* Ruki Fernando, Human rights activist, Sri Lanka
Asian countries have history of struggling against dictatorships and democratizing their countries, from Philippines to Indonesia to Nepal and this year, also in Sri Lanka. In these struggles, the solidarity and support of other Asian countries and the world had mattered a lot and thus, it’s important to create networks, structures that will continue to nurture and foster this tradition of Asian solidarity for democratization. ADN has played an important part in recent years and I hope it will continue to be stronger.
* Deedar Ali Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer of PAHEL Pakistan
Heartiest congratulations from Centre for Human Rights Education and PAHEL Pakistan to AND on its 2nd Anniversary. Democracy in Asia has always been at stake. Especially in South Asian countries, democracy faces a lot of challenges and obstacles in form of religion, anarchy, martial laws and dictatorships. In such quashed atmosphere, whenever civil society appears as ray of hope and raise unheard voice, it is challenged. Its liberations are limited by the power corridors. Currently in South Asian countries civil society organizations are under threat by the governments under curtain of regulatory laws. In such confounding and challenging situation, civil society needs such platform like ADN where they may make collaborative effort for the sustainability, protection and promotion of democracy in the region. In this context, I feel ADN is very important platform which really works for democracy in the region.
* Kaustuv Bandyopadhyay, Executive Director of Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), India
Asia Democracy Network has emerged as the most critical bridging force for human rights and democracy activists in Asia.
* Ichal Supriadi, Executive Director of Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), Thailand
Congratulations ADN for its 2nd Anniversary, it is still a young initiative but the organization is reaching out despite challenges. You have always tried to provide the occasion of consolidation among CSOs in the region and hope to continue to do so for the objective and the pledge to promote democracy in the region. ANFREL and its network are delighted being part of it. Hope more success on the future achievement.
* Rolly Shivhare, Madhya Pradesh Right to Food Campaign, India
At present we have lots of cases which describes that if civil society will raise voice against state, they have to suffer somehow. The case of Green Peace and Teesta Seetlvad is a latest example of this.
In countries where the right wing government are there, people right to freedom of speech and expression is regularly being violated, the account of people who are working on rights are being hacked or traced, their accounts are being monitored, their background are being checked etc.
Hence, in the present context it is very important in the context of shrinking space of civil society to have this type of coalition like ADN which helps to promote the basic idea of democracy.