Asia Rights

Journal of Human Rights, Media and Society in Asia and the Pacific

Archive for February, 2010


Posted in Human Rights Ideas on February 12th, 2010

“For a long time now, there has been a widespread sense that ‘the earth is foundering’.

But recently I have started to think that perhaps it is not only the environment, but also the human heart that is “foundering”.

I can’t help wondering, “what sort of society is this, where people flaunt their intellectual knowledge and status, while society full of unjust government and widening gaps between rich and poor?”

If we acknowledge our differences, accept one another, look each other in the eye, talk to one another, perhaps we can do something, act, even with very small power…? I want to try to walk together, using the sensitivity of art and the ideas of philosophy,

I cannot forget the Korean notion of “han”, which does not mean resentment.

That this breeze may blow   !

Kim Sun-Yeoul, a Korean resident in Japan born Osaka, is the founder of “Param Sendai” [“Breeze from Sendai”], a group bringing together members of the local Korean ethinc community and majority Japanese in the northern Japanese city of Sendai. She has also worked to link Japanese and Southeast Asian women through fair trade schemes focused on traditional textiles.

The Korean concept of “han” referes to a profound sense of sorrow evoked by injustice.

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Posted in Korea on February 4th, 2010

With its work only part complete, South Korea’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission is being shut down. Sydney Morning Herald’s Hamish Macdonald describes the outstanding work done by the commission, and the dubious explantions for its abolition. He writes:

“none of the allies which shed blood to defend this republic (the United States had 36,574 killed, Australia 339) have spoken out about this impending shame and cover-up – not the governments, not the official military historians, not the veterans. Surely they should be putting a message to President Lee that this is not what we fought for?”

Read his full article at: Truth in Danger in South Korea

and for more on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, see Gavan McCormack and Kim Dong-Choon’s discussion: Grappling with Cold War History