Re: Dinhy carrying 25 Albanians sinks in the Adriatic

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Salamon Alapitvany (salamon@ns.tiszanet.hu)
Wed, 28 Oct 1998 10:19:22 +0100


In my recent contact with Vlore and also Kosovans refugees in Holland, it
was widely reported that the Vlore speed boats are transporting Kosovan
refugees
to Italy. It is therefore possible that this "dinghy" was carrying
Kosovans,
however the majority of users of the Vlore speed boats are still reported
as local Albanians. Several other groups have reported using the Vlore
boats to reach the EU, these groups include Iraqis, Sudanese, and Kurds

The movement of Kosovan refugees is usually reported as being consequential
to their fear of ethnic persecution and as such the action of refugees
engaging with
the boat owners mainly reflects the lack of resources for assisting
refugees in Northern Albania, and the concern of Kosovans to enter
countries completely removed from the arena of uncertainty and potential
conflict.

A refugee is a legitimate migrant and has a right to seek asylum. Most
countries ajoining Kosova could not easily be considered adequate places of
refuge and
safety.

That refugees feel compelled to resort to illegal transportation to achieve
their legitimate goal is more a commentary on European Governments than the
nature of "mafias".

Criminalising refugees by compelling them to use illegal transportation is
apparently a device by which various authorities seek to justify denying
refugees
adequate protection and opportunity to reach the adequate safety of
"EU/Fortress Europe".

The financial cost of using the Vlore speed boats is easily comparable to
the time and expense of acquiring a visa and plane ticket to an EU
destination, and
using the speed boat is a much quicker solution. However the physical risk
is considerable, but such risk is often considered acceptable.

We need to ask the questions:

Are the Vlore speed boats offering legitimate Kosovan refugees a valuable
resource that allows them to reach an adequate place of safety ?

Should facilitating the travel of a legitimate refugee be a crime even if
that service involves cost ?

Other actions of the Vlore speed boat operators might be reprehensible and
illegal, but in meeting the needs of legitimate Kosovan refugees they could
be incidentially demonstrating the inhumanity of European refugee policies
that compel innocent refugees to turn to organised crime to meet a basic
human right.

John Davies

Salamon Alapitvany and Ildiko K Memorial Civil Rights Institute

Working for peace and equitable justice for all marginalised people
Seeking to include sex workers within civil society without discrimination
Believing in change through consensus not repression.

Pf.1152, Balastya 6764, Hungary. Tel/Fax +36 62 278314.
From bardoza@idt.net Tue Oct 27 22:35:16 1998
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Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 22:37:49 -0500
From: GABRIELA NETWORK <bardoza@idt.net>
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GABRIELA Network presents:

JUNK VFA!
A Forum on the Visiting Forces Agreement,
Militarization and Women’s Lives
in the Philippines

Panelists:

Baltazar Pinguel, a peace & justice advocate
in the Philippines since the late 60s, and
Ninotchka Rosca, award winning writer,
authoring 4 works of fiction and the non-fiction,
Endgame: The Fall of Marcos.
Both Pinguel and Rosca were political prisoners
under the Marcos dictatorship, and were
instrumental in the campaign against the
US bases in the Philippines. Both are now living
in exile in the US.

Wed, Nov. 11th, 1998 (Veterans’ Day) 6:30--8pm
Borough of Manhattan Community College, Rm Sth 104
199 Chambers St (bet. Greenwich St & West Side Hwy)
Take A,C,E train to World Trade Center or
1,2,3,9 to Chambers St Station

Suggested Donation: $5

PLUS:
Screening of Toxic Sunset, a film documenting the environmental
and community damage wrought by the former US military bases

For further info, contact GABRIELA Network
PO Box 403, Times Sq. Sta, New York, NY 10036
tel. 212-592-3507 fax: 718-779-5840
email: gabnet@gabnet.org
web: www.gabnet.org

Background:

The Visiting Forces Agreement is an agreement between the Philippine
andUS governments which will open 22 Philippine ports to military
exercises. It will allow an indefinite number of US military troops to
visit or temporarily stay in the Philippines. Just 6 years after the
closure of the US military bases at Subic and Clark, the VFA will mark
the return of militarization, prostitution and violence
against women. Join us in our campaign to JUNK VFA!

--------------22F18792C3728B08DAA17681
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Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

GABRIELA Network presents:
 

JUNK VFA!
A Forum on the Visiting Forces Agreement,
Militarization and Women’s Lives
in the Philippines

Panelists:

Baltazar Pinguel, a peace & justice advocate
in the Philippines since the late 60s, and
Ninotchka Rosca, award winning writer,
authoring 4 works of fiction and the non-fiction,
Endgame: The Fall of Marcos.
Both Pinguel and Rosca were political prisoners
under the Marcos dictatorship, and were
instrumental in the campaign against the
US bases in the Philippines.  Both are now living
in exile in the US.
 

Wed, Nov. 11th, 1998 (Veterans’ Day) 6:30--8pm
Borough of Manhattan Community College, Rm Sth 104
199 Chambers St (bet. Greenwich St & West Side Hwy)
Take A,C,E train to World Trade Center or
1,2,3,9  to Chambers St Station

Suggested Donation:  $5

PLUS:
Screening of Toxic Sunset, a film documenting the environmental
and community damage wrought by the former US military bases
 

For further info, contact GABRIELA Network
PO Box 403, Times Sq. Sta, New York, NY 10036
tel. 212-592-3507     fax: 718-779-5840
email: gabnet@gabnet.org
web: www.gabnet.org
 

Background:

The Visiting Forces Agreement is an agreement between the Philippine andUS governments which will open 22 Philippine ports to military exercises.  It will allow an indefinite number of US military troops to visit or temporarily stay in the Philippines.  Just 6 years after the closure of the US military bases at Subic and Clark, the VFA will mark the return of militarization, prostitution and violence
against women. Join us in our campaign to JUNK VFA! --------------22F18792C3728B08DAA17681--


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