Thursday, April 20, 2006


Upcoming Talks

Past Events in RED

Charm Tong to speak in London
Date: Sunday 23rd April
Place: Khalili Lecture Theatre-SOAS (Russell Sqaure Building) Centeral London
Nearest Stations: Russell Square (Piccadilly Line), Goodge Street(Northern Line), Euston or Warren Square (Victoria & Northern Lines).Buses: numbers 7, 68, 91, 168 and 188 stop near Russell Square; 10, 24, 29,73 and 134 stop on Tottenham Court Road (north bound) or Gower Street (southbound).


Come and hear Burmese democracy activist Charm Tong of the Shan Women's Action Network speak about the situation in Burma and what the international community can do to help.Other speakers include Ben Rogers - Christian Solidarity Worldwide, and MarkFarmaner - Burma Campaign UK. Chair; Guy Craft, SOAS Student Union.Speeches will be followed by Q&A session.

Organised by SOAS Student Union, Burma Campaign UK and Christian SolidarityWorldwide.

Charm Tong Biography
When she was only seventeen, Charm Tong, along with other Shan women activeon the Thai-Burma border, founded the Shan Women¹s Action Network (SWAN), anorganization dedicated to stopping the exploitation of and violence againstwomen and children. Three years later, recognizing that their lack of education leaves Shanyouth more vulnerable to being trafficked or lured into exploitativeactivities, Charm Tong founded The School for Shan State NationalitiesYouth. The school works to empower and build the capacity of the students tobecome leaders in their communities. Burma human rights and democracymovement now views the school as a model for training young people in humanrights. The school also provides English-language lessons and computertraining to Shan youth as well as those from other ethnic minorities.More recently, Charm Tong became instrumental in launching a campaign tobring attention to the systematic use of rape of Shan women by the Burmesemilitary. The campaign, based on a report called ³License to Rape,²received considerable international attention. The Thai government fearedthat the campaign would threaten its ties with the Burmese regime, however,and closed down the SWAN office. Even with rumours circulating that SWANmembers have been targeted for reprisals, Charm Tong remains undeterred. ³Ipromised the women who have endured this brutality,² she says, ³that I wouldspeak out about all the horrible acts against them.² Charm Tong¹s courage is legendary. She first testified before the UnitedNations Commission on Human Rights at the age of seventeen and she oncelobbied a resistance commander to allow SWAN activists to educate women inareas under his control.Chang Tong has received several awards, ranging from the Marie Claire Womenof the Year award to the Reebok Human Rights Award.In October 2005 Charm Tong had a 50 minute meeting with US President GeorgeW. Bush. ³The military has done lots of things to damage our hearts, our beliefs, oursouls, and our rights,² she once wrote. ³It is difficult for people toforget all kinds of violations that the military committed. There are stillmore and more violations of human rights in Burma, especially in the ruraland border areas. The best thing we can do is to fight with our hearts andminds, so that we are not in fear and pain."

Guest Lecture: Professor Charles Lock, University of Copenhagen The Legacy of Ken Saro-Wiwa: Heroic Activism and Rotten English

Date: Thursday 25 January 2007, 6.30 pm

Place: Room 309, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London SE14 6NW

Admission: FREE

In connection with Sokari Douglas Camp’s ‘Living Memorial’ to Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, Professor of English Literature at the University of Copenhagen, Charles Lock, will deliver a guest lecture entitled: ‘The Legacy of Ken Saro-Wiwa: Heroic Activism and Rotten English’. The Lecture will be introduced by Professor Helen Carr, Director of the Pinter Centre at Goldsmiths. Ken Saro-Wiwa, devoted his life to the protection and advancement of the Ogoni, an oil-rich area of the Niger Delta. As founder of MOSOP (the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People), Saro-Wiwa and eight of his colleagues were executed by the Nigerian government 11 years ago for protesting against the devastation of the Niger Delta by western oil corporations, to worldwide condemnation at the time. A prolific writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa is renowned for Sozaboy: A Novel in Rotten English (1985), which is now recognized as a classic modern literature text. Professor Charles Lock has been an active supporter of MOSOP for many years. He has contributed substantially to the criticism of Saro-Wiwa's literary achievement. Please contact Goldsmiths on 020 7919 7436, or e-mail for further information. For a map and travel information please visit The lecture is followed by a reception. All welcome to attend.

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