Doctrine divides, Action unites


  February 2014

An elderly woman cries amidst the remains of her home in Cambodia after people in her community of Borei Keila in
Phnom Penh were forcibly evicted in January 2012. (Photo from

The Role of Religions in Society
Hor Hen

The author shares his thoughts about the social responsibilities of religion in society and uses his country of Cambodia as an example of some of the social, economic and political problems that arise when people of faith fail to live out their responsibilities. [Read more]

Multilingualism, Social Harmony and the Role of the Teacher
Shree Ram Chaudhari

The ability to speak and understand more than one language not only enhances a person’s ability to communicate with people from other ethnic groups and nationalities, but, as the author makes clear, to also build relationships with them that can foster human and communal bonds, especially in a diverse national context like the author’s native country of Nepal where 122 different languages are spoken. [Read more]

Upcoming Census Is a Grave Threat to National Reconciliation and Should Be Postponed
Burma Partnership

Normally, holding a national census is an innocuous process that helps define the demographic composition of a country. In Burma, however, conducting a census at this juncture of the country’s history has the potential to increase tensions and perhaps even conflict among different ethnic and religious communities at a time when there are so many other significant issues for the country to address. [Read more]

Betrayal of EDSA: A Throwback to the Martial Law Era?
Edre U. Olalia

It was on Epifanio de los Santos Ave.—more commonly known as EDSA—that the People Power Revolution in the Philippines dethroned Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986 after more than 20 years as the country’s dictatorial president. Now, more than 20 years later, the author asks a very basic and significant question: Has anything changed? If not, another equally basic and significant question arises: Why? [Read more]

‘They Tortured Me, Used Me to Get Reward’
Rolly Panesa

On Jan. 14, 2014, the Court of Appeals’ Fifth Division in the Philippines concluded that Rolly Panesa, a 48-year-old security guard, could not possibly be Benjamin Mendoza, a leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), rejecting the claim of the police and soldiers as justification for his arrest.

In its decision, the court hearing Panesa’s petition for habeas corpus rejected the petition by the police and the soldiers that asked the court to reconsider its decision in August 2013. The police and the military appealed the court’s decision in order to allow them to rearrest Panesa.

However, after nearly five months, the court concluded with finality that the police and military could not arrest Rolly Panesa again: “There is no reason for the rearrest of Rolly Panesa.”

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in Hong Kong spoke with Panesa via Skype. This article is a transcription of their interview with Panesa. [Read more]



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