MELBOURNE — The Asia Pacific Anti-Militarism Conference, held from March 28 to April 1, attracted around 150 people.
The conference heard a detailed and inspiring report from Bougainville activist Lillian Crofts on the reasons for the split in the PNG government and military over the attempt to use mercenaries to crush the Bougainville Revolutionary Army.
Nico Warouw, international representative of the People's Democratic Party of Indonesia, spoke on the growing movement in opposition to the Suharto dictatorship.
Ana Pararajasingham spoke on militarisation in Sri Lanka. Philippines activist Maria Elena Ang described the growth of military activity around mining operations in southern Mindinao. East Timorese activist Abel Gutierres also spoke.
Speakers from the Burma Support Group presented a workshop on the struggle for democracy in Burma, and the role of forces such as the All-Burma Students Democratic Front in challenging the repressive military dictatorship there.
The conference ended with a protest against Australian military aid to PNG and Indonesia, outside Victoria Barracks.
A resource kit will be produced out of the conference. For copies of the kit, contact Campaign Against Militarism, PO Box 1351, Collingwood Vic 3066; or phone (03) 9481 7610.