denial of these rights is rampant.

      V. Poor state of rule of law and non-observance of
      human rights where the law-enforcement system is
      partisan and justice system has given rise to
      pervasive impunity.

      VI. Even in democracies where periodic elections are
      held under multi-party system, the electoral systems
      are unfriendly to minorities making them unable to
      secure their       due share in legislatures and other
      elected bodies.

      VII. Minorities are grossly under represented in all
      spheres of national life and especially in
      institutions of governance, e.g. the police, armed and
      Para-military forces, the judiciary and the civil
      services.


      VIII. The culture history and religion of minorities
      do not get appropriate representation in educational
      materials and in media on the contrary they are
      marginalized, excluded are distorted and negatively
      stereotyped.

      2. In view of the above, we recommend the following
      measures to be adopted by the Governments of each
      country is the SAARC:



      Adequate protection of the rights of minorities to
      equality, non-discrimination, non-exclusion and
      non-assimilation under Constitution, law, policies and
      programmes.

      2.1 Institutions to ensure enjoyment of these rights
      by minorities in reality, providing accessible
      mechanism of prompt redressal.
      2.2 Polities to conform to the norms of inclusive
      democracy, ensuring due share to minorities in
      legislatures and governance.
      2.3 Affirmative action programmes for equalization of
      opportunities for minorities, ensuring there due share
      in public employment and in socio-economic
      development.
      2.4 Giving adequate representation to minority
      language, history, culture and religion in the
      educational material and in media, while enabling the
      minority to acquire knowledge of the language, history
      and culture of the national life as a whole.
         
      3. Protection and promotion of pluralism and
      multi-culturalism

      4. Promotion of prevention and resolution of
      inter-community and minority versus State conflicts
      and disputes, providing peaceful and just solutions.

      5. Collectively adopting under a SAARC Human Rights
      Convention based on international human rights norms
      and accommodating regional particularities,
      instruments on the protection of minorities and
      institutional mechanism for monitoring and redressal
      of grievances.


                     5.1.      Under these instruments adopting
      multilateral/bilateral treaties on the treatment of
      non-citizens like members of divided families, migrant
      workers, refugees, asylum seekers, prisoners and
      stateless persons.


      6. We recommend the following measures to be adopted
      by the civil society:

      1. Undertake active promotion of these norms and
      principles, especially of pluralism and
      multiculturalism and rule of law
      2. Undertake advocacy of their adoption by the
      government
      3. Promote inter community tolerance, mutual respect
      and accommodation
      4. Organise effective intervention in situations of
      denial of rights to minorities and their oppression.
          
      7. We appeal to the security forces of the States and
      armed opposition to strictly adhere to the ethical
      groups legal norms on the conduct of hostilities as
      codified in the Geneva Convention, 1949 which require
      protection of life, dignity and freedom of
      non-combatant civilians, especially women, children,
      old and disabled persons and worshippers.

      7.1 We also appeal to religious leaders of all
      communities in the region to evolve and endorse such
      ethical norms on the protection of innocent civilians
      uninvolved in conflicts including communal and
      sectarian conflicts.
          
      8. We the delegates to the Workshop do hereby resolve
      to constitute a South Asia Council for Minorities
      (SACM), whose aims objectives will be the following: -

      a. Promoting equal human rights of all minorities in
      South Asian countries.

      b. Promoting adequate protection of rights of
      minorities to equality and non-discrimination and to
      their distinct religions, cultural and linguistic or
      national identifies under constitution, law, policy
      and programs of each country.
      c. Promoting norms of gender-justice in areas of
      cultural autonomy of minorities including
      community-based family laws.
      d. Promoting adoption of SAARC Human Rights Convention
      and SAARC Convention and Commission on Rights of
      Minorities and Non-Citizens.
      e. Promoting inter-community understanding, tolerance
      and conciliation through dialogue and peaceful
      resolution of disputes.
      f. Promoting strict observance of humanitarian norms.

      8.1.1 The Council shall have chapters in all the SAARC
      countries


      8.1.2  Initially each chapter will have a Convener and
      co-conveners and ad hoc Committees.
      8.1.3 Besides country-wise chapters. The SACM will
      have a Delhi-based Convener and Co-conveners and a
      Committee consisting of founder members from all
      countries.

      Resolved to nominate following members in the Council:


      1.      Mr. K.N. Douglas Devananda, Honorable Minister of
      Sri Lanka
      2.      Mr. Subodh Kant Sahay, Honorable Union Minister,
      Government of India.
      3.      Mr Justice Saleem Marsoof, Honorable Supreme Court
      Judge, Sri Lanka
      5. Mrs Chitra Lekha Yadav, Deputy Speaker, House of
      Representatives, Nepal
      5      Mr. Dev Das, Honorable Member of Parliament,
      Pakistan
      6.      Mr. Akram Masih, Honorable Member of Parliament,
      Pakistan
      7.      Mr. Sihabudeen Nijamuddin, Honorable Member of
      Parliament, Sri Lanka
      8.      Dr. Nirmala Deshpande, Honorable Member of
      Parliament, India
      9.      Mr. Hannan Mollah, Honorable Member of Parliament,
      India
      10.      Mr. Iqbal Saradgi, Honorable Member of Parliament,
      India
      11.      Prof Amrik Singh, Former Vice Chancellor, India
      12.      Mr. Ronchi Ram, Karachi, Pakistan.
      13.      Dr. Robina Saigol, Country Director, Action Aid,
      Pakistan
      14.      Mr. M Parkash, Chairman, Minority Rights
      Commission of Pakistan
      15.      Mr Hasan Ul Haq Inu, President, Jatiyo Samjtantrik
      Dal, Bangladesh
      16.      Mr. Pankaj Bhattacharya, Minority Rights Activist,
      Bangladesh
      17.      Mr. Riza Yehiya, Colombo, Sri Lanka
      18.      Mr. M Rafique, Executive Secretary, Asian
      Federation of Muslim Youth, Sri Lanka
      19.      Mr. Subroto Choudhury, Advocate, Supreme Court
      Bangladesh
      20.      Dr. Udit Raj, President, Justice Party, India
      21.      Dr. Mohinder Singh, Member, National Commission
      for Religious Linguistic Minorites, Govt.of India
      22. Mrs. Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, India
      23. Mr. Fazle Hossain Badshah, Bangladesh
      24. Mr. Paul Divaker, India
      25. Mr. B. M. Kutty, PILER, Karachi, Pakistan
      26. Mr. Lama Lobzang, Member Natioanl Comision for
      Scheduled Tribes, Government of India.
      27. Mr. Navaid Hamid, Convenor, SACM


            Following foreign delegates from South Asian
      Countries participated in the deliberation:


                      PAKISTAN

      1. Mr. Zafar Malik
      Secretary General
      National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL)
      Lahore, Pakistan

      2. Mrs. Naeema Zafar
      Secretary
            Ehsas
            Lahore, Pakistan

      3. Mr. Akram Maish
      Member of National Assembly of Pakistan
      Govt. of Pakistan

      4. Mr. Mohammed Aslam Khan
      Trustee
      Pakistan Social Institute
      Lahore, Pakistan

      5. Mr. Ronchi Ram
      Council Member
                  HRCP
                  Karachi, Pakistan





      6. Mr. M. Prakash
      Chairman
      Minority Rights Commission of Pakistan
      Sindh, Pakistan

      7. Mr. Munawwar Chand
      Central General Secretary
      Krishna Mandir (PBS)
      Pakistan Balmik Saba, Lahore, Pakistan

      8. Mr. Jai Parkash Sheetal
      Minister for Minorities,
      Government of Balochistan,
      Pakistan

      9. Mr. Devdas
      Member, National Assembly of Pakistan
      Sindh, Pakistan

      10. Dr. Robina Saigol
      Country Director,
      Action Aid Pakistan
                  Islamabad, Pakistan

      11. Dr. Abdul Kadir Khanzada
      Member National Assembly of Pakistan
      Karachi, Pakistan

      12. Mr. James Francis
      Activist
            PILER
            Karachi, Pakistan

      13. Mrs. Saeeda Diep
      Chairperson
      Institute of Peace and Secular Studies,
      Lahore, Pakistan

      14. Saima Naheed
      Human Right Activist
      Lahore, Pakistan

      15. Miss Saba Wallace
      Director
            Zoya Consultants
            Lahore, Pakistan

      16. Mr. Mahar Safdar Ali
      General Secretary
      Anjuman Asiaye Awam
      & Member
      Association of People’s of Asia-Pakistan Chapter,
      Lahore, Pakistan

      17. Mr. Pribhu Lal
      Programme Officer Minority Right Programme
      ASR Resource Centre
      Pakistan


      18. Mr. Shahid Fiaz
      Executive Director
      South Asia Forum for Human Rights
      Lahore, Pakistan

      19. Mr. William Yousaf
      General Secretary
      WE HELP YOU
                  Lahore

      20. Mrs. Shakeela Shehla Anjum
      Social Activist
      Karachi, Pakistan



                        SRI LANKA

      1. Mr. K.N. Douglas Devananda
      Honorable Minister for Agricultural Marketing
      Development  & Hindu Affairs &
      Secretary General
      EELAM’S PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY
            Sri Lanka

      2. Mr. Saleem Marsoof
      Honorable Judge of the Supreme Court
      Colombo, Sri Lanka

      3. Mr. M.A.Sumanthiran
      Attorney at Law
      Colombo, Sri Lanka

      4. Mr. S.M. Rafique
      Executive Secretary
      ASIAN FEDERATION OF MUSLIM YOUTH
      Puttalam, Sri Lanka


      5. Mr. M. Riza Yehiya
      Director Research
      Serendib Institute for Research and Development
      Wellampitiya, Sri Lanka


      6. Mrs. T.R. Riza
      Member-SIRD
      Serendib Institute for Research and Development
      Wellampitiya, Sri Lanka

      7. Dr. M. Ameer Zainudeen
      Member
      Human Right Commission
      Colombo, Sri Lanka

      8. Mr. Sihabuddin Nijamuddin
      Member of Parliament, Sri Lanka
      Kotte, Sri Lanka

      9. Mr A. S. Khan
      Minister Counsellor
      Sri Lanka High Commission
      New Delhi

                          BANGLADESH

      1. Prof. Dr. N. C. Bhowmik
      General Secretary
      Bangladesh Hindu Boudha Christian Organistaion
      Dhaka, Bangladesh

      2. Mr. Pankaj Bhattacharya
      Member, Presidium Gono Forum
                  Dhaka, Bangladesh           

      3. Mr. Hasanul Haq Inu
      President,
      Jatio Samaj Tantrik Dal
      Dhaka, Bangladesh

      4. Mr. Fazle Hossain Badsha
      Member of Polit Bureau
      Worker’s Party of Bangladesh
      Dhaka, Bangladesh

      5. Mr. John
      Dhaka

      6. Mr. Subrata Chowdhury
      Advocate,
      Supreme Court of Bangladesh
                  Dhaka, Bangladesh

      7. Mr. Shipra Chowdhury
      Council For Communal Harmony in Bangladesh
      Dhaka, Bangladesh

      8. Mr. Faruq Hasan
                  Program Officer
                  RIB,
                  Dhaka, Bangladesh


                            NEPAL

      1. Mr. Chitrakhla Yadav
      Deputy Speaker
      House of Representatives
                   Singha Durbar, Nepal


                            BHUTAN
           
      1.   Mr.  Jigme Tenzin
      Third Secretary, Press,
      Royal Bhutanese Embassy
      New Delhi
      Cross posted:INDIA THINKERS
       
      Forwarded by :
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      A.SANKAR
      Executive Director
      EMPOWER.
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    • Syed Shahid Mahdi
      Dear Naved Hamid saheb Many thanks for sharing the summary of the Conference.The subject is of great importance , particularly for our sub continent. I hope
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 4, 2005
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        Dear Naved Hamid saheb
        Many thanks for sharing the summary of the Conference.The subject is of great importance , particularly for our sub continent. I hope this initiative will further the cause of   strengthening  forces of peace , mutual understanding and good will . The Muslims of India have a particular responsibility to speak out for the protection of the rights of minorities  in the same way as they expect the protection of their own rights in India.
        Sincerely
        Shahid Mahdi
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Sunday, October 02, 2005 11:42 AM
        Subject: [arkitectindia] SOUTH ASIAN COUNCIL FOR MINORITIES

        SOUTH ASIAN COUNCIL FOR MINORITIES
        Dear Friends
        Greetings of Peace
        A three-day workshop on the Condition of Minorities in
        SAARC Countries was convened in New Delhi from
        16-17-18 September 2005 at Parliament House Annex, New
        Delhi.
        Around 40 foreign delegates from South Asia joined the
        deliberations on the issues which concern the
        minorities in South Asia along with 75 Indian
        delegates.
        As a follow up of the workshop, the South Asian
        Council for Minorities was floated to bring together
        human rights activists of South Asia and 27 delegates
        from different south Asian Countries were requested to
        be founder members of the Council
        I take this privilege to send you a brief report of
        the Workshop below.

        Regards
        Navaid Hamid

        navaidhamid@...

                                                                                                                                        
                            

        Brief Report on the Workshop on the Condition of
        Minorities In SAARC Countries
        16-17-18 September, 2005, Parliament House Annex, New
        Delhi


        A three day  Workshop on the Condition of Minorities
        in South Asia was held in New Delhi from 16-18
        September 2005, at Parliament House Annex, New Delhi.

        Mr. Jaipal Reddy, Honorable Union Minister for
        Information & Broadcasting, Government of India,
        inaugurated the Workshop and Prof. K.N. Pannikar gave
        a keynote address at the Inaugural Session. Mr. Navaid
        Hamid, Convenor of the Workshop presented introductory
        remarks in the session. Renowned Gandhian Dr. Nirmala
        Deshpande presided over the session.

        Mr. Arjun Singh, Honorable Union Minister for Human
        Resource Development gave a Valedictory Address and
        Smt. Shiela Dikshit, Honorable Chief Minister of Delhi
        presided over the Valedictory Session.

        Around forty foreign participants from different SAARC
        member countries participated in the workshop. The
        notables include Mr. Douglas Devananda, Honorable
        Minister of Sri Lanka; Mr. Justice Saleem Marsoof,
        Honorable Judge of Supreme Court of Sri Lanka; Mr.
        Sihabuddin Nizamuddin, M.P. of Sri Lanka; Mr. Dev Das,
        Member of Parliament, Pakistan, Mr. Akram Masih,
        Member of Parliament, Pakistan; Dr. A Qader Khanzada,
        Member of Parliament of Pakistan; Dr. Robina Saigol,
        Director, Action Aid Pakistan; Mr. Ronchi Ram,
        renowned Minority Rights Activists of Pakistan, Mr. M.
        Parkash, Chairman Minorites Human Rights Commission of
        Pakistan; Mr. Jai Parkash Seetal, Minister for
        Minorites Affairs, Governement of Balochistan; Mr.
        Hasan ul Haq Inu, President Jatiyo Samjtantrik Dal,
        Bangladesh; Mr. Pankaj Choudhury, Advocate, Supreme
        Court, Bangladesh, Mr. Pankaj Bhattachary, Minorities
        Rights Activists of Bangladesh; Prof. N. C. Bhowmik,
        General Secretary, Bangladesh Hindu Boudha Christian
        Okiya Parishad.


        The participants of the workshop deliberated on the
        following issues:

        1. Legal & Constitutional Rights of Minorities.
        2. Educational Status of Minorities and Representation
        of Minorities in      textbooks.
        3. Socio-Economic Status & rights of Minorities.
        4. Ethnic violence, State Violence & security of the
        minorities.
        5. Representation of Minorities in Public Services &
        Law Enforcement   Agencies.
        6. Media and the Minorities.


        Around 100 delegates form India also participated in
        different sessions of the Workshop. Among the Indian
        notable who addressed the participants of the Workshop
        includes Mr. Subodh Kant Sahay, Union Minister for
        Food Processing; Mr. Parkash Karat, Secretary General,
        CPM; Dr. Nirmala Deshpande, Member of Parliament;
        Prof. Amrik Singh, Former Vice Chancellor, Justice A.
        M Ahmedi, Former Chief Justice of India; Mr. Salman
        Khursheed, Former Union Minister; Prof. B.  Mungrekar,
        Member Planning Commission, Government of India, Mr.
        Syed Shahabuddin, Former Ambassador & former M.P.; Mr.
        Kuldip Nayar, Former Member of Parliament; Mr. V. N
        Rai, I.P.S.; Mr. Udit Raj, President Justice Party;
        Mr. Paul Divakar, Dalit Rights Activist; Dr. J. K.
        Jain, Former Member of Parliament & Director, Jain
        T.V.; Mrs. Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, Ms. Madhu
        Kishwar, editor Manushi, Dr. Kavita Sharma of Delhi
        University and Dr. Rakesh Batabyal of Jawaharlal Nehru
        University.






        The other notable participants includes Mr. Ahmed
        Patel, Political Advisor to Hon’ble Congress
        President, Mr. Nilotpal Basu M.P., Mr. Iqbal Saradgi
        M.P., Mr. Hannan Mollah M.P., Mr. Saifuddin Soz M.P.,
        Mr. Shahid Siddiqui M.P., Mr. Abdul Rasheed Shaheen
        M.P., Justice Ranganathan Mishra, Chairman National
        Commission for Linguistic and Religious Minorities Mr.
        Lama Lobzang, Member Schedule Tribes Commission, , Mr.
        O.P. Shah, Dr. Mani Jacob, Chancellor, Allahabad
        Agricultural University, Mr. Shahid Mehdi, former Vice
        Chancellor Jamia Millia Islamia and Dr. Mohinder
        Singh, Member National Commission for Linguistic and
        Religious Minorities.

        Messages of Support and blessings were received from
        Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson United Progressive
        Alliance & Hon’ble Congress President, Smt. Sheikh
        Hasina Wajid, former Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Mr.
        E. Ahmed, Union Minister of State for External
        Affairs, Government of India &  from the office of
        Mayor of London.

        The participants adopted a joint declaration and
        floated South Asian Council for Minorities (SACM) to
        manifest the issues of the minorities of the region.


        DECLARATION ADOPTED BY THE DELEGATES TO THE WORKSHOP
        ON THE CONTIDITON OF MINORITIES IN SAARC COUNTRIES
        HELD IN NEW DELHI ON 16-17-18 SEPTEMBER, 2005 at
        Parliament House Annex, New Delhi


        Reaffirming our commitment to secure the right to
        life, freedom, dignity and equality of all human being
        under law and in reality.

        Recognizing that within each country there are
        minorities based on religion, language, ethnicity and
        nationality who are disadvantaged and vulnerable
        because of their inadequate share in power and
        decision making.

        Realising that owing to majoritarian character of
        states and polities and denial of right to equality to
        minorities in the common national domain and right to
        preserve their distinct identity, minorities have
        generally faced varying degrees of threat to their
        existence, and to their language, religion and culture
        everywhere.

        Noting that such situations of discrimination,
        exclusion and assimilation have been source of violent
        conflicts, secession and insurgencies and even wars.

        Realizing that there is a worldwide concern for equal
        rights of minorities as individual citizens and
        collective rights as identity based groups, which
        require adequate constitutional safeguards and
        machinery of implementation and redressal, and which
        also require promotion of understanding between
        communities and governments and mechanism of
        preservation and resolution of conflicts.

        1. We the delegates to the three-day Workshop took
        stock of the situation of minorities in the countries
        of the region under law and in reality, wherein we
        noted that

        a. Minorities based on religion, sect, language,
        ethnicity and nationality in each of the countries of
        the region faced varying degrees discrimination,
        exclusion assimilation and on occasions threat to
        life, property, dignity and freedom by organized
        majoritarian groups with one agenda of exclusion and
        hate with complicity of the State.

        b. The source of such a state of things lies in the
        following: -
             
        I. Inadequate protection of the rights of minorities
        under constitution, laws and machinery of
        implementation of existing provisions.
        II. In some countries there is no constitutional
        provisions are discriminatory
        III. In some others, there is no constitutional
        safeguards for rights of minorities
        IV. In countries where constitutional provisions on
        right to equality and to preservation of language and
        culture and



        freedom of religion appear to be adequate, in practice
        denial of these rights is rampant.

        V. Poor state of rule of law and non-observance of
        human rights where the law-enforcement system is
        partisan and justice system has given rise to
        pervasive impunity.

        VI. Even in democracies where periodic elections are
        held under multi-party system, the electoral systems
        are unfriendly to minorities making them unable to
        secure their       due share in legislatures and other
        elected bodies.

        VII. Minorities are grossly under represented in all
        spheres of national life and especially in
        institutions of governance, e.g. the police, armed and
        Para-military forces, the judiciary and the civil
        services.


        VIII. The culture history and religion of minorities
        do not get appropriate representation in educational
        materials and in media on the contrary they are
        marginalized, excluded are distorted and negatively
        stereotyped.

        2. In view of the above, we recommend the following
        measures to be adopted by the Governments of each
        country is the SAARC:



        Adequate protection of the rights of minorities to
        equality, non-discrimination, non-exclusion and
        non-assimilation under Constitution, law, policies and
        programmes.

        2.1 Institutions to ensure enjoyment of these rights
        by minorities in reality, providing accessible
        mechanism of prompt redressal.
        2.2 Polities to conform to the norms of inclusive
        democracy, ensuring due share to minorities in
        legislatures and governance.
        2.3 Affirmative action programmes for equalization of
        opportunities for minorities, ensuring there due share
        in public employment and in socio-economic
        development.
        2.4 Giving adequate representation to minority
        language, history, culture and religion in the
        educational material and in media, while enabling the
        minority to acquire knowledge of the language, history
        and culture of the national life as a whole.
           
        3. Protection and promotion of pluralism and
        multi-culturalism

        4. Promotion of prevention and resolution of
        inter-community and minority versus State conflicts
        and disputes, providing peaceful and just solutions.

        5. Collectively adopting under a SAARC Human Rights
        Convention based on international human rights norms
        and accommodating regional particularities,
        instruments on the protection of minorities and
        institutional mechanism for monitoring and redressal
        of grievances.


                       5.1.      Under these instruments adopting
        multilateral/bilateral treaties on the treatment of
        non-citizens like members of divided families, migrant
        workers, refugees, asylum seekers, prisoners and
        stateless persons.


        6. We recommend the following measures to be adopted
        by the civil society:

        1. Undertake active promotion of these norms and
        principles, especially of pluralism and
        multiculturalism and rule of law
        2. Undertake advocacy of their adoption by the
        government
        3. Promote inter community tolerance, mutual respect
        and accommodation
        4. Organise effective intervention in situations of
        denial of rights to minorities and their oppression.
            
        7. We appeal to the security forces of the States and
        armed opposition to strictly adhere to the ethical
        groups legal norms on the conduct of hostilities as
        codified in the Geneva Convention, 1949 which require
        protection of life, dignity and freedom of
        non-combatant civilians, especially women, children,
        old and disabled persons and worshippers.

        7.1 We also appeal to religious leaders of all
        communities in the region to evolve and endorse such
        ethical norms on the protection of innocent civilians
        uninvolved in conflicts including communal and
        sectarian conflicts.
            
        8. We the delegates to the Workshop do hereby resolve
        to constitute a South Asia Council for Minorities
        (SACM), whose aims objectives will be the following: -

        a. Promoting equal human rights of all minorities in
        South Asian countries.

        b. Promoting adequate protection of rights of
        minorities to equality and non-discrimination and to
        their distinct religions, cultural and linguistic or
        national identifies under constitution, law, policy
        and programs of each country.
        c. Promoting norms of gender-justice in areas of
        cultural autonomy of minorities including
        community-based family laws.
        d. Promoting adoption of SAARC Human Rights Convention
        and SAARC Convention and Commission on Rights of
        Minorities and Non-Citizens.
        e. Promoting inter-community understanding, tolerance
        and conciliation through dialogue and peaceful
        resolution of disputes.
        f. Promoting strict observance of humanitarian norms.

        8.1.1 The Council shall have chapters in all the SAARC
        countries


        8.1.2  Initially each chapter will have a Convener and
        co-conveners and ad hoc Committees.
        8.1.3 Besides country-wise chapters. The SACM will
        have a Delhi-based Convener and Co-conveners and a
        Committee consisting of founder members from all
        countries.

        Resolved to nominate following members in the Council:


        1.      Mr. K.N. Douglas Devananda, Honorable Minister of
        Sri Lanka
        2.      Mr. Subodh Kant Sahay, Honorable Union Minister,
        Government of India.
        3.      Mr Justice Saleem Marsoof, Honorable Supreme Court
        Judge, Sri Lanka
        5. Mrs Chitra Lekha Yadav, Deputy Speaker, House of
        Representatives, Nepal
        5      Mr. Dev Das, Honorable Member of Parliament,
        Pakistan
        6.      Mr. Akram Masih, Honorable Member of Parliament,
        Pakistan
        7.      Mr. Sihabudeen Nijamuddin, Honorable Member of
        Parliament, Sri Lanka
        8.      Dr. Nirmala Deshpande, Honorable Member of
        Parliament, India
        9.      Mr. Hannan Mollah, Honorable Member of Parliament,
        India
        10.      Mr. Iqbal Saradgi, Honorable Member of Parliament,
        India
        11.      Prof Amrik Singh, Former Vice Chancellor, India
        12.      Mr. Ronchi Ram, Karachi, Pakistan.
        13.      Dr. Robina Saigol, Country Director, Action Aid,
        Pakistan
        14.      Mr. M Parkash, Chairman, Minority Rights
        Commission of Pakistan
        15.      Mr Hasan Ul Haq Inu, President, Jatiyo Samjtantrik
        Dal, Bangladesh
        16.      Mr. Pankaj Bhattacharya, Minority Rights Activist,
        Bangladesh
        17.      Mr. Riza Yehiya, Colombo, Sri Lanka
        18.      Mr. M Rafique, Executive Secretary, Asian
        Federation of Muslim Youth, Sri Lanka
        19.      Mr. Subroto Choudhury, Advocate, Supreme Court
        Bangladesh
        20.      Dr. Udit Raj, President, Justice Party, India
        21.      Dr. Mohinder Singh, Member, National Commission
        for Religious Linguistic Minorites, Govt.of India
        22. Mrs. Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, India
        23. Mr. Fazle Hossain Badshah, Bangladesh
        24. Mr. Paul Divaker, India
        25. Mr. B. M. Kutty, PILER, Karachi, Pakistan
        26. Mr. Lama Lobzang, Member Natioanl Comision for
        Scheduled Tribes, Government of India.
        27. Mr. Navaid Hamid, Convenor, SACM


              Following foreign delegates from South Asian
        Countries participated in the deliberation:


                        PAKISTAN

        1. Mr. Zafar Malik
        Secretary General
        National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL)
        Lahore, Pakistan

        2. Mrs. Naeema Zafar
        Secretary
              Ehsas
              Lahore, Pakistan

        3. Mr. Akram Maish
        Member of National Assembly of Pakistan
        Govt. of Pakistan

        4. Mr. Mohammed Aslam Khan
        Trustee
        Pakistan Social Institute
        Lahore, Pakistan

        5. Mr. Ronchi Ram
        Council Member
                    HRCP
                    Karachi, Pakistan





        6. Mr. M. Prakash
        Chairman
        Minority Rights Commission of Pakistan
        Sindh, Pakistan

        7. Mr. Munawwar Chand
        Central General Secretary
        Krishna Mandir (PBS)
        Pakistan Balmik Saba, Lahore, Pakistan

        8. Mr. Jai Parkash Sheetal
        Minister for Minorities,
        Government of Balochistan,
        Pakistan

        9. Mr. Devdas
        Member, National Assembly of Pakistan
        Sindh, Pakistan

        10. Dr. Robina Saigol
        Country Director,
        Action Aid Pakistan
                    Islamabad, Pakistan

        11. Dr. Abdul Kadir Khanzada
        Member National Assembly of Pakistan
        Karachi, Pakistan

        12. Mr. James Francis
        Activist
              PILER
              Karachi, Pakistan

        13. Mrs. Saeeda Diep
        Chairperson
        Institute of Peace and Secular Studies,
        Lahore, Pakistan

        14. Saima Naheed
        Human Right Activist
        Lahore, Pakistan

        15. Miss Saba Wallace
        Director
              Zoya Consultants
              Lahore, Pakistan

        16. Mr. Mahar Safdar Ali
        General Secretary
        Anjuman Asiaye Awam
        & Member
        Association of People’s of Asia-Pakistan Chapter,
        Lahore, Pakistan

        17. Mr. Pribhu Lal
        Programme Officer Minority Right Programme
        ASR Resource Centre
        Pakistan


        18. Mr. Shahid Fiaz
        Executive Director
        South Asia Forum for Human Rights
        Lahore, Pakistan

        19. Mr. William Yousaf
        General Secretary
        WE HELP YOU
                    Lahore

        20. Mrs. Shakeela Shehla Anjum
        Social Activist
        Karachi, Pakistan



                          SRI LANKA

        1. Mr. K.N. Douglas Devananda
        Honorable Minister for Agricultural Marketing
        Development  & Hindu Affairs &
        Secretary General
        EELAM’S PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY
              Sri Lanka

        2. Mr. Saleem Marsoof
        Honorable Judge of the Supreme Court
        Colombo, Sri Lanka

        3. Mr. M.A.Sumanthiran
        Attorney at Law
        Colombo, Sri Lanka

        4. Mr. S.M. Rafique
        Executive Secretary
        ASIAN FEDERATION OF MUSLIM YOUTH
        Puttalam, Sri Lanka


        5. Mr. M. Riza Yehiya
        Director Research
        Serendib Institute for Research and Development
        Wellampitiya, Sri Lanka


        6. Mrs. T.R. Riza
        Member-SIRD
        Serendib Institute for Research and Development
        Wellampitiya, Sri Lanka

        7. Dr. M. Ameer Zainudeen
        Member
        Human Right Commission
        Colombo, Sri Lanka

        8. Mr. Sihabuddin Nijamuddin
        Member of Parliament, Sri Lanka
        Kotte, Sri Lanka

        9. Mr A. S. Khan
        Minister Counsellor
        Sri Lanka High Commission
        New Delhi

                            BANGLADESH

        1. Prof. Dr. N. C. Bhowmik
        General Secretary
        Bangladesh Hindu Boudha Christian Organistaion
        Dhaka, Bangladesh

        2. Mr. Pankaj Bhattacharya
        Member, Presidium Gono Forum
                    Dhaka, Bangladesh           

        3. Mr. Hasanul Haq Inu
        President,
        Jatio Samaj Tantrik Dal
        Dhaka, Bangladesh

        4. Mr. Fazle Hossain Badsha
        Member of Polit Bureau
        Worker’s Party of Bangladesh
        Dhaka, Bangladesh

        5. Mr. John
        Dhaka

        6. Mr. Subrata Chowdhury
        Advocate,
        Supreme Court of Bangladesh
                    Dhaka, Bangladesh

        7. Mr. Shipra Chowdhury
        Council For Communal Harmony in Bangladesh
        Dhaka, Bangladesh

        8. Mr. Faruq Hasan
                    Program Officer
                    RIB,
                    Dhaka, Bangladesh


                              NEPAL

        1. Mr. Chitrakhla Yadav
        Deputy Speaker
        House of Representatives
                     Singha Durbar, Nepal


                              BHUTAN
             
        1.   Mr.  Jigme Tenzin
        Third Secretary, Press,
        Royal Bhutanese Embassy
        New Delhi
        Cross posted:INDIA THINKERS
         
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        A.SANKAR
        Executive Director
        EMPOWER.
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        INDIA
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      • skumar_1964
        DEAR SIR, PLE KEEP TOUCH WITH US ..TO WORK JOINTLY ON MISSION S.BHATTACAHARJJEE( CELL.09426215334) NATIONAL PRESIDENT-NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR HUMAN
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 5, 2005
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          DEAR SIR, PLE KEEP TOUCH WITH US ..TO WORK JOINTLY ON MISSION
          S.BHATTACAHARJJEE( CELL.09426215334)
          NATIONAL PRESIDENT-NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR HUMAN RIGHTS,---INDIA.

          arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com wrote:
          Dear Naved Hamid saheb
          Many thanks for sharing the summary of the Conference.The subject is of great importance , particularly for our sub continent. I hope this initiative will further the cause of   strengthening  forces of peace , mutual understanding and good will . The Muslims of India have a particular responsibility to speak out for the protection of the rights of minorities  in the same way as they expect the protection of their own rights in India.
          Sincerely
          Shahid Mahdi
           
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Sunday, October 02, 2005 11:B AM
          Subject: [arkitectindia] SOUTH ASIAN COUNCIL FOR MINORITIES

          SOUTH ASIAN COUNCIL FOR MINORITIES
          Dear Friends
          Greetings of Peace
          A three-day workshop on the Condition of Minorities in
          SAARC Countries was convened in New Delhi from
          16-17-18 September 2005 at Parliament House Annex, New
          Delhi.
          Around 40 foreign delegates from South Asia joined the
          deliberations on the issues which concern the
          minorities in South Asia along with 75 Indian
          delegates.
          As a follow up of the workshop, the South Asian
          Council for Minorities was floated to bring together
          human rights activists of South Asia and 27 delegates
          from different south Asian Countries were requested to
          be founder members of the Council
          I take this privilege to send you a brief report of
          the Workshop below.

          Regards
          Navaid Hamid

          navaidhamid@...

                            &nbs! p;                                                                                                             
                              

          Brief Report on the Workshop on the Condition of
          Minorities In SAARC Countries
          16-17-18 September, 2005, Parliament House Annex, New
          Delhi


          A three day  Workshop on the Condition of Minorities
          in South Asia was held in New Delhi from 16-18
          Septem! ber 2005, at Parliament House Annex, New Delhi.

          Mr. Jaipal Reddy, Honorable Union Minister for
          Information & Broadcasting, Government of India,
          inaugurated the Workshop and Prof. K.N. Pannikar gave
          a keynote address at the Inaugural Session. Mr. Navaid
          Hamid, Convenor of the Workshop presented introductory
          remarks in the session. Renowned Gandhian Dr. Nirmala
          Deshpande presided over the session.

          Mr. Arjun Singh, Honorable Union Minister for Human
          Resource Development gave a Valedictory Address and
          Smt. Shiela Dikshit, Honorable Chief Minister of Delhi
          presided over the Valedictory Session.

          Around forty foreign participants from different SAARC
          member countries participated in the workshop. The
          notables include Mr. Douglas Devananda, Honorable
          Minister of Sri Lanka; Mr. Justice Saleem Marsoof,
          Honorable Judge of Supreme Court of Sri Lanka; Mr.
          Sihabuddin Nizamuddin, M.P. of Sri Lanka; Mr. Dev Das,
          Member of ! Parliament, Pakistan, Mr. Akram Masih,
          Member of Parliament, Pakistan; Dr. A Qader Khanzada,
          Member of Parliament of Pakistan; Dr. Robina Saigol,
          Director, Action Aid Pakistan; Mr. Ronchi Ram,
          renowned Minority Rights Activists of Pakistan, Mr. M.
          Parkash, Chairman Minorites Human Rights Commission of
          Pakistan; Mr. Jai Parkash Seetal, Minister for
          Minorites Affairs, Governement of Balochistan; Mr.
          Hasan ul Haq Inu, President Jatiyo Samjtantrik Dal,
          Bangladesh; Mr. Pankaj Choudhury, Advocate, Supreme
          Court, Bangladesh, Mr. Pankaj Bhattachary, Minorities
          Rights Activists of Bangladesh; Prof. N. C. Bhowmik,
          General Secretary, Bangladesh Hindu Boudha Christian
          Okiya Parishad.


          The participants of the workshop deliberated on the
          following issues:

          1. Legal & Constitutional Rights of Minorities.
          2. Educational Status of Minorities and Representation
          of Minorities in      textbooks.
          3. Soc! io-Economic Status & rights of Minorities.
          4. Ethnic violence, State Violence & security of the
          minorities.
          5. Representation of Minorities in Public Services &
          Law Enforcement   Agencies.
          6. Media and the Minorities.


          Around 100 delegates form India also participated in
          different sessions of the Workshop. Among the Indian
          notable who addressed the participants of the Workshop
          includes Mr. Subodh Kant Sahay, Union Minister for
          Food Processing; Mr. Parkash Karat, Secretary General,
          CPM; Dr. Nirmala Deshpande, Member of Parliament;
          Prof. Amrik Singh, Former Vice Chancellor, Justice A.
          M Ahmedi, Former Chief Justice of India; Mr. Salman
          Khursheed, Former Union Minister; Prof. B.  Mungrekar,
          Member Planning Commission, Government of India, Mr.
          Syed Shahabuddin, Former Ambassador & former M.P.; Mr.
          Kuldip Nayar, Former Member of Parliament; Mr. V. N
          Rai, I.P.S.; Mr. Udit Raj, President Justi! ce Party;
          Mr. Paul Divakar, Dalit Rights Activist; Dr. J. K.
          Jain, Former Member of Parliament & Director, Jain
          T.V.; Mrs. Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, Ms. Madhu
          Kishwar, editor Manushi, Dr. Kavita Sharma of Delhi
          University and Dr. Rakesh Batabyal of Jawaharlal Nehru
          University.






          The other notable participants includes Mr. Ahmed
          Patel, Political Advisor to Hon�ble Congress
          President, Mr. Nilotpal Basu M.P., Mr. Iqbal Saradgi
          M.P., Mr. Hannan Mollah M.P., Mr. Saifuddin Soz M.P.,
          Mr. Shahid Siddiqui M.P., Mr. Abdul Rasheed Shaheen
          M.P., Justice Ranganathan Mishra, Chairman National
          Commission for Linguistic and Religious Minorities Mr.
          Lama Lobzang, Member Schedule Tribes Commission, , Mr.
          O.P. Shah, Dr. Mani Jacob, Chancellor, Allahabad
          Agricultural University, Mr. Shahid Mehdi, former Vice
          Chancellor Jamia Millia Islamia and Dr. Mohinder
          Singh, Member National Commission for Linguistic and Religious Minorities.

          Messages of Support and blessings were received from
          Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson United Progressive
          Alliance & Hon�ble Congress President, Smt. Sheikh
          Hasina Wajid, former Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Mr.
          E. Ahmed, Union Minister of State for External
          Affairs, Government of India &  from the office of
          Mayor of London.

          The participants adopted a joint declaration and
          floated South Asian Council for Minorities (SACM) to
          manifest the issues of the minorities of the region.


          DECLARATION ADOPTED BY THE DELEGATES TO THE WORKSHOP
          ON THE CONTIDITON OF MINORITIES IN SAARC COUNTRIES
          HELD IN NEW DELHI ON 16-17-18 SEPTEMBER, 2005 at
          Parliament House Annex, New Delhi


          Reaffirming our commitment to secure the right to
          life, freedom, dignity and equality of all human being
          under law and in reality.

          Recognizing that within each country there are
          minorities based on relig! ion, language, ethnicity and
          nationality who are disadvantaged and vulnerable
          because of their inadequate share in power and
          decision making.

          Realising that owing to majoritarian character of
          states and polities and denial of right to equality to
          minorities in the common national domain and right to
          preserve their distinct identity, minorities have
          generally faced varying degrees of threat to their
          existence, and to their language, religion and culture
          everywhere.

          Noting that such situations of discrimination,
          exclusion and assimilation have been source of violent
          conflicts, secession and insurgencies and even wars.

          Realizing that there is a worldwide concern for equal
          rights of minorities as individual citizens and
          collective rights as identity based groups, which
          require adequate constitutional safeguards and
          machinery of implementation and redressal, and which
          also require promotion of understanding betwee! n
          communities and governments and mechanism of
          preservation and resolution of conflicts.

          1. We the delegates to the three-day Workshop took
          stock of the situation of minorities in the countries
          of the region under law and in reality, wherein we
          noted that

          a. Minorities based on religion, sect, language,
          ethnicity and nationality in each of the countries of
          the region faced varying degrees discrimination,
          exclusion assimilation and on occasions threat to
          life, property, dignity and freedom by organized
          majoritarian groups with one agenda of exclusion and
          hate with complicity of the State.

          b. The source of such a state of things lies in the
          following: -
               
          I. Inadequate protection of the rights of minorities
          under constitution, laws and machinery of
          implementation of existing provisions.
          II. In some countries there is no constitutional
          provisions are discriminatory
          III. In ! some others, there is no constitutional
          safeguards for rights of minorities
          IV. In countries where constitutional provisions on
          right to equality and to preservation of language and
          culture and



          freedom of religion appear to be adequate, in practice
          denial of these rights is rampant.

          V. Poor state of rule of law and non-observance of
          human rights where the law-enforcement system is
          partisan and justice system has given rise to
          pervasive impunity.

          VI. Even in democracies where periodic elections are
          held under multi-party system, the electoral systems
          are unfriendly to minorities making them unable to
          secure their       due share in legislatures and other
          elected bodies.

          VII. Minorities are grossly under represented in all
          spheres of national life and especially in
          institutions of governance, e.g. the police, armed and
          Para-military forces, the judiciary and the civil
          se! rvices.


          VIII. The culture history and religion of minorities
          do not get appropriate representation in educational
          materials and in media on the contrary they are
          marginalized, excluded are distorted and negatively
          stereotyped.

          2. In view of the above, we recommend the following
          measures to be adopted by the Governments of each
          country is the SAARC:



          Adequate protection of the rights of minorities to
          equality, non-discrimination, non-exclusion and
          non-assimilation under Constitution, law, policies and
          programmes.

          2.1 Institutions to ensure enjoyment of these rights
          by minorities in reality, providing accessible
          mechanism of prompt redressal.
          2.2 Polities to conform to the norms of inclusive
          democracy, ensuring due share to minorities in
          legislatures and governance.
          2.3 Affirmative action programmes for equalization of
          opportunities for minorities, ensuring there due share
          in public employm! ent and in socio-economic
          development.
          2.4 Giving adequate representation to minority
          language, history, culture and religion in the
          educational material and in media, while enabling the
          minority to acquire knowledge of the language, history
          and culture of the national life as a whole.
             
          3. Protection and promotion of pluralism and
          multi-culturalism

          4. Promotion of prevention and resolution of
          inter-community and minority versus State conflicts
          and disputes, providing peaceful and just solutions.

          5. Collectively adopting under a SAARC Human Rights
          Convention based on international human rights norms
          and accommodating regional particularities,
          instruments on the protection of minorities and
          institutional mechanism for monitoring and redressal
          of grievances.


                         5.1.      Under these i! nstruments adopting
          multilateral/bilateral treaties on the treatment of
          non-citizens like members of divided families, migrant
          workers, refugees, asylum seekers, prisoners and
          stateless persons.


          6. We recommend the following measures to be adopted
          by the civil society:

          1. Undertake active promotion of these norms and
          principles, especially of pluralism and
          multiculturalism and rule of law
          2. Undertake advocacy of their adoption by the
          government
          3. Promote inter community tolerance, mutual respect
          and accommodation
          4. Organise effective intervention in situations of
          denial of rights to minorities and their oppression.
              
          7. We appeal to the security forces of the States and
          armed opposition to strictly adhere to the ethical
          groups legal norms on the conduct of hostilities as
          codified in the Geneva Convention, 1949 which require
          protection of life, dignity and freedom of
          non-co! mbatant civilians, especially women, children,
          old and disabled persons and worshippers.

          7.1 We also appeal to religious leaders of all
          communities in the region to evolve and endorse such
          ethical norms on the protection of innocent civilians
          uninvolved in conflicts including communal and
          sectarian conflicts.
              
          8. We the delegates to the Workshop do hereby resolve
          to constitute a South Asia Council for Minorities
          (SACM), whose aims objectives will be the following: -

          a. Promoting equal human rights of all minorities in
          South Asian countries.

          b. Promoting adequate protection of rights of
          minorities to equality and non-discrimination and to
          their distinct religions, cultural and linguistic or
          national identifies under constitution, law, policy
          and programs of each country.
          c. Promoting norms of gender-justice in areas of
          cultural autonomy of minorities including
          community-based family! laws.
          d. Promoting adoption of SAARC Human Rights Convention
          and SAARC Convention and Commission on Rights of
          Minorities and Non-Citizens.
          e. Promoting inter-community understanding, tolerance
          and conciliation through dialogue and peaceful
          resolution of disputes.
          f. Promoting strict observance of humanitarian norms.

          8.1.1 The Council shall have chapters in all the SAARC
          countries


          8.1.2  Initially each chapter will have a Convener and
          co-conveners and ad hoc Committees.
          8.1.3 Besides country-wise chapters. The SACM will
          have a Delhi-based Convener and Co-conveners and a
          Committee consisting of founder members from all
          countries.

          Resolved to nominate following members in the Council:


          1.      Mr. K.N. Douglas Devananda, Honorable Minister of
          Sri Lanka
          2.      Mr. Subodh Kant Sahay, Honorable Union Minister,
          Government of India.
          3. &nb! sp;    Mr Justice Saleem Marsoof, Honorable Supreme Court
          Judge, Sri Lanka
          5. Mrs Chitra Lekha Yadav, Deputy Speaker, House of
          Representatives, Nepal
          5      Mr. Dev Das, Honorable Member of Parliament,
          Pakistan
          6.      Mr. Akram Masih, Honorable Member of Parliament,
          Pakistan
          7.      Mr. Sihabudeen Nijamuddin, Honorable Member of
          Parliament, Sri Lanka
          8.      Dr. Nirmala Deshpande, Honorable Member of
          Parliament, India
          9.      Mr. Hannan Mollah, Honorable Member of Parliament,
          India
          10.      Mr. Iqbal Saradgi, Honorable Member of Parliament,
          India
          11.      Prof Amrik Singh, Former Vice Chancellor, India
          12.      Mr. Ronchi Ram, Karachi, Pakistan.
          13.      Dr. Robina Saigol, Country Direct! or, Action Aid,
          Pakistan
          14.      Mr. M Parkash, Chairman, Minority Rights
          Commission of Pakistan
          15.      Mr Hasan Ul Haq Inu, President, Jatiyo Samjtantrik
          Dal, Bangladesh
          16.      Mr. Pankaj Bhattacharya, Minority Rights Activist,
          Bangladesh
          17.      Mr. Riza Yehiya, Colombo, Sri Lanka
          18.      Mr. M Rafique, Executive Secretary, Asian
          Federation of Muslim Youth, Sri Lanka
          19.      Mr. Subroto Choudhury, Advocate, Supreme Court
          Bangladesh
          20.      Dr. Udit Raj, President, Justice Party, India
          21.      Dr. Mohinder Singh, Member, National Commission
          for Religious Linguistic Minorites, Govt.of India
          22. Mrs. Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, India
          23. Mr. Fazle Hossain Badshah, Bangladesh
          24. Mr. Paul Divaker, India
          25. Mr. ! B. M. Kutty, PILER, Karachi, Pakistan
          26. Mr. Lama Lobzang, Member Natioanl Comision for
          Scheduled Tribes, Government of India.
          27. Mr. Navaid Hamid, Convenor, SACM


                Following foreign delegates from South Asian
          Countries participated in the deliberation:


                          PAKISTAN

          1. Mr. Zafar Malik
          Secretary General
          National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL)
          Lahore, Pakistan

          2. Mrs. Naeema Zafar
          Secretary
                Ehsas
                Lahore, Pakistan

          3. Mr. Akram Maish
          Member of National Assembly of Pakistan
          Govt. of Pakistan

          4. Mr. Mohammed Aslam Khan
          Trustee
          Pakistan Social Institute
          Lahore, Pakistan

          5. Mr. Ronchi Ram
          Council Member
                      HRCP
             &nbs! p;        Karachi, Pakistan





          6. Mr. M. Prakash
          Chairman
          Minority Rights Commission of Pakistan
          Sindh, Pakistan

          7. Mr. Munawwar Chand
          Central General Secretary
          Krishna Mandir (PBS)
          Pakistan Balmik Saba, Lahore, Pakistan

          8. Mr. Jai Parkash Sheetal
          Minister for Minorities,
          Government of Balochistan,
          Pakistan

          9. Mr. Devdas
          Member, National Assembly of Pakistan
          Sindh, Pakistan

          10. Dr. Robina Saigol
          Country Director,
          Action Aid Pakistan
                      Islamabad, Pakistan

          11. Dr. Abdul Kadir Khanzada
          Member National Assembly of Pakistan
          Karachi, Pakistan

          12. Mr. James Francis
          Activist
                PILER
                Karachi, Pakistan

          13. Mrs. Saeeda Diep
          Chairperson
          Institute of Peace and Secular Studies,
          Lahore, Pakistan

          14. Sai! ma Naheed
          Human Right Activist
          Lahore, Pakistan

          15. Miss Saba Wallace
          Director
                Zoya Consultants
                Lahore, Pakistan

          16. Mr. Mahar Safdar Ali
          General Secretary
          Anjuman Asiaye Awam
          & Member
          Association of People�s of Asia-Pakistan Chapter,
          Lahore, Pakistan

          17. Mr. Pribhu Lal
          Programme Officer Minority Right Programme
          ASR Resource Centre
          Pakistan


          18. Mr. Shahid Fiaz
          Executive Director
          South Asia Forum for Human Rights
          Lahore, Pakistan

          19. Mr. William Yousaf
          General Secretary
          WE HELP YOU
                      Lahore

          20. Mrs. Shakeela Shehla Anjum
          Social Activist
          Karachi, Pakistan



                            SRI LANKA

          1. Mr. K.N. Douglas Devananda
          Honorable Minister for Agricult! ural Marketing
          Development  & Hindu Affairs &
          Secretary General
          EELAM�S PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY
                Sri Lanka

          2. Mr. Saleem Marsoof
          Honorable Judge of the Supreme Court
          Colombo, Sri Lanka

          3. Mr. M.A.Sumanthiran
          Attorney at Law
          Colombo, Sri Lanka

          4. Mr. S.M. Rafique
          Executive Secretary
          ASIAN FEDERATION OF MUSLIM YOUTH
          Puttalam, Sri Lanka


          5. Mr. M. Riza Yehiya
          Director Research
          Serendib Institute for Research and Development
          Wellampitiya, Sri Lanka


          6. Mrs. T.R. Riza
          Member-SIRD
          Serendib Institute for Research and Development
          Wellampitiya, Sri Lanka

          7. Dr. M. Ameer Zainudeen
          Member
          Human Right Commission
          Colombo, Sri Lanka

          8. Mr. Sihabuddin Nijamuddin
          Member of Parliament, Sri Lanka
          Kotte, Sri Lanka

          9. Mr A. S. Khan
          Minister Counsellor
          Sri Lanka High Commission
          New Delhi

             &nbs! p;                BANGLADESH

          1. Prof. Dr. N. C. Bhowmik
          General Secretary
          Bangladesh Hindu Boudha Christian Organistaion
          Dhaka, Bangladesh

          2. Mr. Pankaj Bhattacharya
          Member, Presidium Gono Forum
                      Dhaka, Bangladesh           

          3. Mr. Hasanul Haq Inu
          President,
          Jatio Samaj Tantrik Dal
          Dhaka, Bangladesh

          4. Mr. Fazle Hossain Badsha
          Member of Polit Bureau
          Worker�s Party of Bangladesh
          Dhaka, Bangladesh

          5. Mr. John
          Dhaka

          6. Mr. Subrata Chowdhury
          Advocate,
          Supreme Court of Bangladesh
                      Dhaka, Bangladesh

          7. Mr. Shipra Chowdhury
          Council For Communal Harmony in Bangladesh
          Dhaka, Bangladesh

          8. Mr. Faruq Hasan
                &nb! sp;     Program Officer
                      RIB,
                      Dhaka, Bangladesh


                                NEPAL

          1. Mr. Chitrakhla Yadav
          Deputy Speaker
          House of Representatives
                       Singha Durbar, Nepal


                                BHUTAN
               
          1.   Mr.  Jigme Tenzin
          Third Secretary, Press,
          Royal Bhutanese Embassy
          New Delhi
          Cross posted:INDIA THINKERS
           
          Forwarded by :
          ----------------------------
          Yours in Global Concern
          A.SANKAR
          Executive Director
          EMPOWER.
          107J / 133E, Millerpuram
          TUTICORIN-628 008
          INDIA
          Phone:    91 461 2310341
          Telefax: 91 461 2310151
          Mobile:  094431 48599

               EMPOWER is  a  Non-profit,  Non-Political, Voluntary and Professional Civil Society Organisation .

          - Registered in the year 1991- Engaged in developmental work for the past 13 years in Southern Tamil Nadu.






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