March 9, 2010


On Tuesday 26 January in the capital city of Medellin in Antioquia Department, President Álvaro Uribe for an intervention in relation to 108% increase in homicides in that city, made a ridiculous proposal, in which young students could receive bonuses of $ 100,000 pesos per month (50USD) in exchange for providing information on criminal acts, the measure was presented as “Student Network of Informants”.

Faced with this appalling proposal, The Colombian Association of University Students (ACEU), Colombian trade organization of students, fixes its position in the following sense:

• This initiative seeks to continue to link directly and indirectly and young people with little wars measures of government, from his sickly hysteria and control and surveillance of citizens, systematically inducing the infringement of liberties and Human Rights violations. It is fair to recall today, the families of the unfortunate victims of extrajudicial executions. This measure represents only the realization of an instrumental and utilitarian vision of the role that the youth should play in a society that demands a political and negotiated solution to social, political and armed conflict.

• It confirms the obvious failure of the misnamed “Democratic Security” not only in the persecution of ordinary crimes, but also in its control purposes to the political conflict, social and armed in Colombia, where, in addition, there is a lack of a comprehensive policy aimed at providing guarantees to democratic and youth of Colombia.• To involve young and old students as actors of the armed conflict and common crimes, meant, further stigmatization, persecution and death for young people in our country, recognizing among other things, that this is a strategy of terror.  That seeks to break the social fabric and exacerbate the persecution of student and youth leaders, precisely at a peak moment of the student movement.

• It is absurd to think that while they offer gifts to the intensification of the war and increase military spending in the national budget, on the other hand, deteriorates social investment, privatized health system, closing the universities, cut the transfer is approved minimum wage increases that threaten the right to a dignified life and many other measures, which constitute the major enemies of life, which Uribe manifests to defend.

• This proposal is made in moments of crisis in the Colombian universities, where the constant stigmatization and criminalization of the student movement are harmonized with the hasty academic, administrative and financial reforms that are managed by the national education ministry, which seeks above the universities, boosting this year, his bill to reform the law 30 of 1992. This situation has severely hurt the university autonomy and democracy, and finally to the university condemns Colombian market designs and neoliberal policies.

The Colombian Association of University Students (ACEU), calls on all national and international community to denounce this proposal warlike and inhuman. We urge all sectors of society to defend the critical character creator and transformer of the University.


Jose Ramos-Horta, president of Timor Leste visits Student Solidarity Conference

January 29, 2010

This is a summary of the fourth day of the Student Solidarity Conference 2010 in Dili, East Timor.

On Thursday morning we were proud to present Jose Ramos-Horta, current president of Timor Leste and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate of 2006, to our Laureates. He spent one and a half hour together with us and shared histories from his time as a central figure in the Timorese resistant movement against the Indonesian occupation. Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday 27th of January

January 29, 2010

We started the day with the session; Human rights, a global responsibility? The session was facilitated by UNMITs human rights and transitional justice group. They had a brief presentation of the definitions of human rights and how they are implemented, as well as a presentation of how they work with human rights in Timor-Leste. Towards the end of the session we divided into groups of four were we discussed how human rights breaches should be dealt with in relation to bringing justice to those who have been victimized. Do we need justice, or should we just forget. If justice is needed, how do we deliver it? Read the rest of this entry »

Tuesday 26th of January

January 29, 2010

This day contained four different sessions. We started with Charm Tong and Charm Leng`s session; mobilizing for political and social change in Burma. Various guests from Timor-Leste attended the session which focused upon the history of Burma after the military Junta gained power in 1962. They also talked about other countries economical interest in Burma and how the international community fail by continually legitimizing the military regime. After the session an interesting round of questions followed. Read the rest of this entry »

Monday 25th of January

January 29, 2010

This is a summary of the first day of the Student Solidarity Conference

This was the first official day of the Student Solidarity Conference 2010. The Laureates arrived at saturday, and we have had various program since then.

The open day contained three sessions. We started with the opening ceremony. The ceremony included speeches from project leader of the Student Solidarity Conference 2010, Sanna Brattland, the director of the Student Peace Prize secreteriat, Eirik Vikum and the rector of the national university of Timor-Leste, Benjamin de Corte-Real. The speeches focused upon student solidarity, the Student Peace Prize and the Student Peace Prize laureates as well as linkages between students from Norway and Students from Timor-Leste.  Read the rest of this entry »

Travel letter from Timor-Leste

January 27, 2010

SAIH and the Student Peace Prize have challenged all the laureates of the student peace prize to contribute to the Student Watch Blog while attending the Student Solidarity Conference 2010. First out is Kyaw Win from the 2001 laureate ABFSU from Burma.

Written by Kyaw Win, from All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU).

Read the rest of this entry »

Blogging from East Timor

January 24, 2010

The Student Watch blog has a vision of being a place where student activists from around the world can share their experiences, and inform each other about important issues in their struggles.

To make this happen, SAIH has initiated a cooperation with the Student Peace Prize, and together we are encouraging different laureates of this prize to blog.

We hope that this will be the start of something great. If we succeed, this blog will be a very informative database for interesting student news.

But why East Timor,?
This is the home country of Antero Benedito da Silva, who was the first laureates of the Student Peace Prize in 1999. This week all the laureates are gathered in Dili for the Student Solidarity Conference 2010, hosted by among others da Silva.

The country earned its independence in 2002, and while it is still one of the least developed countries in Asia, it gives great inspiration for student activists, who are undoubtedly some of the greatest agents of change in the world, to be gathered in a country where human rights activism has recently led to great political achievements.

I look very much forward to all the sessions of this week, and I promise you that we will try to update the blog as often as we can (all depending on the internet access, which unfortunately isn’t the best)!

Runar Myrnes Balto, president of SAIH.

The Student Solidarity Conference 2010

January 19, 2010

The Student Solidarity Conference 2010 is a project initiated and organized by the Student Peace Prize. The conference will be held in Dili, East Timor, from the 25th to the 29th of January 2010, in cooperation with the first Student Peace Prize Laureate Antero Benedito da Silva and the ETSSC, and local student leaders.

The participants are representatives of the six Laureates of the Student Peace Prize; Antero Benedito da Silva from East Timor, Min Ko Naing and ABFSU from Burma, ZINASU from Zimbabwe, ACEU from Colombia, Charm Tong from Burma and Elkouria ”Rabab” Amidane from Western Sahara.

A network of support

One of the main goals of the Student Peace Prize is to support and motivate young peace builders who are important agents of change in their societies. The Student Solidarity Conference will address issues of peace and solidarity, and will be a forum for the Laureates to share knowledge and experience, and for developing strategies for tackling specific challenges that the participating organizations have in common. The conference will have three main components – thematic contributions by the Laureates focusing on individual experiences and challenges, thematic contributions by external resource persons, and the Solidarity Initiative of the Student Peace Prize Laureates, which aims to strengthen long-term ties between the Laureate organizations.

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Report: Colombia: Students in the Firing Line

December 13, 2009

A report put together by Justice for Colombia, the National Union of Students (NUS) and the University and College Union (UCU) on the human rights abuses suffered by Colombian university students was launched in July 2009. It calls on the British Government to speak out more forcefully about the human rights situation in Colombia. The report tries to highlight the attacks that students face in Colombia. The report details 14 recent assassinations of student leaders as well as numerous other instances of human rights being violated.

Read the report here.

Read the rest of this entry »

National and International Meeting for a Humanitarian Agreement and Peace in Colombia

December 7, 2009

We were so lucky to participate in the peace conference ”National and Internacional Meetng for a Humanitarian Agreement and Peace in Colombia” in Cali from the 13th to the 15th of November. One important person participating in the conference was Iván Cepeda, who is an active human rights defender and the spokesperson for the organization MOVICE, which is the national movement of victims of state. Another important person attending was Piedad Córdoba. Since 2007, Córdoba has played a key role in negotiating the release of hostages held by FARC and this year she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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