Monday, July 05, 2010

An International Conference on Breaking the Gaza Siege will be held at the Dewan Tun Razak Hall 1 of the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur on July 11 2010.

The theme of the conference is: Breaking the Siege: In The Spirit of Rachel Corrie and Mavi Marmara.

According to a statement from the Perdana Global Peace Organisation, the speakers include Yildirim Bulent, head of the Turkish humanitarian relief organisation, the Insani Yardim Yakfi (IHH), Denis J. Halliday, former assistant secretary-general of the United Nations and Derek Graham, head of the MV Rachel Corrie team.

Another speaker is Dr Hasan Huseyn Uyzal who was on board the Mavi Marmara and helped treat the injured.

A Palestinian judge, Dialdeen S. Madhoun who is head of the Palestinian committee of war crimes documentation will also be one of the speakers.

PGPO chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who had been a leading figure in opposing Israeli consistent and systematic genocide of Palestinians, will deliver the keynote address.

He will also chair a Panel Session for the conference and the panellists will include ambassadors from several countries which are concerned about the Israeli siege. Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Malaysian Prime Minister, who has been leading efforts to raise funds for the Palestinian cause, will be one of the panelists.

The illegal siege was imposed by the Israel government in 2007. It represents part of an unending list of atrocities and cruelties inflicted by the Israelis against the Palestinians.

Last month, a group of activists from different countries, colours and creeds, joined hands to form the Freedom Flotilla and sailed across the Mediterranean to challenge the siege on Gaza.

The PGPO states:

"Consistent to its belligerent streak, the Israel Defence Force (IDF), at the wee hours of dawn, launched a cowardly attack on one of the Freedom Flotilla ships, the Mavi Marmara which was sailing in international waters.

The attack on the civilian ship resulted in the murder of nine activists and injured dozens more. Apart from that, the IDF, after forcefully boarding the ships of the flotilla, commandeered them to the Israeli port Ashdod and then imprisoned the activists.

Having literally dragged the activists into Israel, the Tel Aviv regime then deported them under tremendous condemnation from the international community.

The IDF repeated their act a few days later on the MV Rachel Corrie, another member of the Freedom Flotilla which had lagged behind due to engine problems.

Even though another tragedy was averted as no one was shot nor killed, the IDF boarded the Rachel Corrie in full force with its personnel armed to the teeth. Again, the Rachel Corrie was forcefully commandeered to Ashdod.

It is extensively believed that the Rachel Corrie was spared the violent, armed aggression of the IDF due to the international spotlight on Tel Aviv following murders of the activists on Mavi Marmara.

It is against these backdrops that the Perdana Global Peace Organisation (PGPO), a principal partner in the Freedom Flotilla, decided to hold an international conference to recount what had occurred on the Mavi Marmara and Rachel Corrie.

The conference is expected to conclude with a clear plan on measures and efforts to be undertaken in challenging the siege and eventually putting an end to it.

These measures and efforts will be formulated based on the inputs, views and ideas put forth and shared during the conference."

The closing address will be delivered by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Entrance is free and open to the public. The public is however advised to come early as seats are limited though there is ample standing room.

If there are any enquiries, please contact: 03-88858965 (Maizatul –, 03-88858960 (Noorinsun –, 019-3843913 (Dr Zulaiha Ismail – or 019-9100090 (Shamsul –

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